2004 Chevrolet Cobalt SS Bonneville Speedster

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(from General Motors Press Release)  Timing is everything, and the timing of the new Cobalt SS Supercharged's introduction couldn't be better. As Chevy's new sport compact performance car debuts in dealer showrooms, it already has a record-setting pedigree. Driver Nelson Hoyos piloted a race-prepared Cobalt SS at the Bonneville Salt Flats on Aug. 19, 2004, establishing a new mark in the G/Blown Fuel Altered class at 243.127 mph. The Cobalt SS, which is based on Chevy's new factory-built front-wheel-drive Super Sport, eclipsed the 212.684 mph mark established last year by GM engineer Jim Minneker in a Saturn ION Red Line quad coupe.

"It was an absolute blast to run the Cobalt SS flat-out on the Bonneville Salt Flats," said Hoyos, the reigning PRO FWD champion in the NHRA Summit Sport Compact Series. "GM Performance Division and the So-Cal Speed Shop crew gave me a perfectly prepared car, and the Ecotec engine ran flawlessly. I just put my foot on the floor and watched the mile markers flash by."

GM Performance Division conceived the Cobalt SS record run to demonstrate the ultimate capabilities of both the four-cylinder Ecotec engine and Chevy's new front-wheel-drive "tuner" car. The project brought together the technical and human resources of GM, the world's largest vehicle manufacturer. The program was led by the GM Performance Division, in collaboration with Chevrolet, GM Powertrain, GM Performance Parts, GM Racing, and the GM Design Studios in Warren, Mich., and Los Angeles. The So-Cal Speed Shop in Pomona, Calif., provided vehicle preparation and logistical support for the successful assault last years record run.

"Last year's record-setting performance with the Saturn ION Red Line was a tough act to follow, but the Cobalt SS surpassed every expectation," said GM Performance Division Executive Director Mark Reuss. "We came to the Bonneville Salt Flats to demonstrate the performance and reliability of the Ecotec engine in one of the most extreme environments on Earth. The Cobalt SS, driver Nelson Hoyos, and the entire team performed to the highest standards. We're out here to be the best, and today we proved that Chevy and GM race to win."

Ecotec engines also propelled two independent entries into the Bonneville record book during the annual Bonneville Speed Week. Ron Main's EcoFire streamliner set the record in the G/BFS (Blown Fuel Streamliner) class at 309.607 mph. Todd Haas combined a vintage 1934 roadster body with a thoroughly modern Ecotec engine and produced a 193.231 mph record in the F/BFMR (Blown Fuel Modified Roadster) class.

GM Performance Division will return to the Bonneville Salt Flats for the World Finals on Oct. 13-16, 2004.