The 2014 Chevrolet SS is finally upon us. Yipee! Except, sadly, there’s no manual option… yet. But it does have 415 hp and 415 lb-ft of torque.
Chevrolet haven’t produced a bad ass sedan since the Impala SS in 1996. And even the Impala SS wasn’t that fast, it was just cool. General Motors haven’t produced anything in the 4-door bad assery section since the Pontiac G8 and G8 GXP exited the world stage in 2009, or when GM got scared and folded the Pontiac brand as a whole. The GXP was without a doubt the coolest car GM have made in a very long time. But I digress. Like the previous cool GM sedans, the SS puts its power to the pavement via the rear wheels. Finally!
This new 2014 Chevrolet SS has the C6 Corvette’s LS3 6.2-liter V8, with current power estimates sitting at 415 hp and 415 lb-ft of torque. Chevy say that’ll haul the SS to 60 mph in about 5-seconds. So expect to see 4.7-4.8 once journalists get their already sweaty palms on it.
Luckily Chevrolet weren’t just worried about straight line performance with the SS sedan, because it also has a near perfect 50/50 weight distribution, MacPherson strut fronts and multilink independent rear suspension geometry, Brembo brakes, with 13.97-inch rotors and two-piece, four-piston front calipers, Bridgestone 19 x 8.5 inch wheels with 245/40ZR19 tires in front and 19 x 9.0 inch wheels with 275/35ZR19 tires in the rear.
No mention of weight just yet for the new Chevrolet SS, but expect nothing less than 3,800-3,900 lbs. In fact, if I were to take a wild guess, I’d say the new SS will come in around 4,000 tragically American lbs.
So it appears the Chevrolet SS could potentially have the chops to show it’s worthy. However, as of right now, Chevy are saying it has an autotragic transmission with “TAPshift”. I love when car companies gives names to an automatic transmission. Yes, you can shift it “manually” by using paddles or the shifter. And, like every car company except BMW and Mazda, GM got the up and downshift patterns incorrect. In the SS, once you shove the shifter to the right, you’ll have to push forward to upshift, and pull back to downshift; the opposite way the body of the car moves during those moments.
Regardless, I’m excited to see how good the SS actually is to drive. I’ve been waiting for the SS since I first saw it as a 2003 concept car that GM showed off, promising it would be coming. Interestingly, that car was to use the C6 Corvette’s original 6.0-liter V8 and making 430 hp and 430 lb-ft of torque, while weighing right around 3,660 lbs. The cars both also have 14-inch front rotors, and also the same width rear tires, and only 10-mm difference in the front.
The weirdest part of this whole thing? The fact that both cars had press releases to be revealed exactly 10 years and 1 month from one another. January 5, 2003 for the SS Concept, and February 16, 2013 for the SS sedan road car. Odd, right?
You can read the press release for the original SS Sedan concept, and the actual SS we’re going to be able to buy below, along with galleries for both cars.
Chevrolet SS Road Car Press release:
2014 Chevrolet SS: Performance Sedan with Racing DNA
DAYTONA, Fla. – As Chevrolet’s first V-8, rear-wheel-drive performance sedan since 1996, the new Chevrolet SS is designed to deliver performance on the street and on the track. The 2014 Chevrolet SS will debut this weekend at the Daytona International Speedway as the SS racecar makes its NASCAR debut during the Daytona 500.
“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,” said Mark Reuss, president of General Motors North America. “The all-new Chevrolet SS fills that void and fills it better than any other vehicle in the brand’s rich history. The comfort, convenience, spaciousness and V-8 power make the SS a total performance package unlike any other on the road today.”
The Chevrolet SS benefits from the proven, race-tested, global rear-wheel drive architecture that is the foundation for the Camaro, Caprice Police Patrol Vehicle and Holden’s VF Commodore.
The Chevrolet SS is powered by the LS3 Chevrolet V-8, expected to deliver 415 horsepower and 415 lb-ft of torque. Also used in the 2013 Chevrolet Corvette, the LS3 displaces 6.2 liters, more than the 5.5-liter V-8 powering the Chevrolet SS NASCAR competitors.
The LS3 is married to a six-speed automatic transmission, which can be shifted manually using TAPshift paddles mounted on the steering wheel. With an aggressive 3.27 final-drive ratio, the Chevrolet SS accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in about five seconds – making it one of the quickest sedans on the market.
