By on November 25, 2013

2014-chevrolet-ss-004-opt

The Chevrolet SS arrived at Chevrolet dealerships all over America last week. Did you notice?

A quick trip to www.chevrolet.com reveals no mention of the brand’s flagship sedan anywhere on the three-page main page slideshow. Bizarrely, it doesn’t even appear under the “Cars” dropdown — I had to click on “Performance” to find it, where its starting price of only seven grand less than a real, live, honest-to-God C7 Corvette is regrettably highlighted.

Chevrolet had a massive, massive ad buy this weekend on both CBS and Fox during the NFL schedule. Surely the SS was featured there, right? Nope — it was all about the Black Friday sale on Cruzes, Malibus, Equinoxes, and Traverses. Nary an SS to be found.

As a former Pontiac G8 GT owner, I saw a few “OMG ITS HERE” SS showroom photos popping up on the G8 owners’ Facebook groups to which I still subscribe. The car looks no better in the showroom than it did in the original press photos, sadly. If anything, it looks worse. The SS is even less visually impressive when compared to its new stablemate, the 2014 Impala. One pities the poor Chevy salesman who has to try to explain the MSRP on the window to the customer his sales manager has insisted he try to upsell to the certain Showroom Poison known as the SS.

“I like this one-how much is it?”

“It starts at right around $44,000, sir.”

“FORTY-FOUR FREAKING THOUSAND DOLLARS?? FOR A CHEVY??”

“Yes, but it has a V8 and—“

“FOR THAT MUCH MONEY I COULD HAVE A CADILLAC! ARE YOU INSANE??”

*The salesperson tries very hard not to look at the CTS further down the Chevy-Buick-Cadillac-GMC showroom*
“Sir, this is a performance sedan.”

“Is that right? Is that why I can’t even order it with a manual transmission?”

“Uhh… how about we finish up the paperwork on that Impala, sir?”

Unfortunately, GM appears to have learned absolutely, positively nothing since the launch of their last gussied-up Holden Commodore. The G8 GT had a cool, Spy Hunter-themed ad and a great tagline: the most powerful car under $30,000. The main thrust of the SS ad campaign appears to have been putting the incredibly un-memorable name of the car on the grille of Jimmie Johnson’s car — keeping in mind, of course, that according to NASCAR, only 15% of NASCAR fans earn more than $100,000 per year. Not exactly the best audience for a car that runs about half a hundo.

The G8 GXP, at least, had a reputation as a killer performance sedan. So, naturally, GM mated the SS’s LS3 to an automatic transmission that makes the SS slower in every way than the GXP was, not even cracking the five-second zero-to-sixty barrier in most tests. Combine unimpressive performance digits with rental-car looks and you’ve got a floorplan anchor for any Chevy dealer unlucky enough to have one allocated to him.

All of this would be bad enough if the competition had been standing still since 2009 when the last G8 GXP was sold. They haven’t been. The main antagonist, Dodge’s SRT-8 Charger, now stuffs a 6.4 liter Hemi under the hood of a much more visually compelling package, whomping out 470 horsepower and screaming from zero-to-sixty nearly a full second faster than the SS. Extend that distance to a quarter mile, and the SS fares no better — 13.5 for the SS versus 12.6 for the Charger. It’s hard to see anybody but a true Bowtie fanatic opting for the SS over the SRT.

What does the future hold for the big GM Performance sedan? Take a quick look on third-party classified sites, where dealers are already advertising prices three to four thousand dollars beneath MSRP for a car that was just released last week. Compare that to another new for 2014 model, the Mercedes-Benz CLA, which dealers can’t keep on the lot at MSRP and above. Apples to oranges, yes, but just look at the difference in the advertising strategy. Super Bowl ads, Kate Upton, Willem Dafoe for the baby-baby Merc. For the Big Chevy? Nada.

I’d love to have the chance to have a candid, off-the-record conversation with somebody, hell, anybody at GM about what the thought process was behind the SS. Are they just trying to spread out the Commodore R&D budget? Is this some empty suit’s crusade? Why has there been NO advertising push behind this car? Are they so afraid to fail on a grand scale that they’ve decided to do the automotive equivalent of a direct-to-video release?

Believe me, as a former G8 owner, I want this car to succeed. Apparently, I want it to succeed even more than GM does. Unfortunately, I don’t have too much to say about the matter. When the biggest Bowtie sedan disappears from showrooms at the beginning of the 2015 model year, I doubt anyone will even notice.

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216 Comments on “Bark’s Bites: The Chevrolet SS Is Embarrassing Itself At A Dealer Near You...”


  • avatar
    Truckducken

    SS = car version of SSR? Like ‘Bark’, I also don’t understand why this product exists.

