Down in Florida, the 2013 NASCAR season is just days from kicking off with the Daytona 500. In addition to the usual excitement for “The Great American Race”, GM chose Daytona as the place for the long-awaited debut of the 2014 Chevrolet SS.
There couldn’t be a more fitting for place to debut this anticipated performance sedan, as the SS has replaced the Impala as Chevrolet’s NASCAR platform. Like the other new race cars taking to the track in 2013, the race version of the SS is styled much more closely to its production counterpart than previous stock cars.
Our Australian readers will easily recognize the SS as the US version of the VF Holden Commodore. In many ways it can be seen as the replacement for the Australian-built Pontiac G8, which disappeared along with the Pontiac brand back in 2009. While it may not be an “all new” model, I don’t think there’s anyone who is against another V8-powered rear-drive car on the market.
Under the hood of the SS sits the proven GM LS3 V8 – making 415 horsepower and 415 foot pounds of torque in this particular guise. The spring to 60mph is said to take around five seconds.
If there’s one slight disappointment about the SS, that would be the lack of a manual transmission option. For now buyers will have to make do with a six-speed automatic and paddle shifters.
The car has also been built to shine with the road gets curvy. GM claims near 50-50 weight distribution and big Brembo brakes are standard. The staggered 19″ wheels are forged and come with grippy Bridgestone rubber.
Pricing for the SS has yet to be announced, but you can expect the car to be on sale during the later part of this year.
We Aussies are almost in company with this awesome machine, but it's not all good news. Holden has announced the specs for the VF and it's not all "Hunky Dori" (Australian saying) we only get the same 270kw 6.0L we had in the VE, that's until the update mid lifespan around mid-late 2014 then we might get the new 335kw motor. But it's not all bad, a HSV (Holden Special Vehicles) worker has let it slip that they have a supercharged 6.0L developing 385kw in mass production prototyping! BRING IT ON!!
So as someone who has never owned an American car (I just prefer imports, a personal choice), I have to admit this car looks very nice. I do have a lot of experience since I was a mechanic for a long time. I see the arguments of manual vs automatic etc.
In my opinion, I think manual transmissions are more "fun" to drive and do give more of a sense of control to the driver. However, as many have already stated, the new technology actually allows for a more sophisticated and increased performance through the new transmissions.
For example, the Nissan GTR is so fast, that they make it automatic because if they didn't, most people would probably break it due to not being able to shift fast enough, or just inexperience. Even a really good driver would probably have a hard time shifting if it were manual and they were pushing it hard. Just my 2c.
Either way, I like this car and if they price it reasonably, i may get it regardless of transmission.
I like it. Decent lines, can't go wrong with LS3 power and Brembos. That said, sure it has some issues, what's up with that sad excuse for a spoiler on the trunk lid? The 1st gen camaro instrument pod looks kinda odd, the ricer pedals and the polished dash/cup holder trim look out of place. Not that any of this matters, because I'm sure it'll be priced out of my reach......
My 2009 G8 GT is a pleasure to drive every day. The G8 was a great car, and a nice alternative to a charger. I for one am very glad to see GM bringing the car back. My only complaint on the SS is that the exterior needs a bit more flare, yes my G8 has non-functioning hood scoops, but it adds character, the SS needs something similar.
Oh and BTW, I bought a used solstice to kick around for my manual transmission fix.
Way to go GM… Now bring back Pontiac!
Mmm, no manual thats kind of a non-starter, I doubt its as civilized as a DSG from Audi or a twin plate from BMW. The old G8's er Holden's look better anyways this front end is kinda a step backwards...its softer aaand it looks like they didn't change anything but the front end. Still looking for a worthy G8 GXP.
