Review: Chevrolet SS
By Winding Road Staff
February 19, 2013
This is the Master Landing Page for the Chevrolet SS. From now on, as we further review this car, we will be updating this page with whatever fresh content we create. Future drive reviews, updated specifications, videos, and other relevant information will all be found right here, in one convenient spot.
It’s not often we’re excited and disappointed at the same time. This is one of those cases. To be fair, the excitement is far outweighing the disappointment.
The 2014 Chevrolet SS is the continuation of the Pontiac G8
, a car that was taken from us far too soon. It’s based on the newest Holden VF Commodore (as we detailed already
), and utilizes a 6.2-liter V-8. Horsepower is expected to sit at 415 ponies, while torque is estimated at an equal 415 pound-feet. All told, the SS should hit 60 in five seconds.
It’s particularly telling that the SS is down 55 horsepower and 55 pound-feet of torque on its most obvious competitor, the Dodge Charger SRT8
More troubling than the lack of power is the lack of something our friends down under get to enjoy: a manual transmission. That’s right, unlike the Pontiac G8, the Chevy SS won’t be crossing the Pacific with a three-pedal transmission. Instead, we get a six-speed automatic, fitted with a pair of paddles. We’ll reserve judgment on this setup until we drive it, but we’re hoping Chevy sees the error in its ways, and orders a batch of manuals before the launch.
Powertrain woes aside, the SS does sound like it’ll at least be a fun four-door to toss about. A MacPherson strut sits in front, while the rear uses a multilink independent suspension. The steering is electric, but it’s “optimized for sport driving.” Brembo brakes keep the speed under control, with 14-inch front rotors and four-piston calipers. Finally, the 19-inch wheels are wrapped in 245/40ZR19 tires up front, and wider 275/35ZR19s in back, courtesy of Bridgestone.
Inside, there are plenty of sporty trimmings. We’re aching to get a hold of that sporty steering wheel, and the sport seats look like some serious kit. Chevrolet’s MyLink system is standard, as is a nine-speaker Bose stereo, a heads-up display, and push-button start.
Pricing has not been mentioned, although we do know that the SS will arrive in dealers during the fourth quarter of 2013. We’ll have more information as it becomes available.
Please scroll down for the official press release from Chevrolet.
2014 Chevrolet SS: Performance Sedan with Racing DNA
DAYTONA, Fla. – As Chevrolet’s first V-8, rear-wheel-drive performance sedan since 1996, the new Chevrolet SS is designed to deliver performance on the street and on the track. The 2014 Chevrolet SS will debut this weekend at the Daytona International Speedway as the SS racecar makes its NASCAR debut during the Daytona 500.
“The Chevrolet brand was largely built on the strength of rear-drive performance sedans, yet it's been 17 years since we've offered one,” said Mark Reuss, president of General Motors North America. “The all-new Chevrolet SS fills that void and fills it better than any other vehicle in the brand’s rich history. The comfort, convenience, spaciousness and V-8 power make the SS a total performance package unlike any other on the road today.”
The Chevrolet SS benefits from the proven, race-tested, global rear-wheel drive architecture that is the foundation for the Camaro, Caprice Police Patrol Vehicle and Holden’s VF Commodore.
The Chevrolet SS is powered by the LS3 Chevrolet V-8, expected to deliver 415 horsepower and 415 lb-ft of torque. Also used in the 2013 Chevrolet Corvette, the LS3 displaces 6.2 liters, more than the 5.5-liter V-8 powering the Chevrolet SS NASCAR competitors.
The LS3 is married to a six-speed automatic transmission, which can be shifted manually using TAPshift paddles mounted on the steering wheel. With an aggressive 3.27 final-drive ratio, the Chevrolet SS accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in about five seconds – making it one of the quickest sedans on the market.
To ensure that it turns and stops as well as it accelerates; the Chevrolet SS also features a sport-tuned chassis, including:
MacPherson strut front and multilink independent rear suspension geometry
Electronic power steering system, optimized for sport driving
Standard Brembo brakes, with ventilated, 355-mm rotors and two-piece, four-piston front calipers
Forged aluminum wheels, wrapped in ultra-high-performance Bridgestone tires: 19 x 8.5 inch wheels with 245/40ZR19 tires in front; 19 x 9.0 inch wheels with 275/35ZR19 tires rear
Handling is also improved by a near 50/50 weight distribution, and a low center of gravity – made possible in part by the aluminum hood and rear deck lid that are 30 percent lighter than traditional steel panels.