    The Impala, on the other hand: unbelievably good.

    • 0 avatar
      Easton

      I was really pissed off that GM was screwing us Canadians out of this car. But, it appears they are taking the same strategy with this car as they are with their new trucks: Price the vehicle higher than the competition to give people the impression it is a “premium” product and then blame someone else when those high prices drive all your former customers to the competition. Brilliant strategy for success!

      (This is coming from a former GM fan who now owns a Ram 1500.)

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      Impala cool? Good Grief

  • avatar
    Hummer

    I wish they would have tried with this car, put the 6.2 to work, and offer the 7.0. Would help a whole lot.

    Oh and get rid of the gotderned electric park brake.

  • avatar

    “Are they just trying to spread out the Commodore R&D budget?”

    More than likely…

    Comparing it to the Impala is apples to oranges with one being a V6 front driver and the other a V8 Rear drive. At this point, the SS also represents the ONLY V8 rear drive sedan you can buy from ANY GM division.

  • avatar
    FJ60LandCruiser

    Okay… so we rebadge a RWD Aussie sedan, put a huge V8 into it, give it a slow transmission, and boring Chebby styling… what else is there to do? Oh, yes, price it at 45k in BMW, Benz, Audi territory which also competes against Buicks and Cadillacs. Just to be sure that everyone is aware how awesome this car is, don’t advertise it–whatever you do DON’T advertise it.

    Brilliant. I’m sure that these will sell by the thousands.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      This is not a car that any ‘normal’ buyer would want. Advertising doesn’t change that. The people who want it already know about it, and those that don’t, won’t–regardless how much you try to sell it.

      This car is doomed to fail, and it’s hard to blame them for not throwing more money down that pit.

      • 0 avatar
        Easton

        I don’t think that’s entirely true. i think a lot of people in my demographic (early 30’s, professional, mid-high income earners) who first learn of a great car through advertising. And, even those of us who are already in the know through magazines and websites like this like to see our new pride and joy being advertised and being able to point to one in a print ad or on TV and say, “I have one of those.”

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      FJ60 –

      “BMW, Benz and Audi territory”? OK.

      That territory is known better as the 5-series, E-class and A6. All are sized similarly to the SS. If you want a 400-hp V8 in the BMW or Mercedes, you’re looking at at least $70,000. If you want a V8 powered Audi, you’re looking at an A8.

      The six-cylinder versions of these cars will all sticker easily for a minimum $55,000 – 60,000, and the SS will destroy any of them performance-wise.

      This is a bad deal? I don’t think so.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      FJ60Landcruiser
      “put a huge V8 in It” It come with a V8 as a normal option in Australia.

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    I suspect the process involved putting zero priority on a car that their political bagmen were going to be embarrassed about. Likely, it was sabotaged by same to help ensure no more American performance sedans are planned for the future.

    • 0 avatar
      KixStart

      … political bagmen…

      Right. It’s all because of the political bagmen. Because before the economy was saved by the Obama Administration (with GM as collateral salvation), “political-bagmen-free” GM made such goooood decisions.

      • 0 avatar
        Landcrusher

        They did make good decisions before they were full of bagmen. That was before you were born. They even made a lot of good decisions at times when they were chock full of the free loaders. There are no guarantees, not even from government. Ask a few vets about government guarantees sometime.

    • 0 avatar
      Sam P

      “no more American performance sedans are planned for the future.”

      Chrysler didn’t get the memo; despite being owned by Fiat the Hemi Chargers and 300Cs are unabashedly American.

    • 0 avatar
      Vega

      Yeah, cause there is no advertisement for 7l Camaros and 500hp Corvettes. Or does your perceived government conspiracy only extend to performance SEDANS?
      I think your tinfoil hat is sitting a bit tight…

      • 0 avatar
        racer-esq.

        Exactly, selling a 323 HP Camaro for $23K is not the best way to get performance cars away from the masses.

        In addition to the refreshed Camaro and new Corvette GM has a new full-size pickup line, a new mid-size pickup line and a new full-size BOF SUV line.

        But yeah, the GM is being politically steered to get everyone out of large and/or performance cars.

      • 0 avatar
        Landcrusher

        Why not start with the sedans? Then, as soon as the Camaro has weak sales, you go after it to.

        Do you guys have zero idea how these people work? If you are expecting consistency you aren’t paying attention.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          Landcrusher, enjoy your basement shelter and all those surplus MREs.

          Out here in the real world, Treasury is trying to sell its remaining shares by the end of the year, and GM just blew a fortune on 1) an all-new sports car which gives arguably the best bang for the buck in the world and 2) an all-new full-size truck platform.

