A supercharged coupe with a manual will never go out of style.
There was a time when compact coupes and their sedan counterparts played a vital role for Detroit's automakers. That time has passed as the Chevrolet Cruze, Ford Fiesta and Focus, and Dodge Dart have all been discontinued. Their replacements are all crossovers and it appears this will continue to be the trend for the foreseeable future. So it goes.
But a decade and a half ago this was not the case and non-crossover body styles remained popular. Both Chevy and Dodge, to their credit, saw the potential for factory-built high-performance versions of their current subcompact offerings, the Chevy Cobalt and Dodge Neon. The results were the Cobalt SS and Neon SRT-4.
While the SRT-4 received a turbo-four, Chevy opted for something a bit different in late 2004: a supercharged Cobalt SS. Not just any Chevy model was given the coveted "Super Sport" moniker, but with a supercharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder under the hood producing 205 horsepower and 200 lb-ft of torque, the Cobalt SS was worthy of it.
Sold only as a coupe, the Cobalt SS could be had with a dealer-installed performance upgrade package with so-called "stage kits" that came with factory warranties. For example, the Stage 1 kit included new fuel injectors and a reprogrammed ECU which increased output by 30 hp. Stage 2 upped power by 36 hp and 18 lb-ft, while Stage 3 was really quite something: a retuned ECU enabling a 50-shot of nitrous for a new total of up to 260 hp when using 100-octane fuel. This latter upgrade was intended for track use only and to help make sure owners abided by this, the air conditioning system was disabled once the Stage 3 upgrades were installed.
By 2008, Chevy had no choice to discontinue the supercharged Cobalt SS because its engine no longer met government emissions requirements. However, the Cobalt SS was still a relatively solid seller and Chevy didn't want to see it go, so an alternative solution was found. Instead of the supercharged four, a turbocharged 2.0 four with direct injection and 260 hp and 260 lb-ft was used. Even Launch Control and 18-inch wheels were added.
As the years go by, those early supercharged Cobalt SS coupes are becoming less common, especially with less than 100,000 miles, but we came across this 2006 example up for sale at Ochs Auto Sales in Perryville, Missouri.
With a price tag of $6,300, this '06 Chevy Cobalt SS has a total of 61,932 miles on its clock and, judging by the photos, appears to be in good condition inside and out. The Ultra Silver Metallic exterior paint over the Ebony and Red leather interior is a great combo. That short-throw shifter is another nice touch. Fuel economy isn't great but not entirely terrible at 23/29 mpg city/highway.
For those on a budget looking for a fun-to-drive coupe with a decent amount of power, a manual, and potential future collector's status, look no further than this.