Im a car guy but from a business standpoint the car companys(all of them) cant cater to us like they used to. The mass majority of people can care less about a manual trans(or can even drive one.) Us car guys are a very small percentage of buyers and its getting even smaller. If we were at the dealerships like people afe at the apple store buying smart phones and sh*t then it would be a different story but its not like that unfortunately. For example the ft86. If it were up to us it would have came turbocharged, coil overed, stripped with only a racing bucket, making 400 hp from the factory, and only cost 10 grand. So just look at these new cars with slushboxes and sh*t as something to make special with your friends swaping out transmissions of whatever you dont like about the car. Because the need of the many outweigh the needs of the few and boring ass slush seems to be what the majority wants.
Look at the bright side, in 10yrs there will be a ton of used LS3's lying around because of GM, thats about the only positive coming out of that company
Let me look into my crystal ball.........
JDPower Associates Best initial quality award! LOL What a joke that award is, initial quality HA! How about quality 10yrs from now?
Motortrend Car of the Year (with a trunk full of taxpayer cash of course)
7-Eleven Big Gulp cupholder award
Oakley "Must wear sunglasses while driving" award due to all that reflective chrome inside, how gaudy...
DOT Vanity plate division award - Surely this altered beast will encourage a slew of "Kiss my SS" themed plates...
Yosemite Sam Award - Nothing short of yosemite sam on a mudflap will let you know to "back off" quite like the SS's hindquarters.
There is a good reason why most who frequent this site have a preference for foreign auto's
I can already see the confusion that the SS moniker will bring at all the local Autozones and Pep Boys...
"Yeah I got me a Chevy SS, need some parts for it"
"Oh, OK sir what kinda SS?"
"Just a SS"
"Like a Camaro SS, Chevelle SS, Cobalt SS, what're we workin' with here?"
No doubt this will be priced out of the hands of the average consumer. You would think after all of the auto bailouts, union busting, and now moving production plants to china gm would be able to lower the price a bit since chinese labor is so cheap. NOT!!!
I used to be a "Hurf, where's mah manyul trandsmishun?!" but the days of a direct lockup clutch trans in production cars are pretty much over. The autos are quicker (as always) and have better mileage since you can't run some economy modes (like DOD) through the manuals. If you want a third pedal, get a classic or a sports car and quit whining. Also, there must be a rule at GM that only once per decade are they allowed to source a wheel that doesn't ruin the look of the car (like the atrocities on the G8GT/Corvette/Camaro for example). Thank God they saved it for this car.
So you give us a car called the SS and make a nascar out of it, and dont give us a manual transmission?? Its the same drive train as a Camaro SS, why wouldnt you just slap that same 6-speed on this?? Also BRING OVER THE UTES! you already have the RHD conversion, its already passes the emissions laws and saftey regs for US use now. Why cant we have the ute! Make a UTE 6-speed, keep everything else the same, and GM could see a ton of these.
I know that I'm going to get a lot of lip for this but I hate this thing; it looks like a malibu.That hp rating means nothing to me because I know that there is no way that power will ever make it to the road properly, not to mention I'm sure the gearbox/tranny is terrible. A V8 that big should make way more than 400bhp by the way. But it makes me happy to hear the same opinion about the interior from other people--- its atrocious, it looks cartoonish, overplushed, and overchromed. I don't undertand what GM's obsession is with coating everything in a thin layer of plastic chrome applique. I used to hate fake wood in cars more but in the last few years GM's rampant abuse of that terrible material has really made fake wood a relief.
@Paizuri_4g63 that's why i'm not going to buy this car unless the have a 6 speed manual. gm is making another mistake. this car will suffer the same faith as the G8 and will be sold for 2 years nd will be discontinued.
@Paizuri_4g63 ( still looking for a worthy g8 Gxp) I don't think you will get one in the US.going on gm's genius decisions of the past, you will only get the lhd version of the ss-v which is the entry level gm performance v8 sedan down under. ( austraila and New Zealand) We get a couple of other options from Holden Special Vehicles. which have better performance options and a more aggressive look. The only thing really stopping north america getting them is the price. The 2013 HSV Club sport is around $63 000 The 2013 Hsv club sport r8 is around $ 72000 And the top of the line 2013 HSV gts is some we're around $ 85000 They are the VE series 3 prices. the price for the vf HSV models are likley go up as the new hsv models are said to have the same 410 kw supercharged 6.2 L motor as the ZL1 and as usual a 6 sp manual or auto. The manual option for this car will most likely be there not long after release as all the different models of this car have a manual option and they export ltd manuals to the Middle East.
