Cobra BiO Cell driver

Look past the five colors, the fancy crown graphics and the fact that Rickie Fowler, Ian Poulter and Lexi Thompson are probably going to use a Cobra BiO Cell or BiO Cell+ driver in 2014. Beyond all that sizzle, Cobra thinks both clubs are loaded with technology to deliver more yards.

Last season Cobra debuted drivers with a technology called AMP, which stood for Advanced Material Placement. This technology removed mass from non-critical areas in the crown, making it thinner in some spots and thicker in others. The goal was to reduce weight where it didn’t serve a purpose and redistribute it to areas where extra weight could improve performance.

With the BiO Cell line, Cobra took the AMP design principle a step further. The company’s engineers have made the crown even thinner, shaving a few more grams from the top of the club. The pattern created by this weight-reducing technology resembles a honeycomb, and Cobra replicated the pattern graphically on the crown.

However, Cobra didn’t stop at the crown in its quest to fight the fat. The BiO Cell drivers also feature an updated version of Cobra’s E9 face, which is designed to create more ball speed on shots hit low in the heel and high in the toe, where the company says most mis-hits occur.

“By moving all that weight away from the face and keeping it low and back, the BiO Cell delivers a low CG (center of gravity) and high MOI (moment of inertia) combination,” said Jose Miraflor, Cobra Puma Golf’s director of product marketing. “You’ll get higher-launching, lower-spinning drives with more ball speed.”

An eight-position, adjustable hosel system that Cobra calls MyFly8 lets players change the BiO Cell’s loft from as little as 9 degrees to as many as 12. There also are draw settings in the 8.5-, 9.5- and 10.5-degree lofts to help golfers who fight a slice. Regardless of the loft setting, the BiO Cell driver should look square at address thanks to a strip on the sole Cobra calls Smartpad. Even when the loft is put in the highest or lowest setting, the pad gently tips the face into a square position when it rests on the ground.

For golfers who put excessive spin on their drives, Cobra also is introducing the BiO Cell+ driver. It has a 440cc head and comes standard with a shaft that is one-half inch shorter than the BiO Cell’s (45.25 inches vs. 45.75 inches). But what really differentiates the BiO Cell+ from the standard model is the use of an ultra-light alloy Cobra calls Venollum in the crown.

“The Venollum crown allows us to save even more weight,” Miraflor said. “Weight that we saved was repositioned really low in the head, so it creates lower spin and a slightly lower launch condition than the BiO Cell. We also gave it a more neutral bias, so stronger players should be able to hit a draw or fade more easily with it.”

The BiO Cell+ also has an eight-position adjustable sleeve, and the loft range is lower than the BiO Cell’s (8 degrees to 11 degrees). Like the standard model, there are three slice-reducing draw settings.

Cobra aspires to give golfers more distance in a stylish way, so both drivers are offered in five colors – silver, blue, red, black and, of course, Rickie Fowler’s beloved orange. You easily can tell the two models apart: The standard BiO Cell has a solid-colored top, and the BiO Cell+ has a colored crown plate encased in a white border.

When it arrives in stores Jan. 15, the BiO Cell driver will cost $299 and come standard with a Project X-PXv shaft. The BiO Cell+ will come with a Matrix Red-Tie 6Q3 shaft for $399.

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