Automotive

The Chevy SS: The new sedan with Corvette soul

The Chevy SS: The new sedan wi...
The Chevy SS is the first rear-wheel drive performance sedan from Chevy in nearly two decades
The Chevy SS is the first rear-wheel drive performance sedan from Chevy in nearly two decades
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The Chevy SS Daytona 500 Pace Car and Chevy SS
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The Chevy SS Daytona 500 Pace Car and Chevy SS
19-inch wheels
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19-inch wheels
The 2014 Chevy SS includes an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system
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The 2014 Chevy SS includes an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system
Leather seats come standard
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Leather seats come standard
The SS comes standard with a six-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters
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The SS comes standard with a six-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters
Inside the 2014 SS
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Inside the 2014 SS
Inside the 2014 SS
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Inside the 2014 SS
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The 2014 Chevy SS goes on sale later this year
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The 2014 Chevy SS goes on sale later this year
The 2014 Chevy SS
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The 2014 Chevy SS
The Chevy SS Daytona 500 Pace Car and Chevy SS
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The Chevy SS Daytona 500 Pace Car and Chevy SS
The 2014 SS debuted at the Daytona International Speedway in February
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The 2014 SS debuted at the Daytona International Speedway in February
The 2014 SS debuted at the Daytona International Speedway in February
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The 2014 SS debuted at the Daytona International Speedway in February
The 2014 SS debuted at the Daytona International Speedway in February
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The 2014 SS debuted at the Daytona International Speedway in February
Inside the SS
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Inside the SS
Chevy's muscle car family gets a little bigger
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Chevy's muscle car family gets a little bigger
The Chevy SS is the first rear-wheel drive performance sedan from Chevy in nearly two decades
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The Chevy SS is the first rear-wheel drive performance sedan from Chevy in nearly two decades
View gallery - 17 images

It has the Corvette and it has the Camaro, but since slicing Pontiac back in 2010, GM has lacked a non-premium rear-drive performance sedan in that same vein. The 2009 Pontiac G8, particularly the LS3 V8-powered GXP version, was the last car to fill that niche. The all-new Chevy SS puts the rear-drive performance sedan back in General Motors.

When you're so broke that you need to cut brands and beg the government for money, you don't have resources to invest in limited appeal products like a four-door muscle car. Arguably, you don't have that money a couple of years later, either, but in the case of the new SS, GM didn't really have to invest all that much. The car uses GM's global rear-wheel architecture from the Camaro and Holden VF Commodore and the LS3 engine is hoisted out of current cars like the C6 Corvette.

Chevy is quite aware that the SS will appeal to a very limited demographic. Despite being its first rear-wheel drive performance sedan in 17 years, it introduced it at the Daytona International Speedway in February, rather than using an international auto show like Detroit or New York. Instead of trying to make the car appeal to fringe buyers with upgrades and customization options, it's offering the car in one trim level with a full-size spare tire and power sunroof as its two options.

Yep, this car is aimed very narrowly and directly at those that want muscle car power and performance but don't want to be limited to two doors. And with only a US$44,470 415-hp 6.2-liter V8 configuration, Chevy's not messing around with lesser competitors, going directly after other performance sedan flagships like the 470-hp Dodge Charger SRT8, one of the only other cars that belongs in the same conversation.

The LS3 engine works in concert with a six-speed automatic transmission with TAPshift paddles on the steering wheel. The SS has a sport-tuned suspension system with MacPherson strut front and multi-link independent rear set-ups, electronic power steering, four-wheel disc brakes with Brembo fronts, and 19-inch alloy wheels rolled up in Bridgestone ultra-high-performance tires. That package, along with a 50/50 weight distribution and low center of gravity, is sure to open the door for driver-centric performance available on few other available sedans, including a 0-60 mph (96.5 km/h) time of five seconds.