          • 0 avatar
            bomberpete

            The Treasury Dept. couldn’t give a damn about the SS. The only political “conspiracy” is the one within GM by Dan Akerson to get Mary Barra as his replacement CEO instead of Mark Reuss, the “performance guy.”

            If SS is portrayed by Akerson as a failure, he has the pleasure of sidelining the second top Reuss at GM. When that happens, I suspect we’ll have a better idea of how the wheels really turn at RenCen.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            Not every cynic is a tin foil hat wearer. GM, and all the big auto makers have a love hate with Washington which should not exist. They shouldn’t have to spend time and energy figuring out what will keep Washington happy or how to lobby for advantages or ensure that Uncle Sugar will back stop them.

            Unfortunately, that’s not the world we live in. Ignore it or disregard it if you want to, but I have done business with GM and Ford and many other big companies as well as the government. GM and Ford had several departments that might as well have been federal government departments for how they acted. Hell, the nineties USPS was more mission oriented than many of the GM and Ford Departments and less hampered by idiot shop bosses.

            Just because they occasionally make decisions that keep the lights on, don’t get confused. They are still worried about what their masters in Washington think every damn day.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        Maybe because they are built in the US, talking about conspiracies.

  • avatar
    morbo

    Some marketing moron convinced the RenCen suits that the ‘brand’ need ‘authenticity’ to appeal to millennials or some such crock. While there is a grain of truth to needing people to feel passion for your brand, the goal is to make that passion cost effective. Ford does it by making halo $60K Mustangs every so often (Cobras, SVT’s Shelby’s etc.). Then proceeds to sell 98% of the Mustang production at cost or slight profit, while selling a bunch more Focus’, Fusions’, and F-150’s to people that come in looking at Mustangs. Chrysler does it by constantly spitting out LX variants and building a small number of presumably highly unprofitable Vipers that at least represent genuine engineering advances utilized later downstream in production cars.

    The SS is not a variant of a profitable mainline car, does nothing to advance GM engineering, nor can be made profitable by selling a decontented mainline version. I really think someone in RenCen (Bob or Bob’s heir) sees Shelby Mustangs and SRT-8s and says, “Where’s ours?’, without realizing Ford and Chrysler had an actual plan behind building those.

    Of course they have a presumably profitable or near profitable Camaro that could make use of crazy engineering advancements and/or decontented prole versions, but that would make sense. Why GM wastes engineering dollars on this, without at least planning some way to utilize that investment, is beyond me.

    • 0 avatar

      Only thing I can see is this scenario:

      — The Holden Whatevermobile has been designed with US in mind since they had to put the GTO’s Gas tank in the trunk. So, there’s a platform just sitting there….
      — They’re already importing it for fleets as the Caprice Police Car.
      — There’s a (hypothetical) hole in the lineup for a RWD v8 sedan since the the ’96 Impala went out of production, filled for a time by the Pontiac G8.

      Harsh reality: The retail market for these things is tiny, GM has #’s from 2004 on to prove it, and they didn’t listen to them.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        “The Holden Whatevermobile has been designed with US in mind since they had to put the GTO’s Gas tank in the trunk. So, there’s a platform just sitting there”

        Already exists as a sedan in Australia.

    • 0 avatar
      bryanska

      “the ‘brand’ need ‘authenticity’ to appeal to millennials or some such crock.”

      LOVE IT. So true. Lose money? No problem! We’ve successfully launched an “authentic” campaign (not product) so we’ve done our job.

    • 0 avatar

      Hey morbo…

      GM does it by making halo Camaros, Cadillacs and Corvettes every so often (ZL1, COPO, ZR1, Z06, V Series), then proceeds to sell 98% of the Camaro, Cadillac and Chevy production at a profit, while selling a lot more Impalas, Malibus, Cruzes, ATS’s, SRX’s and Cruzes to people coming in looking for Camaros.

      Don’t let your GM hatred blind you from the facts…

      • 0 avatar
        morbo

        I do hate me some GM, that is true. But the current Camaro doesn’t share many if any mechanicals with other vehicles, and I don’t see how it’s profitable. The current Mustang (as a similar example of one-off platform production) dates back to DEW98 Lincoln/Jag/TBird, so it’s dev and tooling costs were paid off a long time ago. GM spent a lot of money on the modern Camaro platform, but where’s the payback for those dev costs? Unless they intend to keep the Camaro emchanicals unchanged for 20 years (which is a possability and fitting historically for GM), it’s a waste of cash.

        I didn’t include Corvette because that does represent engineering advancement (DI V8’s, advanced material construction, etc.) for all of GM, so I can see the logic in building unprofittable Vette’s: you get the payback in advancements for your other products plus the ‘brand’ building it brings.