To ensure that it turns and stops as well as it accelerates; the Chevrolet SS also features a sport-tuned chassis, including:
MacPherson strut front and multilink independent rear suspension geometry
Electronic power steering system, optimized for sport driving
Standard Brembo brakes, with ventilated, 355-mm rotors and two-piece, four-piston front calipers
Forged aluminum wheels, wrapped in ultra-high-performance Bridgestone tires: 19 x 8.5 inch wheels with 245/40ZR19 tires in front; 19 x 9.0 inch wheels with 275/35ZR19 tires rear
Handling is also improved by a near 50/50 weight distribution, and a low center of gravity – made possible in part by the aluminum hood and rear deck lid that are 30 percent lighter than traditional steel panels.
“Our goal was to create a car that delivers incredible grip and handling balance while cornering, while still being comfortable to drive on the road,” said David Leone, executive chief engineer GM global programs. “The perfect weight balance and lower center of gravity were a big part of that goal because it enabled the team to tune for a more comfortable highway ride without sacrificing handling or driver confidence while cornering at the limits.”
Similarly, the design of the SS blends performance cues and premium details.
“From every angle, the Chevrolet SS says power and performance,” said John Cafaro design director Chevrolet passenger cars and small crossovers. “The combination of an aggressive rear-wheel drive stance and body-side attitude with the right balance of detail and refinement inside and out are the perfect home for Chevrolet’s V-8 performance package.”
The staggered front and rear wheels, which are pushed out to the corners, enhance the sporting, muscular stance of the SS. Up front, the aluminum hood features a subtle “power bulge” hinting at the power of the engine underneath. At the rear, the tapered, tear-drop shape contributes to improved aerodynamic performance. Premium cues include jewel-like chrome accents, standard high-intensity discharge headlamps and light-emitting diode daytime running lights.
The spacious interior of the SS will comfortably accommodate five adults, with 42 inches of front legroom, and 39 inches of rear legroom. Leather seating surfaces are standard, as are eight-way power adjustable front bucket seats with additional side bolstering that hug the driver and front passenger in tight-handling situations. The SS emblem is prominently stitched onto the soft-touch instrument panel which features two types of chrome finishes – a satin gloss and a bright chrome. At night, the interior is illuminated by ice blue ambient lighting.
An integrated center stack includes infotainment, climate and other vehicle controls. The Chevrolet SS also offers a long list of technology features as standard equipment including:
Color, in-dashboard touch screen that supports Chevrolet MyLink and the next-generation navigation system
Bose® Nine-speaker premium sound system
Color heads-up display
StabiliTrak Electronic Stability Control
Forward Collision Alert
Lane Departure Warning
Side Blind Zone Alert
Rear-vision camera Rear Cross Traffic Alert
The SS is also the first Chevrolet to offer Automatic Parking Assist, which provides hands-free parking help. This efficient ‘hands-free’ parking assistant uses the ultrasonic sensing system to detect the width and depth of either parallel or reverse right-angle parking spaces. While the driver controls the throttle, transmission, and brake, the Automatic Parking Assist controls the steering inputs necessary to neatly park the Chevrolet SS.
The 2014 Chevrolet SS will be available in the fourth quarter of 2013, with prices set closer to the on-sale date. When it arrives in showrooms, the SS will join the Corvette and Camaro, whose combined sales have made Chevrolet America’s favorite performance brand for the last two years.
Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world’s largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4.5 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature spirited performance, expressive design, and high quality. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.
Chevrolet SS Concept Press release:
FOR RELEASE: Sunday, Jan. 5, 2003, 12:01 a.m. EST
SS CONCEPT: CONTEMPORARY CHEVY MUSCLE
DETROIT – The 2003 Chevrolet SS concept showcases a new generation of Chevy muscle, with dynamic design, race-proven technology and balanced performance.
A modern interpretation of Chevrolet’s Super Sport heritage, the Chevrolet SS is a contemporary four-door family sedan turned sports car. It packs rear-wheel drive with a high-technology version of the legendary small-block V-8, and high-performance suspension and brakes to match.
“It’s a vehicle to be shared with your family or with your buddies,” said Franz von Holzhausen, the SS’s exterior designer. “It builds on Chevrolet’s great performance heritage, while updating the SS concept for a whole new generation.”
The Chevy SS, a product of GM Design’s Los Angeles studio, exudes power and performance at first glance with its intense, Victory Red exterior and a reflective Cromax glass finish. The design is fluid with a short front overhang, long dash-to-axle and wide, muscular fenders providing an aggressive stance.
