First off, let’s pay our respect to a once- revered nameplate in the Chevy lineup – the SS. Corvette patron Zora Arkus-Duntov affixed an SS badge to GM’s first purpose-built racer; a badge that, later on, gave a new lease on life to everything from milquetoast business sedans to pickup/car hybrids. With every displacement beginning from 348-cu. in. until the badge’s Cretaceous Period evolved into a 455-cu. in. monster. It represented brute strength and high performance. Down through the years, a few iterations made their way into the light after the 50’s – 70’s heyday. Even Monte Carlo was still sold in SS trim until 2007.
Then, we have the 2014 Chevrolet SS. Peel back some skin and you’ll find a Pontiac G8. Uncover a little more and you have a Holden Commodore. The genius is not that GM was good with packaging. It is that they marketed one car through three different companies on three different continents…and we loved it! Not long ago, I did a story on cars that were out of production, but I missed greatly. The Pontiac G8 was one of them. I guess Holden and GM heard me (or at least that helps me sleep at night).
What we have here is a case of “my chocolate covered in your peanut butter”- to take a line from a famous candy bar commercial. The engineering and performance virtues of Holden’s muscle car mixed with the heritage and loyal following of Chevy’s muscle car – a car that won’t die and a name that just got a second wind.
The 2014 Chevy SS looks to be the same winning formula we all know and love. A huge engine stuffed into a midsize Q-ship. A 6.2-liter LS3 V8 engine producing 415 horsepower and 415 pound-feet of torque mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. I know there is a manual in the photos, but it will not be available outside Australia. Nonetheless, this seems to pick up where the G8 GXP left off.
Visually, the 2014 Chevrolet SS and the Holden VF SS-V are twins with the only real changes being the badging, grilles and a “power bulge” hood. Around back, the SS has dual trumpets, a rear spoiler, and a shapelier rear end than the G8. The SS is about the same size as the G8. Both have a 114.8-inch wheelbase, though the G8 was 0.6-inches longer, 0.1-inch wider, and 0.2-inch lower than the SS.
Inside, the SS will be a little more refined than the G8 or Holden and Chevy will ensure that it comes loaded to the gills. Setting the boulevard on fire never felt better with leather sport seats, eight-way power front buckets, soft-touch materials, chrome trim, and blue accent lighting. The SS will also come standard with Chevy’s MyLink infotainment system, a color head-up display, nine-speaker Bose audio system, and safety features like forward collision alert, lane departure warning, blind spot monitors, and a backup camera. The SS will also be the first Chevy to offer a self-parking feature.
Chevy made a big splash with the SS not only debuting at the 2013 Daytona 500, but also being one of the three racing styles in NASCAR this season for the Gen 6 racecar. A bold move, but one that keeps “SS” in the mouths of announcers and fans and hearkens back to years when the guy in the bleachers and the guy on the track drove the same car.
When we think about the SS badge, we think of power. This is one case of “badge engineering“ I think keeps in line with the heritage of the badge that is glued on it. A new car with an old name that has slingshot performance…perfect! While GM is listening so intently, maybe they could rummage around and slap a trapezoidal grille on a Holden Monaro and call it a Chevelle.
The 2014 Chevrolet SS will be start at $44,470, including a $995 destination charge with sales beginning in the fourth-quarter of 2013.
Now, for that third wish.
Chevrolet SS Gallery