...and if GM can put a manual in a Camaro or Corvette they can put one in this. I get it, fewer insurance claims yadda yadda...
Even the foriegn exotics, like Porsche, Lamborghini, Ferrari, etc...are steering away from the true manual transmissions that used to be a sign of performance. These days, with newer technology, manufacturers are favoring what's ultimately an automatic with the choice to shift manually using the paddle shifters (and no clutch pedal). I for one, welcome this....it gives me the chance to have fun and drive like a bat out of hell when the conditions are right, but also allows be to relax and take it easy, especially if in conditions like rush-hour traffic, and still keep a hand free for my coffee.
@Mandrino You live in the 80's bro. Old skool manuals just don't cut it anymore. Look at the latest M5 they 'FINALLY' made with a manual. It couldn't be its own automatic no matter who you put behind the wheel.
People who cling to archaic stuff in new cars really have concept of where technology in gearboxes have taken us.
Stop posting drivel because those in the know will just flag your comment with a giant FAIL.
You're calling a lack of manual transmission a "slight" disappointment? I mean, I know most Chevy buyers are lame and get automatics anyway, but they should at least offer the option for the few cool guys out there who want to buy them.
@Pissed at GM According to Australian auto media, The SS is to be around $10,000 less in the US than the equivalent in Australia (where they're built). Not bad considering they have to travel 10,000 miles to the US and the high Australian dollar.
@Pissed at GM Built in australia though isnt?? if it is, a bit better build quality than china...
@milkplus I kinda get what you're saying. I feel like a guy from the 50s saying, "Syncromesh? Thats for the amateurs". But I prefer manual cos its cheaper to buy, cheaper to fix and more engaging. And Im not alone. So its just demand (as in 'supply and'), not whining.
I don't think a Ute would sell in the US. People buy lots of sedans, trucks, and SUV's. Typically models that fall in between any of those categories do not sell well here. It doesn't have a backseat (justifiable in a sports car, but this is a truck sports car?) and people will be skeptical about how they will use it (people would probably be hesitant to tow with it or even less likely to take it offroad). I feel like this is a genre that does well in Australia, but wouldn't do well in any other markets.
Why would you be so certain that the A6 gearbox/tranny "is terrible"? I would most definitely expect it to be a derivative of the solid A6 gearboxes from the Corvette and Camaro. And you contradict yourrself by complaining that 400 hp will never make it to the road properly yet say that a V8 that big should make way more than 400 hp! As for the engine, I've been very happy with the low 425 hp output of the LS3 in my Vette. I'm not a fan of chrome or satin trim but that SS interior is not even close to atrocious or cartoonish.
No I agree. Chevy has had plenty of opportunities to produce good cars and then always seem to miss the mark because they went cheap on something. I guarantee that when this thing gets into the hands of journalists, you will hear remarks like "steering is numb and vague" or "brakes feel wooden". Yeah it has Brembos, but GM will probably put a cheap master cylinder in there to crap the whole system up....Everything about the styling is just kinda more of the same instead of making a leap and creating a halo car (see my rant about the new Corvette, same thing here).
@Rod79 @Paizuri_4g63 Christ Allmighty those options are awesome...and wow expensive. Don't I know it, the performance shop I moonlight at has a client hellbent on tracking his GXP (http://cantechautomotive.com/blog/ for the writeup) and his only option was to order coilovers and poly subframe mounts from Pedders, among other things...Anyway I think I have another reason to visit Australia+NZ...the cars were always the #1 reason. #2 is the women then it goes off to surfing and wilderness then back to cars and girls and 24hr bars. So I'm told.
@EricJMiller @Mandrino For a regular car, hey why not? But for a sportscar a regular manual transmission should at LEAST be an option. Also drinking a beverage or eating with a manual isn't difficult.
