It was a big weekend for Chevrolet as the maker continues its push to restore it performance reputation.
With Danica Patrick providing headlines as she became the first woman to ever win pole position for the upcoming Daytona 500 in her GoDaddy.com Chevrolet, the Detroit maker used the Daytona speedway as a backdrop for the unveiling of its new 2014 Chevy SS model – the maker’s first rear-drive performance sedan since 1997.
“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, during a preview at an airport hangar near the Daytone International Speedway. “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.”
Chevy has been rapidly expanding its performance line-up in recent years – even as it pushes to boost its fleet fuel economy. The debut of the 2014 Chevrolet SS comes barely a month after the maker gave the public a first look at the seventh-generation Corvette. Known to aficionados as the C7, that model will go on sale later this year.
Chevy has continued to score with its newest version of the Camaro, meanwhile, the coupe toppling its long-standing rival Ford Mustang on the sales charts for the first time in decades.
But in today’s market, planners at General Motors’ largest brand are betting they also need a practical and affordable performance sedan. For that they turned to Australia’s Holden which in 2008 provided the tire-spinning G8 for GM’s now abandoned Pontiac division. The Chevy SS is a virtual clone of Holden’s current VF SS-V model – but for the Chevy bowtie, badging and inverted trapezoidal grille.
The new sedan has a low and menacing stance, with wide HID headlamps framed by LED Daytime Running Lights likely to be the first thing other drivers will see as the SS flies up in their rearview mirror. The 2014 Chevrolet sedan also gets a “power bulge” on the hood and quad exhaust tips and a rear spoiler.
That bulge isn’t just for looks. The 2014 Chevrolet SS is powered by the LS3 V-8 and is expected to churn out 415 horsepower and 415 lb-ft of torque when final numbers are certified. That’s expected to launch the production model from 0 to 60 in “about” five seconds, according to Chevrolet.
Surprisingly – at least for some – the 2014 Chevy SS will be delivered with a stock 6-speed automatic with TAPshift manual mode. A manual gearbox is not on the option list. In fact, the only options will be paint color and sunroof.
The Holden-based sedan will use a MacPherson strut front suspension and multilink independent rear. The electric power steering system, Chevy claims, has been optimized for sport driving.
Ventilate Brembo brakes will be standard. And the SS will ride on forged aluminum wheels wrapped in ZR-rated performance 19 x 8.5-inch Bridgestone tires up front, with 19 x 9.0-inch rear rubber.
Pricing hasn’t been released but will reportedly come in a bit under $40,000. And for the money it will deliver a wide array of standard features, including leather-wrapper, eight-way power front sport bucket seats, the Chevy MyLink infotainment system, a head-up display, or HUD, system, nine-speaker Bose audio and a range of safety features including forward collision alert, lane departure warning, backup camera and blind-spot monitoring.
The 2014 SS also will offer Chevrolet’s first self-parking system.
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