        • 0 avatar

          Camaro was developed on the same platform as this SS (Holden Commodore) which is paid for and is profitable. With over 80,000 Camaro’s sold per year since it’s inception, the tooling has long since been paid for. The Australians still want V8 rear wheel drive cars (unlike us – not me – in the US) so development was necessary. We just reaped the benefits.

          And don’t assume Corvette’s don’t make money…

          • 0 avatar
            morbo

            No vehicle platform is profitable at 80K annum. You need 80% capacity utilization just to break even typically, which in a modern 250k/annum factory amounts to 165k+ annum. Commodores in their various guises (Caprices, Statesmans, Camaros) don’t sell enough to payback tooling dev. It works for Ford because they ride their platforms forever (Fox body / Panther love). Again, unless GM is going to keep the Camaro mechanicals unchanged for 20 years, it’ll never payback dev costs.

            Australians nor Americans want rear wheel drive V8s. If they did they would be made in greater volume. The masses have spoken. Camry’s, Accord’s, Escapes, and Jeeps are where the dev money is going. GM would be wise to follow the leaders here.

            That was exactly why I bought my ’11 300C, it is one of the last of a noble but dying breed. I’ll most likely have to go German for my next car in 2021 because of that, unless Marchionne can spread next LX dev costs across all his brands.

          • 0 avatar

            Based on your logic then morbo, almost every Chrysler Car/SUV and most transplant vehicles are unprofitable. It is obvious you don’t really understand automotive manufacturing. I can assure you that there are very few unprofitable vehicles out there and not a lot of them run 165K/year.

            Ford ditched the Fox body back in ’95 and do you realize that the only thing leftover from that platform at the time was the floor pan? Programs DO NOT have to run for 20 years to make a profit. These days ROI’s are ALWAYS less than 18 months! You can’t drag it out or you will die.

          • 0 avatar
            Les

            Americans DO want RWD V-8s.

            Why do you think F-150s sell so well? :)

        • 0 avatar
          tooloud10

          Wait, what? The Camaro doesn’t share many mechanicals with other vehicles…isn’t the volume seller a Camaro V6 6AT that possesses pretty much the same drivetrain as my base ’12 Chevy Impala?

          Isn’t that the same 3.6 engine/6-speed auto tranny combo that’s in pretty much the entire GM lineup at this point?

  • avatar

    Well said. Expensive, under-performing white elephant.

    This reeks of GM “culture”. Somebody Green-lit this thing with a fabricated business case (“Amoritze the development! I’m a Genius!”) and every else “supported” it as a game to embarrass the pooh-bah.

    Glad they don’t have to ship this turd from halfway across the world to see it languish on the lot. Oh wait…

    So, 2004 GTO-style, what’s everyone’s over/under on what the final price on these things will be when they finally need to move the last one in 2015? I’ll bet you can get one OTD under $30k by then.

  • avatar
    AMC_CJ

    I think the Pontiac looked far better…..

    I just really don’t get this car. I think the bureaucrats that run GM now were trying to throw one to the “enthusiast” crowd, and on the cheap. By cheap, I mean cheap for them; obviously not the consumers. When this first emerged, I thought this would be a less-than-$30,000 car, which would of been awesome!

    If you want a car that nobody else is going to ever have, this is the one to buy. Special in it’s own right…… and still crappy enough and overpriced I don’t even think that reason can be justified.

    • 0 avatar

      I’d wager it will be < 30k when it finally slouches towards oblivion in a few years. Wait if you want one for (::rubs crystal ball::) December of 2015.

      I bought my 04 GTO in December 2004 at 10k off MSRP. This will be the same, though they *seem* like they're controlling supply better this time.

  • avatar
    bachewy

    So the near disaster and bailout didn’t teach GM much it seems.

  • avatar
    racer-esq.

    Using this for NASCAR, instead of the Camaro, Malibu or Impala, is incredibly stupid.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      Camaro , Malibu and Impala are made in Canada or the US, the last two are FWD, the first on a shortened version of the SS.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        A Camry is FWD also, as is a Fusion, but that’s the brands Toyota and Ford drive at NASCAR. Remember, they are spec racers with faux shells. They have zilch in common with their street brethren.

        Malibu or Impala would have made way more sense.

        • 0 avatar
          racer-esq.

          Exactly. Win on Sunday sell on Monday only works with a car that actually has a chance of being a sales success.

          Only 15% of NASCAR fans make over $100,000, but GM is using NASCAR to promote a $50K car, instead of one of its cars that start in the $20s?

  • avatar
    kosmo

    As noted, at the price and performance, there is just no justification for this car over a Dodge Charger or Chrysler 300.

  • avatar
    schmitt trigger

    “Are they so afraid to fail on a grand scale that they’ve decided to do the automotive equivalent of a direct-to-video release?”

