Not everybody is an car enthusiast, but for the most portion, individuals who possess legitimate driver’;s licenses are usually able to differentiate among a efficiency auto and a luxury vehicle. Moreover, they are generally capable of telling approximately how old a auto is primarily based on its styling.
But not with the 2014 Chevrolet SS.
Even as its real devotees acknowledge the sedan’;s Pontiac GTO and Pontiac G8 ancestors whilst hoping that GM’;s latest will finally earn the merit and recognition it deserves, this manufactured-in-Australia model is a true head scratcher to most. The reduced volume, rear-wheel drive sport sedan, fitted with a strong V8 and the world’;s shortest possibilities list, sits in most Chevrolet showrooms as nothing a lot more than a $ 45,000 mystery to most of the customers who stroll in.
“What is it?” was the most typical question in the course of my week with the Chevrolet SS. The solution took me a complete 7 days to figure out.
The new-for-2014 Chevrolet SS hints at overall performance from just about every single angle.
A fast walkaround reveals very a bit about this automobile, even without opening the hood. The new-for-2014 Chevrolet SS, acknowledged as the VF-model Holden Commodore on its house turf Down Under, hints at functionality from just about every angle. Its broad stance and meaty tires (the latter with their attendant nonexistent gap in between rubber and wheel wells), suggests extraordinary handling. Oversized brakes, with logos on the calipers, reveal powerful stopping capability, although 2 massive exhaust pipes, exiting out of each and every side of the decrease rear fascia, are telltale indications of a strong engine. Lastly, a rear decklid spoiler conjures up pictures of large-pace stability.
Pulling the chrome deal with on the driver’;s door reveals a cabin tuned for severe drivers, as properly. A meaty 3-spoke steering wheel is mounted ahead of analog gauges, and leather sport bucket seats with red contrasting stitching welcome the front occupants. Aluminum pedals reside in the footwell, and synthetic suede accents the dashboard and boot about the standard transmission lever. With out question, ‘sport’; is this interior’;s dominating motif.
Yanking on the hood release confirms the 4-door’;s mission. Hidden beneath a disappointingly bland plastic engine cover is a huge 6.2-liter V8 – fanatics know this engine as the LS3 – tuned to make 415 horsepower and 415 pound-feet of torque. Just aft of the powerplant, primarily hidden out of view, is GM’;s 6L80 6-pace automated transmission.
Hidden beneath a disappointingly bland plastic engine cover is a enormous 6.2-liter V8.
In late 2012, at the NASCAR SS model’;s introduction, Mark Reuss, GM’;s North American president, produced it quite clear that though the approaching manufacturing model appears to be a successor to a earlier Aussie, it is on a distinct mission – and it will carry a premium price. “This is not a return of the Pontiac G8,” said Reuss. “The only explanation we brought this automobile over is to go racing,” he additional, ahead of calling the new sedan, a “4-door Corvette.” People 3 phrases caught with me as I pressed the start/stop button and listened as the V8 roared to existence.
While premium fuel ignites inside the combustion chambers, the passenger cabin on the other side of the firewall simultaneously comes to lifestyle. Orange needles sweep more than white numbers on the analog gauges, although the 8-inch color touchscreen illuminates with a bold Chevrolet Bowtie as GM’;s MyLink infotainment and telematics method initializes. The driver’;s seat is cozy, but the wings near the prime of the seats hit my shoulders awkwardly (I’;m 6-foot, 2-inches tall) – they may possibly get some acquiring employed to. There will be no complaints from the backseat, nonetheless, as the 2 outboard passengers will find lots of space and good outward visibility through their massive windows. The rear seats don’;t fold, but a pass-by means of makes it possible for extended objects to lengthen from the trunk.
When the automaker chose to import the 4-door, it made a decision that its $ 43,475 base price would include a large level of regular content.
In terms of passenger comfort, this halo sedan isn’;t going to win any segment awards. But that isn’;t going to mean it truly is going to disappoint, both. When the automaker chose to import the 4-door from Elisabeth, Australia, it made the decision that its $ 43,475 base price tag would include a large level of normal content material. Occupants appreciate leather upholstery, driver and front passenger 8-way power heated and ventilated seats, passive entry, color head-up show, HID headlamps and MyLink with navigation as regular equipment. There are just 5 exterior colours (Silver Ice, Red Sizzling, Phantom Black, Heron White and Mystic Green) that are all provided in excess of Jet Black upholstery. The options checklist contains just 2 things: a complete-dimension spare ($ 500) and a energy sunroof ($ 900). My test car was fitted with neither, but it did include a mandatory gas guzzler tax ($ 1,300) and destination fee ($ 995) that brought the total to $ 45,770.
