Pros: Both models offer a high level of forgiveness across the face and impressive ball speeds. The custom shaft options in the Bio Cell + driver are awesome.
Cons: The aggressive color scheme isn’t for everyone, and the stock shaft options in the Bio Cell isn’t up to par.
Bottom Line: Two exceptionally high quality drivers that offer adjustability, custom color options, big forgiveness and high launch/low spin performance.
The driver is still the sexiest club in the bag, and Cobra isn’t afraid to proclaim this with five bold colors and a gaudy list of technological improvements. That said, in today’s marketplace, if style isn’t equaled or exceeded by substance, you have a problem. Cobra, however, doesn’t have this issue.
The engineers at Cobra have taken AMP (Advanced Material Placement) to a new level utilizing what they call “BiO Cells” to redistribute more discretionary weight from the crown, placing it lower and deeper in the head. This translates into higher launch, lower spin and more distance.
In addition, the modified E9 forged face now offers a more robust sweet zone, improving ball speeds for drives hit low and on the heel and high and on the toe.
The proprietary MyFly8 system allows the player to select one of eight settings to dial in desired trajectory and shot shape, and Cobra’s Smartpad feature supports the club at address and permits the head to sit relatively square regardless of selected MyFly8 setting.
For 2014 Cobra is offering two Bio Cell models, the standard Bio Cell and the Bio Cell +, each of which is available in five colors: blue, black, silver, orange and red. The salient differences between the two models are as follows:
BiO Cell +
The Bio Cell + driver ($399) incorporates T.O.P. (Thin, Optomized, Personalized) technology via use of ultralight Venollum alloy in the crown. The creates a different cosmetic look at address, but more importantly redistributes even more weight to achieve a lower spinning, neutral bias, mid-trajectory 440cc head. The MyFly8 system allows for eight settings with lofts from 8 degrees to 11 degrees. The stock length for the BiO Cell + is 45.25 inches and it has a swingweight of D5. The stock shaft options for each driver include the Matrix 6Q3 Red Tie, Mitsubishi Rayon’s Diamana D+ 72 and True Temper’s Project X PXv Tour 52.
The standard BiO Cell ($299) is a more draw-biased, 460cc head that is slightly higher launching and higher spinning the the BiO Cell +. The MyFly8 system again offers eight different settings with a loft range of 9 degrees to 12 degrees. The crown is a solid color and the head is made entirely of titanium. The stock length in the BiO Cell is 45.75 inches and swingweight is D3 to D4.5. The stock shaft is Graffaloy’s Project X PXv, which weighs about 60 grams.
Don’t let the bright lights and flashy looks fool you. These are two serious drivers. During launch monitor testing, both the BiO Cell and BiO Cell+ exhibited extremely high and consistent ball speeds. As advertised, drives hit low on the heel and high on the toe were not punished nearly as much as one would expect. Ball speeds dropped by 1-to-3 mph on average and dispersion stayed very consistent. Given the competitive nature of the driver marketplace, the E9 face offers the consumer a very nice value added feature!
With the standard Bio Cell, trajectory was noticeably higher and the ball consistently wanted to draw. I was able to get the spin to a very reasonable level (2700 RPM) at a loft of 9 degrees. The stock shaft held up very nicely and will fit the vast majority of players quite well. That said, the more I went after this driver, the stock shaft seemed to have a speed limit somewhere north of 105 mph. If you’re torn between the Bio Cell and Bio Cell +, you’d be remiss if you didn’t try a variety of shafts in both heads as I’m not convinced the stock shaft in the standard BiO Cell is a great fit for players with a higher swing speed, a mid-to-late release and those who place a medium-to-significant load on the shaft.
Essentially, the Bio Cell is aimed at the player who wants a higher ball flight and needs moderate spin for optimal distance. I would love to see how this head performs with a premium, low-spin shaft as the head itself is hot, forgiving and gives a slightly higher trajectory, which will benefit a lot of players.
As for the BiO Cell +, this driver just absolutely killed it! Even at 440cc, the E9 face was uber forgiving and it was easy to work the ball right-to-left and left-to-right. The ball flight was medium high, but it never ballooned and spin was consistently in the low 2000s. Combine that with ball speeds in the low 160s and you have a medium launch, low spin monster that was as hot, deep and forgiving as anything on the market. This head was tested with the Matrix 6Q3 Red Tie shaft in stiff flex, which was a bit light and loose when I really went after it, but the free upgrade of a Diamana D+ 72 would easily have solved that issue.
While other companies are pushing the low, forward center of gravity concept, Cobra is very comfortable with the low, neutral CG concept. Given the performance of the BiO Cell line, their position makes an awful lot of sense.
Looks and Feel
This isn’t the club for the self-conscious golfer. In fact, this is the club for the golfer who is maybe a bit attention deprived and doesn’t mind standing out for something other than his or her silky smooth range swing. Traditionalists will decry the loud colors, but after they’re done yelling at kids to get off their lawn and turn down their rock music, they might actually come around. I certainly did. At first, the color wasn’t my favorite feature, but it started to grow on me. In fact, I found the graphics on the BiO Cell+ to frame the ball a bit better at address, but others may like the more consistent and solid single color of the standard BiO Cell line.
Cobra’s Venollum alloy is made of magnesium, aluminum, zinc, copper and zirconium. It’s welded into the crown of the Bio Cell + driver, and is 4.1 grams lighter than the 6-4 titanium alloy used in the the Bio Cell for a low, deep center of gravity that launches the ball with slightly less spin.
In terms of feel, the best way I can describe it is substantial and solid. Some clubs feel hollow and loud, while others feel void and dead. The Bio Cell line sits comfortably in between these extremes.
This might be a bit picky, but if the primary purpose of a headcover is to protect the club, then it shouldn’t have holes. I’m not entirely sure what the purpose is of this feature, but for all of the exceptional design features present in the club, the headcover is a let down.
Cobra’s Bio Cell and Bio Cell + drivers are solid. Rock solid.
Cobra isn’t the first name often mentioned in conversation regarding premier drivers, but it’s not for lack of quality or performance. These drivers are sleepers and some simply won’t give them a go because of their aesthetics. For those who do, they might be surprised at the results.
Critics will point out the low, neutral center of gravity strategy is soooo 2013. But you can’t argue with results, and this club has that in spades. The Bio Cell and Bio Cell+ drivers sparkle and do not fade… that is, unless you want them to.