    That sentence just nailed it. Much like the film producer who sees the director’s final cut and exclaims a sincere Oh s**t!!

  • avatar
    anti121hero

    Should of called it the caprice, made it less about performance and cheaper and I could name many people that would love to own one

    • 0 avatar
      mechimike

      Ding. Nailed it. And while you’re at it, add in the V6 as an option? You know, for those of us for whom an 8 second 0-60 is plenty quick, and like getting 30 mpg, but prefer RWD? Hell, as much as I hate to admit it, the lack of a manual isn’t even a deal-killer; these days the take on manny trannies is like 2%. Even on so-called “enthusiast” cars.

      Of course I’d love a V6 manny tranny one. With 5 gears, please. I like being able to find 4th.

      GM styling really phoned it in on this one. Blech. Why couldn’t they have simply rebadged the G8 as a Chevrolet?

      • 0 avatar
        snakebit

        “GM styling really phoned it in on this one. Blech. Why couldn’t they have simply rebadged the G8 as a Chevrolet?”

        For the (well, first)time, stop reading my mind. How expensive could it have been to just give us a G8 with SS emblems. Would have been one instance of badge engineering I would have approved of. And why is this machine now 10K more than a G8, someone please tell me.

        Hear of the expression, ‘a camel is a horse that was designed by a committee’? This is the automotive equivalent. Not new and improved, just more expensive.

        • 0 avatar
          ponchoman49

          Well 2009 was nearly 6 years ago. Every sedan I can think of, especially specialty performance ones have risen substantially the past 6 years. The SS is not the exact same car as the G8. For one the interior is vastly superior. Two the SS comes with a greater level of equipment and tech which ding…costs more money. The lack of a manual in a sedan today is no real big deal as it would probably only make up about 2-3% of sales and we all know that was the real reason for the tone of this article. I bet Chevy will sell each and every one of them!

          • 0 avatar
            mechimike

            Agreed on the manny tranny take rate, which is why I didn’t claim it was as huge a deal as the author does. High tech? Meh. I think the market’s pretty mixed on that. Do consumers want more tech in their cars, and manufacturers are providing it, or are manufacturers putting more tech in cars so they can make more profit and consumers are stuck with it? Yes, I’m old fashioned, but even put on my “normal person” glasses I can’t see much pent up demand for i-Drive like systems and overly complex HVAC/Nav/radios. Near;y every modern rental car I’ve had gets them wrong. So very, very wrong. To the point where I purposely try to rent the most basic car on the lot simply to get controls that function logically and that I can work while driving.

          • 0 avatar
            APaGttH

            To your point, when you do the math, the 2014 SS is 11% more than a “base” 2009.5 GXP.

            Inflation from 2009 to 2013 (non-CPI) is about 9%. The price premium is 2% for vastly more content and better interior materials. People seem to forget a G8 GXP was $40K with no options (manual and sunroof being the only ones, dealer added rear park assist technically the third).

            People also seem to conveniently forget that a 2009.5 G8 GXP non-salvage sells for about 70% to 75% of sticker five years later.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        “GM styling really phoned it in on this one. Blech. Why couldn’t they have simply rebadged the G8 as a Chevrolet?”

        G8 (GXP) owner here. This car’s interior is light-years ahead of the G8’s. The G8’s was an embarrassment in 2009 and 20 years behind the curve today.

        The tone of this article would be 180 degrees different if there had been a manual option on the SS. All of this is nothing more than complaining because it’s auto-only.

        • 0 avatar
          redav

          I don’t think so. There’s the complaint about price, too.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            If you can find a 400-hp RWD sport sedan for a lot less than $45,000, just let me know where.

            (Hint: you won’t. That money is the opening ante in this niche.)

        • 0 avatar
          APaGttH

          G8 GT owner here and disagree. The interior was not 20 years behind the times on the G8 (color infotainment screen for starters).

          Compared to what it replaced, the Grand Prix and Bonneville, it was a well executed interior, Completely agree the SS is much better.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    The other advantage that Dodge has is that you can buy a V6 Charger and get some of the mystique at a lower price. (Just like you could with the G8 which came in V6, regular V8, and high performance V8 versions.) Hell a regular non-SRT Charger isn’t much slower than the Chevy SS for less coin.

    Chevrolet Fanboys rejoice, the rest of us will go back to whatever we were doing.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      For comparison sake, my 2013 Charger R/T ran a 13.7 at 102 in the quarter, 2 tenths behind what the SS apparently does. Chargers with options similar to the one I had trade new around the $36k mark. And it definitely looks more appealing. Even if the Charger styling is too loud for you, the 300C V8 with a really really nice interior still trades for less than the SS.

