• Rear-wheel-drive agility
  • Brawny V-8 power
  • Classic American swagger (albeit via Australia)
  • No available manual transmission
  • Overpowered by Dodge Charger SRT

By Automobile Magazine

What's New for SS in 2014

The 2014 Chevrolet SS is a new introduction to the Chevrolet lineup and is also based upon the latest Holden Commodore, which debuted in late 2012. The vehicle is an entirely new design, although its 6.2-liter V-8 carries over essentially unchanged...more

Vehicle Summary

Fourteen years have passed since the demise of the Impala SS, but at long last, Chevrolet is ready to introduce another rear-wheel-drive, performance-oriented sedan that evokes memories of the muscle-bound Chevelles and Impalas of the 1960s. The 2014 Chevrolet SS -- yes, just "SS" -- may be sold as a slice of four-wheeled Americana, but its roots, along with its assembly plant, are firmly in Australia, as the car was designed, engineered, and built by General Motors' Holden division. Early production cars are expected to arrive in dealer showrooms by December of 2013.

Overview

We always thought that the discontinued Pontiac G8 would make for a fine performance-oriented four-door Chevy. After years of whispers, rumors, and (occasionally public) executive in-fighting, GM finally agrees.

Like the G8, the 2014 Chevrolet SS is little more than a badge-engineered version of the Holden Commodore sedan sold in Australia, although the SS is based on the new VF-series Commodore, which debuted Down Under in 2012. In theory, the SS is much like the police-only Chevrolet Caprice but newer, smaller, and a little sexier. The look is very much Holden-esque -- a bit like the Caprice, G8, and even the modern-era Pontiac GTO -- but the new SS is a little more curvaceous and less constrained than its relatives.

The initial specs are enough to make muscle-car enthusiasts salivate: a 6.2-liter V-8, with 415 hp and 415 lb-ft of torque on tap. That power purportedly pushes the SS along to an estimated 0-to-60-mph time of roughly five seconds.

Although it's certainly something to excite the Chevy crew, we have a few reservations. To start with, it trails the 2014 Dodge Charger SRT8 by 65 hp and 65 lb-ft of torque. Another gaffe: the only transmission available is a six-speed automatic. GM claims that manual gearboxes appeal only to a small niche of buyers, but we think that niche is the very same performance-oriented bunch interested in the 2014 Chevrolet SS in the first place. Seeing as Holden sells a six-speed manual transmission Down Under -- and Pontiac had offered one in the short-lived G8 GXP -- we hope that GM is just holding it for a special-edition model down the road. Care for an SS SS, anyone?

Key Competitors

  • BMW 5 Series
  • 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS
  • Dodge Charger R/T, SRT8
  • Ford Taurus SHO

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