Powerful wheel arches house 21-inch front and 22-inch rear aluminum wheels with BF Goodrich performance tires. The package also includes side gills, sporty round taillamps, through-fascia dual exhaust and a brushed stainless steel panel surrounding the taillamps.
“This is classic muscle car flavor interpreted in a modern way,” said von Holzhausen. “It speaks about muscle and power, but you also have the romance of the lines. Its DNA is clearly seen in the way we’ve modeled the fuselage, fenders and elements of the front and rear,” said von Holzhausen.
The SS’s muscular forms also hint at Chevy’s ultimate performance car – the Corvette.
Latest evolution of small-block V-8
Underneath the hood is the latest evolution of Chevy’s race-proven small-block V-8. The car’s longitudinal all-aluminum 6.0-liter V-8 engine pumps 430 horsepower and 430 lbs.-ft. of torque. The engine is paired with a Hydra-Matic 4L65-E four-speed, rear-wheel-drive, electronically controlled automatic transmission. It also could be equipped with the fuel-saving Displacement on Demand technology, debuting on somein 2004 on some 2005 GM models, which shuts down half of the cylinders during most driving conditions and automatically and seamlessly reactivates them for more demanding conditions, such as brisk acceleration or load hauling.
The SS features sophisticated low-arm SLA suspension and independent rear suspension for high-performance driving. The chassis features driver-adjustable shocks to change the damping ratio. The SS driver can tune the chassis for a softer setting during the week and dial in more performance for track days on the weekend.
To complete the performance package, the brakes are six-piston calipers with 14-inch rotors up front, and four-piston calipers with 14.45-inch rotors on the rear. To help make the SS friendlier for everyday driving, it also is equipped with active-traction control.
Clean, understated interior
“The interior is clean and understated with hints of SS heritage. The cool off-white leather surfaces, which contrast well against the warm red exterior, provide a spacious ambience,” said Bryan Nesbitt, GM’s executive director of design, body-frame integral. “The interior seat upholstery mixes the white leather with a modern woven, hounds-tooth check vinyl reminiscent of the SS cars of the past. Slate leather covers the upper doors and instrument panel while brushed stainless steel accents add refinement,” said Nesbitt.
“The SS seats five, but maintains a driver-oriented, cockpit feel,” said Blake Allen, the SS’s interior designer. The steering wheel is leather-wrapped, and the performance seats are buckets with body adjustments for sport driving. The gear shifter is console-mounted in the SS tradition, with steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifting in the sport mode. There is a built-in child booster seat in the center rear, and the entire rear seats fold flat for extra cargo space.
Three DVD players (one behind each seat headrest and a center mounted unit above the console) and XM Satellite Radio also are included, along with the OnStar in-vehicle safety and security system.
“It all adds up to an aspirational performance car for Main Street America, and it points toward the next-generation of Chevy SS vehicles,” said Nesbitt. “The great Chevy rear-wheel-drive V-8 vehicles are deeply embedded into the American psyche.
“With their power and speed, these cars gave Americans a sense of freedom and rebellion against the ordinary, at a price tag that many could afford. The Chevy SS truly is mobile entertainment for performance enthusiasts of all generations,” Nesbitt said.
2003 CHEVROLET SS CONCEPT VEHICLE SPECS
body – frame – integral (BFI)
Body material: steel
Chassis material: aluminum
Suspension: C5 (Low arm SLA) suspension components front and rear with coil over shocks (not transverse leaf) (C5 rear transaxle and torque tube replaced with conventional trans, prop shaft, and rear-drive module from C4).
Front:21″ x 9″
Rear:22″ x 10″
Front: 255/45 R21
Rear: 275/45 R22
Front:6-piston calipers on 14″ rotors
Rear:4-piston calipers on 14.75″ rotors rear
Engine: Gen 3 small-block derivative
Engine displacement: 6.0 liters
Horsepower maximum (hp / kw): 430 / 321
Torque maximum (lbs-ft / Nm): 430 / 583
Transmission: Hydra-Matic 4L65-E enhanced for sequential paddle shifting (tap up/down)
Height (in / mm): 53 / 1346
Length (in / mm): 198.9 / 5052
Width (in / mm): 76 / 1930
Wheelbase (in / mm): 121 / 3150
Front (in / mm): 65.75 / 1670
Rear (in / mm): 65 / 1651
Weight (lbs / kg): 3660 / 1660 (estimated)
P.S. Do you want a Chevrolet SS yet? I kinda do.