It may not have the firepower to worry the latest crop of German über-sedans such as the Mercedes-Benz E 63 AMG or the BMW M5 but, nevertheless, the 2014 Chevrolet SS that was unveiled today at the Daytona International Speedway, where its racing version also debuted at the Daytona 500 NASCAR event, is a welcome addition to the Bow Tie’s range.
That’s because the new SS, which is the American version of the new Holden SS V and is built around GM’s global platform that also underpins the Camaro and Caprice Police Patrol Vehicle, marks Chevrolet’s return to rear-wheel drive performance sedans after a long absence.
It’s a fact readily acknowledged by GM North America president Mark Reuss: “The Chevrolet brand was largely built on the strength of rear-drive performance sedans, yet it’s been 17 years since we offered one”, he said. “The all-new SS fills that void and fills it better than any other vehicle in the brand’s rich history.”
new Pontiac G8 SS is visually identical to the new Holden Commorode SS V that was revealed earlier three days ago; the only obvious changes, apart from the badges, are the paint scheme of the 19-inch alloys and the SS’s single, instead of twin, exhaust pipes placed at each end of the rear fender.
The suspension includes MacPherson struts up front and a trapezoidal multilink arrangement at the rear, the steering gets electronic power assistance (EPAS) and the forged 19-inch alloy wheels, which are wrapped in 245/40 and 275/35 front and rear tires respectively, house 335-mm Brembo discs with two-piece, four-piston calipers at the front.
The engine bay is home to a 6.2-liter V8 that puts out 415HP and 415 lb-ft (562 Nm) of torque. It drives the rear wheels via a standard six-speed automatic transmission for a 0-60 mph (0-96 km/h) acceleration time of “about” 5.0 seconds. There’s no mention of a manual gearbox option.
Chevrolet claims that the 2014 SS has a near 50/50 front/rear weight distribution and a low center of gravity that endow its first RWD sports sedan in two decades handle as a sports sedan should without being too harsh for everyday use.
“The perfect weight balance and lower center of gravity were a big part of that goal because they enabled the team to tune for a more comfortable highway ride without sacrificing handling or driver confidence while cornering at the limits”, said executive engineer of GM global programs David leone.
The 2014 Chevrolet SS will go on sale in the fourth quarter of the year, at prices that will be announced close to its launch date. Its standard equipment list includes items such as eight-way power adjustable front bucket seats, leather upholstery, a center-console mounted touch screen for the MyLink and navigation systems, a Bose nine-speaker audio system, a color head-up display (HUD) and push-button start. It also features a host of safety systems like Forward Collision Alert, Lane Departure Warning, Side Blind Zone Alert, a rear-vision camera with cross traffic alert and is the first Chevy to offer Automatic Parking Assist.
By Andrew Tsaousis