Super Sport. Spiritual Successor. Serious Speed. Whatever SS means to you, it spells performance for Chevrolet — and after 17 years, a rear-wheel-drive V8 sedan is back in the bowtie brand’s lineup.
It’s called simply the SS. The sporting machine is being unveiled this weekend as part of festivities ahead of the Daytona 500 later this month.
Like the Impala SS of the mid-’90s, the 2014 model adopts its eight-cylinder power from the Corvette. In SS trim, it produces 415 hp and 415 lb-ft of torque from the 6.2-liter (376 cubic inches) LS3 engine used in the 2013 Corvette. The engine is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission with steering wheel-mounted shift paddles and can sprint to 60 mph in five seconds. No manual transmission will be offered. Pricing will be announced closer to launch.
The SS is underpinned by General Motors’ global rear-drive chassis. The SS uses a MacPherson strut front and multilink rear suspension geometry. The platform is also used in various forms by the Camaro, Caprice police car and Holden’s VF Commodore. The SS will be assembled at a Holden factory in Elizabeth, Australia.
The famous SS badge has been worn on a variety of Chevy vehicles since the early 1960s, from sedans to pickups. The Impala, Chevelle, Camaro and Malibu were particularly appropriate canvases, though Novas and TrailBlazershave also used it.
The SS gets wheels that measure 19-by-8.5 inches in front and 19-by-9 inches in rear. The forged aluminum wheels are wrapped in performance Bridgestone tires. The SS has electronic power steering and Brembo brakes.
Design wise, the most sporting Chevy sedan is rather understated. It uses an aluminum hood and rear deck in place of steel panels, and the wheels are pushed to the corners. The body is accented with chrome and fronted by high intensity discharge headlights and LED running lamps.
The cabin seats five and is marked by SS badging and ambient lighting. A full-color touchscreen, nine-speaker audio system, push-button start and blind-spot detector are standard equipment. The SS is also the first Chevy with available automatic parking assist.
In a statement, GM North America president Mark Reuss said, “The Chevrolet brand was largely built on the strength of rear-drive performance sedans, yet it’s been 17 years since we’ve offered one. The all-new Chevrolet SS fills that void and fills it better than any other vehicle in the brand’s rich history.”