      • 0 avatar
        ponchoman49

        The 5 second 13.5 1/4 time are conservative GM estimates. Expect real 0-60 times to be around the 4.5 second mark and 13 or less 1/4 mile times. Dodge did the same thing with the new 8 speed Charger with the 3.6 saying it does 0-60 around 7.2 seconds. Well I can say that any broken in 8 speed Charger V6 that I have driven does that run in closer to 6.4 to 6.6 seconds. Why does nobody get this?

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          You state this like it’s some kind of rule. It’s not.

          We can only go by the numbers published so far, and so far, the consensus seems to be the SS will do 0-60 in about 5 seconds, and the 1/4 in the low 13s. Is 0.5 second worth 10 grand over a similarly equipped competitor? I think the market will answer that one for us with “nuh uh”.

          • 0 avatar
            APaGttH

            I’ve posted below – when I got my G8 GT, before axle backs or CAI, with AFM electronically disabled, I ran 5.01 0 to 60 (not a rolling drag race start) and the 1/4 in 13.357 at 105.85 MPH. On stock rubber. DA was awesome admittedly and I was at 85 feet above sea level. Official times measured at Bremeton Motorsports Park, time slips published. I’m no drag racing expert – someone well trained would have gotten better 60 foot time and a faster run.

            This is with less HP, torque, and about the same weight, and smaller rear rubber.

            Just sayin’

      • 0 avatar
        th009

        Both Charger and 300 styling is too far in the bling territory (and not enough windows) for me.

  • avatar
    Mr Mk3

    GM has clearly learned from their mistakes. The G8 was obviously too cheap, too boldly styled, and too marketed. Correcting all this should literally sell hundreds of these things. But seriously GM, we’ve already seen this movie.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    The SS is a compliance car. It’s a concession to the Australians, who provided subsidies to Holden with the expectation that GM would make an effort to export cars.

    GM isn’t very serious about it, as there is no market for it. Even at the high price point, it won’t be a profitable car.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      Now you are going to rile up the Australians again. I can already see it now; “Rabble rabble, diesel powered midsized pickup, rabble, the US market is the most protected in the universe, rabble, Alan Muallay sucks, rabble rabble rabble!”

    • 0 avatar
      Mr Mk3

      Good to hear that a company saved by my tax dollars is wasting money selling an unprofitable car nobody wants to appease a foreign government.

    • 0 avatar

      Pretty much nailed it. If GM really had its way, you wouldn’t see this car OR the Caprice PPV. For cops, it’d be nothing but Tahoes and Impalas (and I wonder how hard the guys at RenCen are kicking themselves for not following in Ford’s footsteps and push the Impala, Traverse and RWD Tahoe as cop cars). For the folks back in Peoria, Silverados and Camaros.

      The Commodore platform is an expensive piece from an expensive country with little to no easy ROI, not to mention the “Not Invented Here” vibe that emanates from this vehicle. At least the Charger is ostensibly homegrown. Making and selling its vaunted truck and BOF SUV line, homegrown CUVs and FWD sedans makes more economic sense (and offers far greater profits) than shuffling a red-headed Aussie stepchild from foster home to foster home.

      The enthusiasts might be happy to see a glimpse of GM’s past RWD sedan glory, but they’re not gonna bite for a brand-new SS. Come 2015, this car will be gone and the next time you see the SS badge, it’ll be an appearance package on an Impala, as GM wished it was in the first place.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        @John Williams
        “ROI, not to mention the “Not Invented Here” vibe that emanates from this vehicle.”

        Got it in one. Unless it is made here we will not promote it.
        @George B
        “GM has no reason to encourage sales volume. However, it’s not clear many people would want a SS even if it was executed better.

        In contrast, the C7 Corvette achieves much better balance between heritage and new technology in a much more attractive car.”

        The Corvette is not a 4 door sedan, different vehicle. You got te motive why they are not promoting it right.

    • 0 avatar
      tresmonos

      Their argument will be: It wouldn’t have taken much to appease the .05% of the internet that likes midsized diesel pickup/brown station wagons.

      But what is the point? I would be willing to bet that pursuing any powertrain complexity was a capital req that ended up being too rich for such a low volume vehicle.
      GM must approve nameplates with their board members after they get bombed at Slows or Comet Burger. I will never understand their niche, half baked halo nameplates.

    • 0 avatar
      George B

      Pch101 wrote: “GM isn’t very serious about it, as there is no market for it. Even at the high price point, it won’t be a profitable car.”

      Agreed. The price is too high and the styling is too weak for customers who wanted an updated to the 21st century RWD 60s-style Impala, but the cost of production in Australia makes it unprofitable. Since it’s unprofitable, GM has no reason to encourage sales volume. However, it’s not clear many people would want a SS even if it was executed better.