Look it up. Old school manuals are a thing of the past. They shift slower than most any hi-po sedans with a double-clutch auto. Old school manuals don't offer much in the way of MPG over the newer 8 speed auto's and drag performance down ---see: BMW M5 where they finally put a manual in it only to see the perf specs turn it terribly vs. their standard transmission you've been getting for years already.
@Bridges Agreed but no other manufacture would have anything like this, if there is a market for utes they would only have one place to go. All the engineering work has already been done, nothing but paperwork between the US and the ute now. For what little work they have to do to make a wagon (nomad) and a ute (el camino) they might as well give it a shot and see what sells. If they can approve things like HHR's, azteks, and trailblazer SS's surely they can muster up the effort for this.
@GlassJaw I'm sure that the gearbox/tranny is terrible mostly because it is made by Chevy, and any unbiased review of previous chevy vehicles will confirm this. Most will agree that your vettes transmission is crude, especially if you have the automatic (which this new SS does). Chevy transmissions are known to have issues transferring their crank horsepower to wheel horsepower, they are crudely built thanks to a constant effort by GM to cut corners in order to save money. (see Bridges comment above). I also do not see how I contradicted myself, those are two separate statements that are not comparable because they discuss two separate issues I have with Chevy production, hence not able to contradict each other; but allow me to simplify it for you --- a 6.2liter v8 should create much more than 425hp( BMW 4.0liter V8 naturally aspirated makes 414hp. 10hp less yet 2.2liters less), and that 425hp is crank horsepower which will have a difficult time making it to the tires (see explanation above). And in terms of interior that is simply a difference of opinion. When I look at this interior I see nothing but cheap materials, poor fit and finish, fisher price quality plastics, and ample amount of plastic coated in a thin coat of chrome applique.
@Paizuri_4g63 Sounds like you need to spend a couple of weeks in October down under. Bathurst 1000 at the start of the month then two weeks later the Gold Coast 600. And the goldy will have all your options covered and more .
@JohnAl1 @Mandrino Not simple enough, the "feeling" isn't there. Cars have already been going down the crapper for the last 10 years, so why should I care...and what's a Ford Focus-style car anyways?
@JohnAl1 @apex_DNA @Mandrino Do you have something against manual transmissions or something? I think most real drivers would prefer a manual over an auto any day of the week.
I agree that they have definitely attempted to market some much more ridiculous vehicles in the US than a simple Ute but I have to agree with -Bridges-. There really is no market for it here as much as people like you or I would love to see it grace our roadways. The most optimistic and best premonition I can think of for a US Ute would be a limited 2-3 year run just like the GTO had, with limited numbers and public interest fading much quicker than expected. I could see a few enthusiasts, mainly in the rwd truck friendly southern states buying a few but I think most of the country would rather just have a truck OR a sedan that they can put the kids into.
@zedvw2002 @GlassJaw I'm curious, Wasn't the goal behind a bigger displacement engine to produce more torque aka "usable horsepower", hence the saying "there's no replacement for displacement"?
@zedvw2002 @GlassJaw the Coupes are around 70k in aussie. Still around 15 k more than the ss. That was my bad, I was comparing the similar size cars. Didn't really think about the coupe as we are talking about a ss sedan. But 550hp ZL1 camero is 54 k.
@RBJET Dinan Tune
@zedvw2002 @GlassJaw The BMW is 2.2 L less but it cost $ 120 k more. And for that price you can get one of these http://www.walkinshawperformance.com.au/wp/au/news/news.asp?ID=330 And still have 80 k left over. So I think for that much you could what ever gearbox you wanted in the car.
@zedvw2002 @GlassJaw These car are not made by chev though ! Made in Australia by holden. Or is all GM s car you have a problem with. the BMW cost how much, for the price of the bemmer you can get this car and add a lot more KW 's and handling upgrades. That you wont get from the BMW for that price.
@zedvw2002 You do realize that these engines are de-tuned from the factory? A simple mafless tune will bring the power closer to 500hp. Try doing that with the Beemer.