Is Chevy’s 2016 SS The Spiritual Successor To BMW’s E39 M5?

The 2016 Chevrolet SS is not only one of the most honest performance sedans in the market, it’s also one of the very few four-door V8 models offered with a manual gearbox.

That last fact puts things into a nice perspective and the comparisons with all-time classics like BMW’s E39 M5 are justified by looking at the specs. Considered by many the epitome of four-door sports sedans, the E39 M5 came with a brutal 4.9-liter naturally aspirated V8 punching out 400PS or 394hp routed to the rear wheels exclusively via a Getrag 6-speed manual gearbox.

Under the Chevy’s bonnet lies a 415hp LS3 small block V8 mated to a six-speed manual gearbox with the rear axle hosting a limited-slip differential. We can all thank Holden (since its a re-badged Commodore) for this and then GM for bringing it over here as a Chevrolet.

Motor Trend brings the 2016 Chevrolet SS and the BMW E39 M5 together on a track to find out if the newer car is indeed a legit successor to the famed German super saloon. 

Worthy or not, the Chevrolet SS is a car that definitely deserves way more love that it currently gets.


  • SteersUright

    So the car handles well, has good power, and costs a relatively decent $45k and yet, nobody is buying them and I never see them on the road? Such a great package and no sales? That because its ugly as sin inside and out and you’d look like a damn fool spending nearly $50k tax-in on a car which, to anyone other than an enthusiast, may as well be a last gen Chevy Malibu. If this car was beautiful there would be dealer markups on them because, as this video confirms, there really aren’t many options on the market offering a package like this at a price like this. I wanted to get excited about this car but I’d never put anything that ugly in my driveway unless there was a 50% rebate on them.

    • Able

      I think you’ve just offended every Australian there is. I don’t really understand how you can say that it’s ‘ugly as sin’ when realistically it’s much more conservative than ugly. The SS represents amazing value for money, chiefly because of the performance available for the money, but also because you Yanks get it cheaper than we Aussies do, and it’s MADE HERE!

      • MarketAndChurch

        I wouldn’t say they’re ugly either… but they are using an evolution of a design well past its prime. However, I think they make pretty good-looking taxi’s.

        By the way… there is a difference between conservative and boring. This is boring. A VW Touareg or Rolls Royce Wraith is not. Look, it’s an old car, and for what it is, it’s not a bad car. Just a little overpriced, by maybe 10 grand. (I don’t know why they, and imports are so expensive over there)

        • Matt

          A VW Touareg is the epitome of boring. VW are the German Toyota after all.

      • PB

        Americans like their chintzy bonnet scoops, stripes, and other cheap add-ons that all say “looks at muh”. Remember what they did to the Monaro?

    • Bo Hanan

      Well said. And as the owner of a E39 M5 I can assure you this Chevy isn’t the M5’s spiritual anything. What a joke.

      • TheBelltower

        Have you driven the F10 M5? It’s a barge. The SS is the closest we’ve got today.

    • bsquarewi

      The (now slightly dated) Chevy design language does NOT translate well to this vehicle, you are correct. On the flip side, look at the Pontiac G8, same vehicle in Pontiac design language, that car is awesome. I see them on the road and still want one to this day.

      • Alexander Hamilton

        I own one. I love it, but it’s the GT without stick and has outdated electronics. I will grab a SS as soon as I’m able.

  • More Like This One

    I love sleepers.

  • no25


  • Mate

    not even us Aussies think that Commodores are good in any way. they aren’t even better than American cars.

    • PB

      What crap.

  • What_Tha

    Fuck you and your “Who knew those criminals…” comment.

  • Not a bad car…. sounds well has a manual transmission but it is not an E39….. The reason it doesn’t sell is that it is considered to be an old school (that is my opinion)….!!!

  • Ziga


  • Dennis James


  • Tumbi Mtika

    These comments are going to get toxic, real quick.

    I’ma leave…

  • Craig

    The fact that it’s rather ordinary looking is why it appeals to me. But it matters not. It’s not sold in Canada.

  • Victor Ferreira

    I personally think the previous generation Commodore (which more closely resembles the Chevrolet Omega sold elsewhere, and relates to the Caprice PPV we see here) looks better. But yes, an old design.

  • antbee

    After seeing this video… WANT!!

  • Six Thousand Times

    Looks boring. Fast as hell. Old-school BMW-style handling chops. Maybe your local cop will think you’re another cop. Cool.

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