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2014 Chevrolet SS bucks the trend with smoking hot V8

Chevrolet goes against conventional wisdom with the 2014 Chevrolet SS, their first rear-drive performance sedan with a high-performance V8 in 17 years.


We knew GM was working on a high-performance sedan that would fall under the Chevrolet bowtie brand, and they have revealed their new rear-drive V8 powered sedan. The high-performance SS sport sedan marks a new era for Chevrolet as this is their first rear-drive performance sedan since 1996. The new sedan gets a powerful V8 that bucks current trends in performance vehicles around the globe. But will the new 2014 Chevrolet SS V8 be a success for GM?

GM bucks current trends

As the V8 makes the way of the dodo bird, GM is bucking the trend by bringing out a high-performance production sedan with a V8 powerplant. The trend for automakers with performance vehicles is trending toward smaller and lighter four and six-cylinder engines that are turbocharged. There are still high-performance V8’s around, but they are already established in their respective brands. For GM to bring out the new Chevrolet SS with a V8 is a bit surprising in the current global climate. Even the new 2015 Ford Mustang will feature a smaller turbo four-cylinder engine when it makes its global launch. And Ford is leading the industry with smaller high-performance EcoBoost engines around the globe.

Will the 2014 Chevrolet SS be a success?

Even though Chevrolet built their brand in the past on rear-drive performance sedans, that doesn’t mean they will be successful in todays global world of smaller powerful and fuel-efficient sports cars. But GM thinks they know better. It may be different than anything on the road, but that doesn’t mean it will automatically be a successful performance vehicle.

Mark Reuss, president of General Motors North America 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. The comfort, convenience, spaciousness and V-8 power make the SS a total performance package unlike any other on the road today.”

The 2014 Chevrolet SS makes its debut this weekend

The performance car makes its debut at the Daytona 500 this weekend and the new SS will also be Chevrolet’s racing car entry in the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup series. It may fly with the NASCAR crowd, but don’t look for buyers to be lined up to buy the new V8 sedan. Even though the new 2014 SS benefits from the “proven, race-tested”, global rear-wheel drive architecture that is the foundation for the successful Camaro, it doesn’t guarantee that the performance sedan will get buyers excited.

Featuring the LS3 Chevrolet V-8

The all-new 2014 Chevrolet SS is powered by the LS3 Chevrolet V-8, and is expected to deliver 415 horsepower and 415 lb-ft of torque. The LS3 is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, which can be shifted manually using TAPshift paddles mounted on the steering wheel. GM says the Chevrolet SS accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in about five seconds. It also features a sport-tuned suspension with an independent rear architecture. It will come with Brembo brakes and 19 x 8.5 inch aluminum wheels with 245/40ZR19 tires in front; 19 x 9.0 inch wheels with 275/35ZR19 performance Bridgestone tires in the rear.

The design of the SS blends performance cues

Even the exterior styling of the new Chevrolet SS seems dated. Are staggered front and rear wheels enough to get performance sedan buyers excited? GM says the aluminum hood features a “power bulge” that hints at the power underneath. Will the “jewel-like chrome accents”, standard high-intensity discharge headlamps and light-emitting diode daytime running lights be enough to get buyers to line up to buy the new performance sedan?

It may get the NASCAR crowd excited as they see it turn left at the Daytona International Speedway, but don’t look for the all-new 2014 Chevrolet SS to be as successful as the 2013 Chevrolet Camaro. The Chevrolet SS will be available in the fourth quarter of 2013, with prices set closer to the on-sale date. Tell us what you think of Chevrolet’s new high-performance sport sedan.


dmadam (not verified)    February 16, 2013 - 9:05AM

Finally a RWD sedan that is practical. Now they need to expand it with a six and
RWD like the Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger. RWD need to make a comeback. No FWD for me.

Tre Deuce (not verified)    February 16, 2013 - 11:07PM

The new 'SS' is certainly a niche car, but it should find a fair number of buyers, even robbing from Chrysler's RWD V-8's.

The key for the 'SS' to find some success, will be the LS3's efficient use of fuel, and desire for some to have a four door hot rod.

The older Boomer generation will find a lot to like about the 'SS', as it will have a classic, comfortable demeanor, with a bit of zesty sportiness, and its mileage won't be a significant negative, because they drive less. The later generation, the ones who followed the Boomer, have already noted their interest in the RWD 'SS', when many of them bought the last iteration, my son included.

Personally, I haven't had any interest in an 'SS' of any configuration or power since the mid sixties when I bought a new 66' 'SS' convertible for my wife. The only 'S' I see in my future has 'Tesla' proceeding it.

Anonymous (not verified)    February 19, 2013 - 5:15AM

As the owner of an '06 SS the only thing to like about the new SS is the performance. Why they didn't include some kind of variable rate suspension is beyond me. I suppose because the Holden didn't offer it. I think they should have just badged this car as a Chevelle SS, but some Chevelle fans may be insulted by that.

The exterior styling is not much to write home about and from what I have seen of interior pictures there's not much there either. I'm definitely a baby boomer and Chevy's repeated mention about the refinement of the production version doesn't seem to be born out by what I see. From what I can tell the interior color choice is "any color you want as long as it is black". And the exterior color choices don't seem to offer anything that infers "refinement".

I'm guessing that GM expects my generation to be looking at a Cadillac for a performance sedan with refinement. The price point I've heard rumored is to be well north of $40k. If that is the case then Cadillac would be my choice if I were in the market for a new car and was looking for a GM product.

I think the bottom line is Chevy wanted a new NASCAR car and is not overly concerned with sales of the new SS as long as it drives more people into the dealers. Maybe they didn't want this car competing with the Camaro ZL1 or Corvette, but seems to be only half-done as a performance car and no real refinement available to boomers who want both in a full sized SS.

You can argue whether or not you like the sheet metal on the new Impala, but in keeping with tradition I think a cool SS would be the Impala on a ZL1-like chassis and power plant - but that wouldn't provide the NASCAR car Chevy was looking for.