A conventional shift lever (PRND+/-) moves GM’;s 6-velocity transmission into gear, and a light throttle whisks the SS off the line. The front-engine, longitudinally mounted, rear-wheel drive configuration of the SS mirrors the powertrain layout of the Camaro and Corvette, which are Chevrolet’;s 2 other large-overall performance offerings. This layout optimizes vehicle balance, and the SS puts only about 53 % of its 3,975-pound curb bodyweight on its front wheels (in contrast, today’;s front-wheel drive Chevrolet Impala puts practically 60 % of its weight on its front tires).
The 5-passenger sedan seems to mimic the driving dynamics of an E39 BMW M5.
The SS may share some Camaro and Corvette DNA, but it doesn’;t drive like either late-model sports coupe. As an alternative, the 5-passenger sedan seems to mimic the driving dynamics of a BMW M5. But not the current F10 chassis – the long-given that-discontinued, V8-powered E39 model. That statement is the 2 excellent and negative. As a compliment, the third-generation M5 was a fantastic sport sedan that was highly regarded as the best in its class for the duration of its heyday (1997-2003). It was effective and tremendously entertaining to drive. On the damaging side, the SS feels a bit classic and heavy with its driving dynamics when compared to today’;s light-in-their feet and quite agile sport sedans.
From a standstill, the SS launches like a muscle car. Foot to the floor, the engine roars and the rear tires claw at the pavement as the sedan punches by way of the 60-mph benchmark in about 4.5 seconds (lacking proper grip, the Chevy will effortlessly do a burnout right up until every of its rear tires peel down to the cord and at some point disintegrate). However at velocity, full throttle application initiates a brief pause in the automatic transmission as it thinks about its subsequent phase. Lastly, soon after a downshift or 2, the engine roars and occupants’; heads are forced against their restraints. Even though passengers do not in fact truly feel the delay, it truly is irritating from the driver’;s seat. Today’;s greatest 8-pace automatics – to say nothing of dual-clutch gearboxes – never act this way.
Unrestricted, the SS should be able to go quicker than 160 miles per hour.
On the open highway, this Australian covers ground comfortably and speedily. The suspension is company, and its tuning removes any disconcerting floating feeling whilst at velocity. Unrestricted, the SS must be able to go more quickly than 160 miles per hour. Its effectively-mannered demeanor at half that velocity suggests individuals velocities won’;t impact its stability at all. Its only downside on the highway, when it is plugging along at 70 mph on cruise handle, is its fuel efficiency, or the lack thereof. The EPA rates the SS at 21 miles per gallon highway, but I was hard-pressed to break twenty in the course of steady state cruising. That is on the reduced side thinking about that most late-model sedans with 400-plus horsepower are squeezing an added 10-15 percent a lot more out of each and every gallon of fuel.
The SS’;s correct talent is unveiled when the street no longer stretches to the horizon. On high-pace sweepers, the 4-door pulls away from trailing traffic as it places its body fat and impressively sticky Bridgestone Potenza RE050A tires (245/40R19 front and 275/35R19 rear) on the pavement almost properly. It sets into the corners masterfully, with no the slightest bit of drama, and hunkers down with gyroscopic stability. The electrical pace-proportional steering is a bit artificial in come to feel and its ratio is far from aggressive, but it really is really accurate in terms of putting the polished alloy wheels precisely where they need to have to be. Its largest shortcoming in the corners is a lack of bolstering in the seats, which enables torsos to slide side-to-side underneath large-G loads.
It’;s far from excellent, but I smiled broadly each time I stepped on the accelerator and the throaty LS3 came to daily life.
With an LS3 under the hood, the SS isn’;t going to want to do anything at all but go quick. Yet it stops equally as properly, thanks to a braking program created by Brembo. Up front are 4-piston monobloc calipers, with single-piston sliding calipers in the rear. The pedal feels very good under all driving conditions, no matter whether it truly is currently being asked to slow the 4-door from a crawl in a parking lot or haul the 2-ton sedan down from highway speeds in a panic cease. They perform nicely all the time, and fade never ever reared its ugly head, at least in spirited street use.
Following a week with the SS, I grew very fond of the Australian transplant – it is tough not to like a strong, torque-laden V8 shoehorned underneath the hood of a rear-wheel sedan with suspension, tires and brakes equally on par. It really is far from best, but I smiled broadly each and every time I stepped on the accelerator and the throaty LS3 came to life.
The Chevrolet SS falls quick to the competitors (Dodge Charger SRT8, Chrysler 300 SRT8 and Cadillac CTS Vsport) in terms of energy and styling, but it has them beat on price tag. Taken as a whole, the SS comes across as a polished, and quite nicely-rounded, sport sedan bundle that is much more centered on functionality than the other people. While the competitors battle things out with the most recent appearance packages, technical innovations and luxuries, the Aussie import doesn’;t see the need to impress any person but the couple of thousand who will take it property.