“Our goal was to create a car that delivers incredible grip and handling balance while cornering, while still being comfortable to drive on the road,” said David Leone, executive chief engineer GM global programs. “The perfect weight balance and lower center of gravity were a big part of that goal because it enabled the team to tune for a more comfortable highway ride without sacrificing handling or driver confidence while cornering at the limits.”
Similarly, the design of the SS blends performance cues and premium details.
“From every angle, the Chevrolet SS says power and performance,” said John Cafaro design director Chevrolet passenger cars and small crossovers. “The combination of an aggressive rear-wheel drive stance and body-side attitude with the right balance of detail and refinement inside and out are the perfect home for Chevrolet’s V-8 performance package.”
The staggered front and rear wheels, which are pushed out to the corners, enhance the sporting, muscular stance of the SS. Up front, the aluminum hood features a subtle “power bulge” hinting at the power of the engine underneath. At the rear, the tapered, tear-drop shape contributes to improved aerodynamic performance. Premium cues include jewel-like chrome accents, standard high-intensity discharge headlamps and light-emitting diode daytime running lights.
The spacious interior of the SS will comfortably accommodate five adults, with 42 inches of front legroom, and 39 inches of rear legroom. Leather seating surfaces are standard, as are eight-way power adjustable front bucket seats with additional side bolstering that hug the driver and front passenger in tight-handling situations. The SS emblem is prominently stitched onto the soft-touch instrument panel which features two types of chrome finishes – a satin gloss and a bright chrome. At night, the interior is illuminated by ice blue ambient lighting.
An integrated center stack includes infotainment, climate and other vehicle controls. The Chevrolet SS also offers a long list of technology features as standard equipment including:
Color, in-dashboard touch screen that supports Chevrolet MyLink and the next-generation navigation system
Bose® Nine-speaker premium sound system
Color heads-up display
StabiliTrak Electronic Stability Control
Forward Collision Alert
Lane Departure Warning
Side Blind Zone Alert
Rear-vision camera Rear Cross Traffic Alert
The SS is also the first Chevrolet to offer Automatic Parking Assist, which provides hands-free parking help. This efficient ‘hands-free’ parking assistant uses the ultrasonic sensing system to detect the width and depth of either parallel or reverse right-angle parking spaces. While the driver controls the throttle, transmission, and brake, the Automatic Parking Assist controls the steering inputs necessary to neatly park the Chevrolet SS.
The 2014 Chevrolet SS will be available in the fourth quarter of 2013, with prices set closer to the on-sale date. When it arrives in showrooms, the SS will join the Corvette and Camaro, whose combined sales have made Chevrolet America’s favorite performance brand for the last two years.
Chevrolet has announced pricing on the highly anticipated SS sedan
ahead of its on-sale date in late 2013. The single trim level (a departure for Chevy) starts at $44,470. That price is mildly misleading, though, as Chevy’s announcement indicated that the 6.2-liter, V-8-powered sedan will be subject to a Federal gas guzzler tax. The exact cost this adds hasn’t been determined yet.
Picking out your SS won’t be a particularly arduous task. The only two options are a $900 sunroof and a $500 full-size spare tire. So, before taxes and other fees a loaded SS will cost just $45,875, which seems pretty reasonable for a 415-horsepower muscle sedan.
In fact, it sits between the $46,250 starting price of the 475-horsepower Dodge Charger SRT8 and the $39,900, 365-horsepower Ford Taurus SHO. The SS trumps those cars with a few standard items, like standard automatic park assist and a head-up display, but the differences largely seem like a wash. So, which hot American sedan would you opt for?
2014 Chevrolet SS
Engine: V-8, 6.2 liters, 32v
Output: 415 hp/415 lb-ft (est)
0-60 MPH: 5.0 sec (est)
Fuel Economy, City/Hwy: TBD
Base Price: TBD
On Sale: Fall 2013