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Chevy SS: Is It What We Wanted?

After nearly four years of anticipation, we finally have the Commodore officially coming back to North The Commodore is back, but may not appeal to the G8 crowd.

GM Inside News Forum
February 18, 2013
By: Nick Saporito

After nearly four years of anticipation, we finally have the Commodore officially coming back to North America. There weren’t many secrets prior to the car’s reveal; engine, market position, feature sets…those were all known years ago, so surprises are few and far between. One such surprise is the exterior design, which is arguably fairly tame.

As a former G8 owner, I know first hand why it is important to have the Commodore on the U.S. market. The car is, by every sense, an enthusiast’s car. It is one of those cars that will show up at local car clubs and draw crowds, and one that the next generation of car buyer’s will have posters of hanging on their walls. Regardless of the car’s sales performance, its significance extends beyond the sales chart, something that apparently the decision makers of GM agree with.

While the G8 attempted to appeal to the masses with a V-6 engine offering, GM has rightfully ditched that attempt with the SS. When the G8 was on the market, the V-6 sold nearly twice as slow as the V-8 powered GT model and the 1,829 GXP models sold at lightening speed. In fact, the GXP is still commanding used prices at or near its original MSRP. The SS is basically a G8 GXP, so will it do the same?

At this point, it is tough to say if the SS will be a repeat of the GXP. My gut feeling is that it won’t be. Pontiac, despite being a severely damaged brand at the time, did a half decent job marketing the G8 as the middle-class equivalent to the BMW 5-Series. I’d suffice to say that data would show that most high-end G8 buyers bought the car, in part, because it was something different. I know that was one of my purchase reasons, and this former G8 owner has no desire to own a new SS.

I have two issues with this car. The first is the exterior design. I want to love it, but I can’t. It’s more anonymous than the G8 from a brand that has the Camaro and C7 Corvette. I guess that makes it a sleeper, which is cool, but should the Impala look more dramatic than a 415 horsepower sedan?

My next issue with the car is the apparent lack of a manual transmission. Decisions such as adding a transmission to a car should not be taken lightly. There are a ton of things that must be considered by the manufacturer: potential sales, production, dealer parts and service and a long list of other considerations. The thing is, the Commodore will offer the same six-speed manual that the G8 GXP had, so why not the SS?

Just under 50-percent of G8 GXP’s were built with manual transmissions. Granted, production rates were super low on the GXP, but the SS probably isn’t going to be much higher either. If you’re marketing the car as a street version of a racecar, it seems like a manual is a must.

Aside from those two issues, the car looks to be exactly what everyone wanted. We’re getting the Holden Commodore back in the U.S. with V-8 power, a fantastic interior and long feature list.

Now, let's get the Ute to North America.
 

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How come every one who looks at the SS Sedan immediately recognizes the lack of a manual transmission is a colossal failure, yet GM has yet to fix this? ????
 

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How come every one who looks at the SS Sedan immediately recognizes the lack of a manual transmission is a colossal failure, yet GM has yet to fix this? ????
Because it's obvious a car like this is a failure to some if it doesn't have a manual transmission, especially when it's branded "SS", which makes you believe it's suppose to represent the brand, you expect things like a manual transmission.

If we don't get a manual transmission by 2015, I'll give the Chevy SS the official seal of fail lol.

So far 2015 seems to be the year everyone believes a manual transmission will be available.
 

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GM is sentencing this car to one model year only. The ironic part is that they will blame the buyers for not ordering this car in enough numbers to sustain production of the SS even though it is GM putting so many roadblocks in front of the car.

I would be surprised if total sales of the SS reach 1000 units because of this mess.

It's a da*m shame, is what it is.
 

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Chevy not releasing a manual transmission at launch = minor fail, but rectifiable

Chevy never releasing a manual transmission = Chevy has no idea what they are doing
 

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GM is sentencing this car to one model year only. The ironic part is that they will blame the buyers for not ordering this car in enough numbers to sustain production of the SS even though it is GM putting so many roadblocks in front of the car.

I would be surprised if total sales of the SS reach 1000 units because of this mess.

It's a da*m shame, is what it is.
I agree with this. I can't imagine the interest in the car is that high to begin with (due to lack of advertising to the general public). And when those that ARE interested find out they can't test drive it and will have to plop down a **** load of deposit money, plus a long wait time... that's just a recipe for disaster.
 

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GM is sentencing this car to one model year only. The ironic part is that they will blame the buyers for not ordering this car in enough numbers to sustain production of the SS even though it is GM putting so many roadblocks in front of the car.

I would be surprised if total sales of the SS reach 1000 units because of this mess.

It's a da*m shame, is what it is.
That's exactly how I think it will play out. With all these roadblocks in place to get one, they really can't expect much from the public. With the amount of roadblocks they have in place for the SS, it will just make people move on to another brand to get their performance sedan fix. The amount of true performance sedans on the used car market is quite amazing too.
 

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Honestly it's price-dependent. If they sell the car in the $35k range (which seems unlikely given what the G8 GXP stickered for with a much more downmarket interior and less tech) the wait, while regrettable, would be tolerable. I highly doubt that pricing will be mid $30's. The 2005 GTO had a very minimal equipment list... manual climate control, no heated or ventilated seats, a basic AM/FM/CD audio system with no Aux-in, Satellite Radio or iPod integration, no Bluetooth phone, no back-up camera, lane departure warning, cross traffic warning or self parking, and it stickered for $34,000, over eight years ago. I think the magic number is closer to $45k, and close to $50,000 out the door.
 

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How come every one who looks at the SS Sedan immediately recognizes the lack of a manual transmission is a colossal failure, yet GM has yet to fix this? ????
All cars have their the big sore thumb sticking out.

One of those "WHY THE **** DID THEY DO [email protected]!" or "WHY THE **** DIDN'T THEY DO THIS?!?!"

For the Chevy SS its going to be the 6MT.

If the rest of the car is a well rounded package it would still be a good seller. But if there are other things that make the SS a pile of **** it's going to be a pile of ****.

I just hope that auto transmission is at least decent. And everything else works well.

Everytime I test drive a car I find something that stands out like a sore thumb. I test drove a 335i last month. Great engine, transmission is quick and very good in sports mode. But that steering.. Holy crap it sucks. And everyone mentions this..

Cadillac ATS - why is the manual a pile of crap. Did noone test it before making them?! Why is the CUE system slow as ****?! Did noone test it before pumping them out?!

etc etc
 
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