      In contrast, the C7 Corvette achieves much better balance between heritage and new technology in a much more attractive car.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “The price is too high”

        What’s funny is that the price will be lower in the US than in Australia, and Aussie enthusiasts are unhappy that the Yanks are getting a better deal. That gives you an idea of how distorted the Australian market is.

    • 0 avatar
      morbo

      That… is the most logical explanation for why GM would make this car. It’s a bridge to closing the Australian factory.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        @Morbo,
        “That… is the most logical explanation for why GM would make this car. It’s a bridge to closing the Australian factory.”

        Got nothing to do with it. Been making this car for several years, updated models though.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    I pertty much agree with the premise here, a car with genuine potential that GM refused to market correctly. I do like the way it looks, it’s a pretty good looking car. Not all that striking as a $44K should be, but it’s nice.

    If they had pitted it squarely in the Charger R/T market, it would stand a chance, as the value package more closely matches that car. At 44K versus the SRTs, not a chance. The fact that GM isn’t even marketing it suggests they feel the same way.

  • avatar
    Type57SC

    Actually, the move to not market it might be the smartest thing they’ve done. It looks very 2004 GM. I hope they don’t push these on dealers. It would be kind of cool for it to be a special order for those in the know (and insane), and built to order. The weeks on the water kind of damps that appeal, but it is the only approach that makes sense to me.

    A youtube video with Elwood talking about cop tires, cop suspension, cop motor might move the needle for this thing too.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      “I hope they don’t push these on dealers.”

      They won’t.

      http://www.edmunds.com/car-news/2014-chevrolet-ss-dealer-allocation-will-be-limited.html

      • 0 avatar
        Type57SC

        Good to hear. Interesting that the lead time is 5 months. scratch the BTO then.

        <2000 units a year seems not even worth the administrative costs of bringing this car over and into dealers. At least they seem realistic about the volumes. strange decision to go with this though.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          Political conservatives in Australia want to believe that Holden can be saved with an export program. These sales are a concession to them (and their ignorance of the global car market.)

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Pach101,
            “These sales are a concession to them (and their ignorance of the global car market.)
            Try selling the Malibu, Corvette, Camaro worldwide, the SS sales will look great. I forgot they already sell the Camaro and Corvette worldwide and the sales are dreadful.

    • 0 avatar
      SC5door

      “Built to order”.

      Problem is there are very few options, including colors.

      Only interior color is black, exterior is limited to white, silver, black, red and a greenish grey.

      Options are a sunroof and a full size spare tire. No tire choice, no wheel choices.

      If you’re going to custom order, then the Charger is the way to go, plenty of ways to customize that car.

  • avatar
    segfault

    Yes, the price is within spitting distance of a Corvette, but the SS is much more practical, and the SS only comes fully loaded with equipment that is probably optional on the Vette.

  • avatar
    jgcaulder

    I saw it this past weekend at the new car auto fair here in Charlotte. There wasn’t too much fan fare for it, and it blended in with the Impala and the Malibu which were sitting right next to it. The “SS” name is awful. They could have at least used an old school name or came up with something new instead of naming it after a performance trim package that many other models have offered. GM sucks royally when it comes to their special, over-priced performance rides, with the Vette as the the exception to the rule.

    • 0 avatar

      “Chevelle” has a nice ring to it. Plenty of heritage behind it, too.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        No go, GM hates it’s heritage.

        • 0 avatar
          Dubbed

          But its called SS. I guess their absolutely no heritage in that name. None what so ever.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Cherry picking the SS trim package for a model name doesn’t mean much. GM as a corporation hates its heritage, I’m truly surprised the Impala name was reused the last time around.

          • 0 avatar
            bomberpete

            There is if you miss the days of nasty German guys in long leather trench coats.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          I don’t know how much GM really hates its heritage – the only division that has truly abandoned its “old school” nomenclature is Cadillac. Let’s face it – “XTS Brougham D’Elegance” is a dog that ain’t gonna hunt. I’d love to see them do an Eldorado, though.

          Chevy lots are still chock full of Camaros, Corvettes, Suburbans, Malibus and Impalas. Buick still makes a Regal, and if they ever do a luxury coupe, you can bet your last buck on it being a Riviera.

          Some nameplates are worth keeping, and others deserve to be forgotten. As far as “SS” is concerned, it always meant genuine performance cred, and it does on this car too. Good for them, I say.

  • avatar
    Lightspeed

    Did I not say that Chevey’s goal with this car was a self-fulfilling prophecy of, “See, this is why North Americans don’t deserve nice things.” Not that it’s particularly nice.

  • avatar
    That guy

    http://wot.motortrend.com/1311_chevrolets_fitzpatrick_hotter_chevrolet_ss_variants_could_come.html

    Per Motortrend, if the SS sells well (3000 units a year was the target), we could get more variants. I’m holding out hope that a manual will be offered at the base price, that would put it above the SRT cars for me.