Chevy's muscle car family gets a little bigger
Chevy's muscle car family gets a little bigger

Design-wise, the SS really doesn't exude muscle and speed the way the Charger does, and it looks pretty out of its league when parked next to the Camaro and Corvette. At the very least, it could use a set of hood vents like the G8 had. Chevy explains that cues like the pushed-to-the-corner wheels, hood bulge, bright dual exhaust tips and wedge-shaped flank created by the character line give the car a strong, athletic appearance. Meanwhile, the tapered rear enhances aerodynamics.

While it harkens back to the days of fast-but-simple muscle sedans, it includes some of the latest technologies, such as forward collision alert, lane departure warning and rear cross traffic alert. Technology extends behind the windshield with an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Chevy MyLink, 220-watt Bose audio system with SiriusXM, color head-up display, keyless access and push-button start. It's also OnStar equipped and comes standard with six months of OnStar Directions and Connections service.

The 2014 Chevy SS includes an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system
The 2014 Chevy SS includes an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system

The $44,470 base price that Chevy announced this week includes a $995 destination charge. The full-size spare tire adds $500 to that price and the power sunroof adds $900. The car will hit dealerships in the fourth quarter of this year, where it will be joined by the new 2014 Corvette Stingray and new Camaro Z/28.

Source: General Motors

View gallery - 17 images
16 comments
Richard Auchus
I don't understand. All of Chevy's new cars look amazing and fresh, why does this one look as if it WAS designed two decades ago (excluding the interior, thats nice). The new Impala looks more aggressive than this ugly thing.
Suspicious Chihuahua
What am amazingly boring looking car, right up there with that "GTO" Pontiac pinched not too long ago.
Jonathan J Kim
That's one crappy looking car. fire those.. need new designers...
veecee
It looks boring because it's a hotted-up family car! Everything is essentially a LHD Holden VF Commodore.
Daishi
Not everyone who drives sports cars wants to be noticed but I agree the market for anonymous sports cars is pretty small. I actually test drove the 415 HP G8 but didn't really like the feel of it. It accelerated but it felt a little heavy at 4000 lbs. It didn't have a manual transmission (neither does the SS) and I just felt too disconnected from the road to be comfortable in corners at speed but I couldn't put my finger on why. The G6 GXP is kind of the same way with the squishy/disconnected steering but it is FWD and it torque steers a lot for ~260 HP. It has this oversized steering wheel and it just feels comical trying keep it in a straight line under acceleration. Hopefully chevy does a better job with it than Pontiac but with only an automatic transmission and statements like "helps isolate the cabin from road inputs" and "electronic power steering" on their website I'm not going to hold my breath that the power is intended for more than marketing. It makes the power more of a bragging right than a home run sleeper car which seems kind of misguided given its anonymous appearance. I should probably wait for the reviews though before I judge it too harshly.
Slowburn
They need to make thousands of economy sedans that are externally identical to it.
Michael Wilson
It only looks like a 20 year old design because it is. This is a rebadged lumina ss which has been on sale in Saudi Arabia for years. They made 400HP stock.
Paul Harris
"The all-new Chevy SS puts the rear-drive performance sedan back in General Motors" Huh? it just a Aussie SS commodore... why cant America just keep the name instead of changing it, I mean we are about to import Mustangs as part of the line up here... we still call it a Ford Mustang not a boob jepashki. America .. go back to the old days when your cars had real style that the world looked up too!
Nic Kirby
This is just a plain car with a V8 engine in it. Look up the Gen-F HSV GTS Here is a quote from their website "The GTS features a 6.2litre Supercharged LSA engine which provides a staggering 430kW of power and 740Nm of torque." This is a proper muscle car. Not sure if it will stay here, in Australia, or if it will be sold in the USA
Oztechi
The car does not look as aggressive as other American Muscle cars because it was never designed to look like a children's toy with big, obvious, stupid looking, non functional bulges and vents dating back to the 1970's era of muscle car styling. Instead it is designed to be more subtle and understated like European rivals at a much smaller cost to the buyer for similar performance. Instead of being armchair critics/experts - get out and drive the car, it will handle better than most American muscle cars, it's not just for straight line performance!