GM’s Chief Car Guy Sort-Of Talks About Prospects for Chevy’s New Sport Sedan
Given that the Chevrolet SS now serves as Chevy’s entry in NASCAR, it’s fitting that the production version was unveiled at Daytona International Speedway shortly before its Sprint Cup Series Debut. There may be little in common between Jimmie Johnson’s Daytona 500-winning ride and what you’ll soon see at your local dealer, as the “win on Sunday, sell on Monday” days have long since ended, but it is refreshing to see a rear-drive sport sedan serve as the Bow Tie’s entry rather than a bland front-drive midsizer.
While in Daytona for the triumphant unveiling, I spoke with Mark Reuss, president of General Motors North America, and tried to get more details on future plans for the all-new SS. When asked about a ZL1 or maybe a V-6 engine variant, the answer was no, not at this time — we have to wait and see how the SS is received. What about an AWD variant? No, not at this time — we have to wait and see how the SS is received. Tire options, transmission variants, body variants, performance variants? Right now, no, we have to wait and…you get the idea.
GM has certainly already thought about all of these questions (and then some) internally, probably answering at least a few. The company is clearly taking a more cautious approach with the SS than it did with the Pontiac G8, which was offered in V-6 and V-8 flavors at launch and gained a third variant with a more powerful V-8 and a manual transmission in its second year, only to have its run cut short by the axing of Pontiac. The positive sign is that, based on Reuss’ “wait and see” answers, GM seems to be keeping all possibilities open.
Having seen the SS firsthand, I can safely say Chevy appears to have a pretty good car on its hands. Interior design and layout is unique among North American Chevrolets. The front seats are fantastic — their thick, deep, and soft thigh bolsters holding you nicely. There’s plenty of space in the back, too — I’m 6’3” and can sit behind myself with room to spare for my legs and head. Exterior styling is clean, not too angular or round. Reuss specifically mentioned not wanting to make the car look cartoony, saying it was styled to look like “Executive Express” vehicle.
We did get an answer from Reuss that went beyond “No, not at this time.” When we asked if GM had done any high-performance testing, and if so, where, Reuss said, with a little smile, that “We have three upcoming dates at the ‘Ring. We plan on bringing the SS and the new Stingray and possibly a couple others.” I immediately started bugging him on that last line, but he wouldn’t reveal the possible other vehicles. Right now, we’re letting our imaginations run a little wild with the idea of a Z06/ZR1 version of the Stingray and an SS SC version of the SS. Regardless, we can’t wait to actually get our hands on Chevrolet’s all-new SS to see if it’s really as good as it looks.
Read more: Mark Reuss on the Future of the Chevrolet SS - Motor Trend Blog
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