Thanks for the info! I agree that the interior and build quality were a let down. GM just didn't "get it" as far as interiors went until the late 2000s.
Honestly though, the HHR had better fit and finish than the Cobalt, so that's something. The dash and center stack pieces were just designed better. HHR's are way more livable, Cobalts are awful inside.
Thanks guys and yes a custom tune makes a world of difference and having a real transmission shop dial in the shift points. This has a free flow cold air intake and a free flow Borla exhaust. It moves and I can attest to mid triple digits of flight on the local freeways.
The Auto it was not offered as the diff is a little weaker. Though most times I get pull on both wheels and no real pull to the right. It is open but it is not a torque steer monster.
The Brembo brakes were only a front option and they really are not all that much better than the standards. I have heard complaints on the Brembos when they are cold.
My buddy has a manual and it is already getting funky on him. I know he likes it but he is not happy with the feel. The manuals also with wheel hop can crack the cases on the tranny.
I am pretty easy on mine in first gear. I am not a burn out nut as tires cost too much and spinning them just slows you down. I have masters to launch in most conditions pretty well and once I hit second gear I put the boost to it. It makes a fast shift anyways.
Yes the panels were in the hundreds made and should be a popular collectable someday. The half panels are almost as rare. I have only seen a couple of each.
This and the Cobalt SS from the GM Performance Division really in my eyes were real SS models. You only have to drive one to find these were much more modified than people think. The engine has much more power but the suspension were so well sorted in these vehicles. It was a shame that the rest of the car like the interior quality was up to the level of the performance.
All I know is I can take off and keep with a Mustang GM and then they want to know how I did that.