September 27, 2022


Say you’re out one night, driving around in your whatever it is. You pull up next to a black Cobalt at a traffic light. You look over and you see a skinny kid behind the wheel, and he has a grin on his face. Perplexed, and angered, you slide it into first and wait for the light to change.

Green light.

You both take off. He’s right there with you. Into second, and he’s still there. Then he starts pulling away. Try as you might you aren’t catching him. Until the next light. And there he is, grin and all. This is what happens when you meet 300whp and 400lb/ft crammed in to an unassuming package.


Does Nick, the guy who owns this Cobalt SS, do this? Beats me, but it made for a good intro for this story. While the events might not be true, the numbers this thing lays down are. At JDP Motorsports it put down 304whp and 405lb/ft of torque. And it didn’t take a lot to get there.


Starting with a stock Cobalt SS, Nick added a chunk of the ZZP Performance catalog to the engine bay. The OEM charge pipes went in the dumpster, along with the catted downpipe and the intercooler. ZZP pieces replaced all of them. Behind that catless downpipe is a three inch straight pipe exhaust, which sounds so very mean. A ZZP blowoff valve relieves pressure from the stock turbo, and a K&N Typhoon intake feeds air to that hair dryer. JDP Motorsports strapped it to their dyno and worked their tuning magic on the Ecotec.


The only things on the exterior of this car that would lead you to believe that you’re dealing with anything beyond an econobox are the front mount intercooler, the eyelids, the Brembo calipers and the gold, 9.75” wide XXR 527’s.


This thing is very understated. And even listening to it you wouldn’t think it’s about to blow your doors off. Tommy didn’t. Then Nick offered to take Trent, Tommy and myself on some 2nd gear pulls. Sh*t gets real when this thing hits the top of 2nd. Tommy stopped calling it a Slobalt after his ride.


So if you ever pull up next to a black Cobalt SS coupe on gold XXRs with a skinny kid behind the wheel, you might want to think twice about racing him. You wouldn’t want to be embarrassed by a Slobalt would you?

Words and Photos by Michael Chandler

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3 thoughts on “Underdog

  1. While running those wheels, I’m trying to figure out what size it is that is being used. I know for a fact those can’t bolt straight on with the brembos, either a hbu adapter or conversion must be used. If by some miracle I got a response as to the exact dimension wheel and adapter/conversion used, I’d be very grateful. Semper fi, U.S Marine cobalt owner and lover here.

    1. Hey Mike,

      Not exactly sure of what, if anything, he did to clear the calipers. And the car is long gone, he’s moved on to a Supra. Those XXRs were only offered in 17″ and 18″ for that width, but if I recall they were the 18″s. Sorry I couldn’t be of more help. Thanks for reading, serving the country, and flying the Cobalt flag!


  2. Thank you for the reply, I’m gonna order me those 18″ 9.75’s soon here and when I get em, I’ll just have to improvise or order some extra parts 🙂 gives me an excuse to splurge a little and get what I want hehe thank you again for the reasponse, to bad I don’t have a supra though, lucky guy!

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