Think you’ve waited long enough for this? If so, then you’ll want to savor the high-res photos we’ve so far been given of the 2014 Chevrolet SS, the first rear-wheel-drive performance sedan from The Bowtie in 17 years.
We all know its our version of the brand new VF-model Holden Commodore, but what’s under the hood that earns the appellation “performance?” A 6.2-liter LS3 V8 engine producing 415 horsepower and 415 pound-feet of torque. That’s 35 hp and lb-ft less than the same engine is expected to produce in the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette. Chevrolet says the sedan will get from 0-to-60 miles per hour “in about five seconds.”
[pullquote]The 2014 Chevrolet SS, the first rear-wheel-drive performance sedan from The Bowtie in 17 years.[/pullquote]
Shifting comes courtesy of a six-speed automatic with paddles on the steering wheel, while stopping arrive via four-piston Brembo calipers up front, a single sliding piston in back. The forged aluminum wheels are 19-inchers all around, each set supporting right around 50 percent of the sedan’s weight, and the aluminum hood and trunk are meant to keep the center of gravity low.
Inside, leather seating surfaces, eight-way power front seats and a soft-touch dash are standard for a cabin said to fit five adults comfortably, along with a nine-speaker Bose sound system, a head-up display and safety tech like Lane Departure Warning and Side Blind Zone alert. A marquee option will be Automatic Parking Assist that can parallel and right-angle park; this is the technology’s first appearance on a Chevrolet.
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.
[pullquote]Handling is also improved by a near 50/50 weight distribution, and a low center of gravity.[/pullquote]
“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
- Push-button start
- 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.