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2014 Chevrolet SS: Chevy's RWD LS3-Powered Flagship
25 Cars Worth Waiting For: 2014–2017



Ages from now, when we look back at 2008–2013 with 20/20 hindsight, we'll likely deem GM's quick-rinse bankruptcy a blessing. Case in point: the 2014 Chevrolet SS sedan arriving later this year. This car is an amalgam of a once-revered nameplate (SS) and one of the best cars developed by pre-Chapter 11 GM, the Pontiac G8. Without GM's trip through the reorganization wringer, a rear-drive Chevy flagship might not have happened.

Way, way back in the company's rowdier days, Corvette patron Zora Arkus-Duntov affixed an SS badge (double-secret code for "super sport") to GM's first purpose-built racer. Thanks to a magnesium body draped over a steel-tube space frame inspired by the Mercedes 300SL's skeleton, the Corvette SS weighed a lean 1850 pounds dry. A front-mounted 4.6-liter V-8 equipped with fuel injection and aluminum heads delivered 310 horsepower at 6400 rpm. Piloted by the best shoes of the day—Fangio, Fitch, Moss, and Taruffi—the two-seat SS was quick, but a lack of development stopped it after only 23 laps at the 1957 12-hour Sebring Grand Prix.

The SS evolved into the more successful Sting Ray racer that begat the 1963 Corvette (C2) Sting Ray production model. In 1961, Chevy resurrected the badge for an optional ($54) Impala package consisting of various chassis, interior, and exterior upfits. Over the years, the double-S escutcheon has been hung haphazardly on Chevys ranging from convertible pickups to front-drive Impalas to current V-8–powered Camaros.

The new Chevrolet SS is an updated version of the Australian-built Pontiac G8, which thrived for barely 18 months before sinking, along with GM's "excitement" division, in 2009. When it knocked off Dodge's Charger R/T in our June 2008 comparison test, we dubbed the G8 GT "the BMW that Pontiac always wanted to build." When it perished the following year, GM's Bob Lutz said the full-size four-door G8 was too good to waste, and he pledged that it would reappear as a Chevrolet.

Lutz's forecast was dead-on accurate. The Chevy Camaro, essentially a shorter-wheelbase (112.3-inch) coupe version of the G8, arrived before the onset of Pontiac's death throes. In late 2009, Chevrolet announced a 118.5-inch-wheelbase Caprice PPV perp coach built on GM's large rear-drive platform, which was formerly code-named Zeta. The new SS is the meat in the sandwich. It rides on the size-medium 114.8-inch wheelbase of the old G8, but features a host of updates such as re-creased sheetmetal, a new electrical architecture, a retuned chassis, and contemporary Chevrolet interior and exterior earmarks. All Zeta siblings have unibody construction, front struts, and a multilink rear suspension.

The production SS due this fall will have an LS3 6.2-liter V-8 burbling under its hood, backed up by a six-speed automatic with standard paddle shifters. Packing 415 horsepower and 415 lb-ft of torque—as well as a 3.27:1 final drive—Chevy says the car should sprint to 60 mph in the five-second range.

Decelerative responsibilities fall on Brembo brakes; hardware includes 14-inch front rotors, 12.8-inch rear rotors, and four-piston fixed front calipers. Sticky Bridgestone performance rubber—measuring 245/40 at the front and 275/35 out back—cozies up to 19-inch forged wheels. The hood and trunklid are aluminum. There are, of course, LED daytime running lights.

SSs will be sold fully loaded with top-shelf infotainment gear, HID headlamps, stitched leather trim, the latest collision-warning equipment, and Chevy's first application of automatic parking assist. The only option will be a power sunroof, so expect a sticker crowding $40,000 when the car arrives in showrooms at the end of the year. Since the efficiency upgrades of the new LT1 V-8—direct injection, variable valve timing, and cylinder deactivation—are not included, factor some gas-guzzler tax into your budget.

The SS is Chevy's new nameplate hero in NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series. After winning 10 straight manufacturers' championships with "Monte Carlos" and "Impalas" from 2003 to 2012, Chevy is now the only brand with a racer profiled after a pukka V-8, rear-drive production model. (Dodge withdrew its "Charger" from NASCAR after Brad Keselowski piloted one to the 2012 drivers' championship; Ford races "Fusions," and Toyota competes with "Camrys.") The Chevrolet SS race car debuts at this year's Daytona 500 as a 17-car phalanx fielded by Earnhardt Ganassi Racing, Furniture Row Racing, Hendrick Motorsports, Phoenix Racing, Richard Childress Racing, and Stewart-Haas Racing.

The SS is essentially a spear aimed at the hearts of the Chrysler 300 SRT8, Dodge Charger SRT8, and Ford Taurus SHO, but it's a stopgap measure. That could change in a couple of years when the production baton is expected to pass from GM's Elizabeth, Australia, plant to a U.S. assembly facility, and the heavy, elderly underpinnings of the old platform are replaced by a new large rear-drive platform engineered to serve under Chevrolet, Cadillac, and possibly Buick flagships. (More on GM's future RWD plans here and here.)

Meanwhile, for our role in pulling GM back from the abyss, we tax-paying enthusiasts deserve this street-fighting SS with LT1 power and a stick shift.

source: 2014 Chevrolet SS: 25 Cars Worth Waiting For 2014–2017 – Future Cars – Car and Driver
 

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Thanks.

Another great article.


Funny thing, the last sentence sums up why no educated car buyer is going to buy the 2014 SS Sedan and why I think it's doomed to a stillborn death:

Meanwhile, for our role in pulling GM back from the abyss, we tax-paying enthusiasts deserve this street-fighting SS with LT1 power and a stick shift.
 

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Worth waiting for. But is it worth BUYING

dun dun dunnn
Is it worth buying......... most important question right now, suggesting if the SS is worth buying or not will depend on it's price. Lately I've been reading it will be right around $40,000, which isn't too bad for something fully loaded.
 

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for it to be at $40,000 the price itself for the SS might be the deal breaker. I'd say maybe 35,000 would be more reasonable and that might help it be more attainable to consumers really. $40k might turn off a big bunch of buyers and look elsewhere with that amount.
 

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I feel 40,000 really makes you look around at what else is available that you don't have to wait for. At 35 I could care less about the wait, wouldn't drive it this winter anyways, but mine would need a manual for me to pull the trigger. (Off to g8board I go looking for my backup plan.)
 

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Meanwhile, for our role in pulling GM back from the abyss, we tax-paying enthusiasts deserve this street-fighting SS with LT1 power and a stick shift.


The disappointment about no manuals on the SS is now making it's way to media publications :).
 

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I feel 40,000 really makes you look around at what else is available that you don't have to wait for. At 35 I could care less about the wait, wouldn't drive it this winter anyways, but mine would need a manual for me to pull the trigger. (Off to g8board I go looking for my backup plan.)
I feel the same about a $40 000 price tag, at that price I would be shopping around and comparing and if the SS turns out to be a good car in the $40 000 range (which is hard) i'll get it. $35 000 would make it closer to an impulse buy.

Now if it was the high $27 000 speculated by car and driver (or some other website) that would be my ultimate impulse buy :D
 
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