Chevrolet Cavalier Super Sport
The Cavalier received its first total redesign in 1995, with expanded dimensions and more aerodynamic styling, taking minor design cues from the 4t...More »
Chevrolet Cavalier Super Sport
The Cavalier received its first total redesign in 1995, with expanded dimensions and more aerodynamic styling, taking minor design cues from the 4th Generation Chevrolet Camaro, its bigger brother. Some of the basic styling cues remained however, such as the bumper-integrated grille, the coupes' dipped beltline, and the charcoal-colored bumpers on some Base model cars. Coupe, sedan, and convertible options were offered, however the wagon model was replaced by an LS Sedan for the third generation which was equipped with power windows and power door locks. The car now had the available option of 15 and 16 inch wheels. By 1997, the Cavalier became the best selling car within the entire GM lineup.
All available engines were Inline-four engine. The option for a V6 engine, which had been available in the first and second generation, was dropped and replaced by a new four-cylinder of similar power output. Base and RS models still retained the 122 Pushrod four-cylinder engine (2.2 L OHV) of the previous models, which was primarily mated to a 3-speed automatic, but was available with 5-speed Manual in the two-door models, in particular the RS models. As of 1996 a new 4-speed automatic became available in any trim. The Z24 and LS convertible used the 2.3 L LD2 Quad-4 engine in 1995, but they received a new engine in 1996, the 2.4 liter DOHC LD9. This engine produced 150 hp (112 kW) and 155 lb·ft (210 N·m) of torque and was used until 2002. In 2000, the car gained a minor facelift consisting of bigger headlights and an improved grille, lost the "CHEVROLET" text badge at the trunklid and gained a new "CAVALIER" badge along with new "five spoke" hubcaps. The 2.4-litre engine came mated standard with the Getrag F23 5-speed manual transmission on the Z24 models, or with the optional 4-speed automatic on both the Z24 and the LS Models. The Z24 only came in two-door coupe models until 2001 and featured a sport-tuned suspension, 16-inch tires, alloy wheels and improved interior electronics. Aesthetically little changed from the other models other than a ground effects kit and taller rear spoiler. In 2000 a 4-door Z24 Sedan debuted, featuring the same mechanics but having a less sporty body. The Z24 trim also received several other upgrades including a wider front sway bar and FE2 Sports Suspension for better handling characteristics, and less aggressive ABS anti-lock braking system. In 2001, the 3-speed automatic was dropped from the base models equipped with the 2.2-L, and the 4-speed automatic became the main offering across the entire lineup, with 5-speed still available in the 2-door cars. Also, the RS was replaced by the LS Sport line, which featured the new Ecotec L61 motors (140 hp (104 kW) and 150 lb·ft (200 N·m) torque). These engines improved fuel economy, featuring the same displacement as the GM 122 Pushrod Engine (2.2 L OHV) while maintaining most of the power of the older LD9 motors. The new Ecotec motors replaced the GM 122 Pushrod Engine (2.2 L OHV) in base models in 2003, and became the sole engine choice in the entire Cavalier line-up until 2005 when the Chevrolet Cavalier was replaced by the Chevrolet Cobalt.
A GM Eaton M45 Supercharger kit was also offered for the Z24 trim as well. The supercharger kit was developed and tested by General Motors and could only be installed at a GM dealer. This upgrade increased performance considerably due to a pressure of 4.7 PSI which in turn added approximately 40 hp (30 kW) and 40 lb·ft (54 N·m) of torque increase; raising the Z24's ratings to approximately 190 hp (142 kW) and 195 lb·ft (264 N·m) of torque.
The third generation Cavalier had two facelifts: a minor one in 2000 and a major one in 2003. 2003's refresh included a new front end and a different rear lift gate design.
The third-generation Cavalier earned several low scores in crash tests by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Also, IIHS fatality risks statistics rated the Cavalier among the "Highest rates of driver deaths," with 150 (4 door) to 171 (2 door) driver deaths per million registered vehicle years. Average for the Cavalier class (small) was 103 (4 door) to 134 (2 door) driver deaths per million registered vehicle years.
The IIHS gave the 1995-2005 Cavalier a "Poor" overall score in their frontal offset collision test.
Most Cavaliers were built at Lordstown Assembly, although they have also been produced at South Gate Assembly (1982 model year only), Lansing Car Assembly (1996-1998 coupes), Lansing Craft Centre (1996-2000 convertibles), Janesville Assembly, Ramos Arizpe, and Leeds Assembly.
Production ended on October 6, 2005.
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