  • avatar
    rpol35

    This is not the first time GM has been saddled with a muddled, mixed marketing message or poorly thought-through product differentiation; and it is very unfortunate in this case because the SS has such great potential and there has been a bit of a drought at GM for RWD performance, say compared to Mopar.

    There are probably several things that are driving this issue, including a life line to Holden, amortize out completely the Commodore and/or the desire to create an upscale model above the Impala (W-body) before the new Impala was realized.

    I would think a down-scaled version with a reasonable price tag may have made more sense so there is no competiton with the Impala or CTS. It could have been placed as a four-door Camaro. Undeniably, the problem with currency exchange rates exacerbates the price point issue. I don’t know if anyone else recalls, but I thought Chevrolet indicated that they were going to move production of the SS to the U.S. in the third model year (I thought I read that here on TTAC). Seems unlikely now if Holden is planning to covert the Commodore to FWD.

    I too fear that the SS/Commodore will go down the “commodemore” in two or three short model years and end up as another forgotten GTO/Monaro or unrealized G8/Commodore.

  • avatar
    Dubbed

    My my goodness gracious me. Chevy can’t win period. On this very site so many commentors said they loved the G8. They say that car didn’t get what it deserved and it died to soon. What does GM do. They bring back the top spec model of the G8, the GXP version, and price about the same that car was priced at. How many GXP were sold in America for the 2009 model year about 1800.

    GM is so stupid for this.

    Chevy has been saying for so long that this car would sell to a very limitef niche. A very small one. Why is everyone freaking out over this fact. GM has said they expect about 2000-3000 sales a year. Nothing more.

    The thing with advertising is easy to explain. They expect low sales so why bother I guess their thinking. Especially since they are dealing with the advertising for the new pickups, the CTS and Corvette. Lets not forget GM has a wonderful habit of allowing certain cars to fall through the cracks when they have bigger more important ones coming out.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      The freakout wouldn’t exist if the car were offered with a manual. That was a marketing mistake on Chevy’s part. It would have completely changed the reception of the car, even the automatic car.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Bark, are you really saying that a buyer who wants a big V8 muscle sedan would be tempted away from the SS by a smaller 2.0T CTS (the only one even remotely close to the SS’s price)?

    I don’t think so.

    The car Chevy has to be worried about is down the street at the Dodge dealer, not across the lot at Cadillac.

    Also, any actual evidence this car is slower than an automatic G8 GXP? Same engine, same transmission, same weight (more gewgaws offset by aluminum panels).

    • 0 avatar
      Bark M.

      Obviously the Charger is the main competition for this car, not that the SS will do anything like “compete” with the Charger.

      My point was that the unsophisticated, small town GM dealer would have a tough time convincing its customer to spend Cadillac money on a Chevy when there are actual Cadillacs to be had for similar (CTS) or less (ATS) money.

      • 0 avatar
        sunridge place

        Competition is really the Charger SRT8. You should spend about 30 seconds researching how many of those are built/sold each year then get back to us.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        This is not a product being sold by unsophisticated dealers to unsophisticated consumers.

        This is a product being sold in small volumes, by dealers who already sell more Chevy performance cars than the average dealer, to customers who know exactly what they want.

        It competes against the Charger SRT8 and possibly the Taurus SHO. Against the Charger, it has less power, but it also has better steering and handling and lighter weight. The G8 GXP won all its comparos with the old Charger SRT8. The new Charger has more power and a much nicer interior, but the chassis is more or less the same. The SS also has a much nicer interior than the GXP, so that’s a wash.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “Obviously the Charger is the main competition for this car”

        This car isn’t competing with anything. It’s a compliance car that is not intended to be sold in high volume. GM will not make any money on this car; it can’t command a price that is high enough to make it profitable.

        If GM was serious about this car, then it would be built on the Camaro line here in North America, and exported globally, including back to Australia. But as it stands, its main purpose is to provide a quid pro quo to the South Australian and Australian governments in exchange for subsidies.

        “My point was that the unsophisticated, small town GM dealer would have a tough time convincing its customer to spend Cadillac money on a Chevy”

        Annual volumes will probably be less than the total number of dealers, and the allocation will be going to dealers based upon their Corvette and Camaro sales. The small town dealerships won’t even see this car.

        • 0 avatar
          Bark M.

          My small town dealership has one, as does the dealership in the next small town over. They will rot there or get dealer traded.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            About half of the nation’s 3,000 Chevrolet dealerships will get to sell the 2014 SS. GM plans to launch the Australia-built rear-wheel-drive car late this year…

            …At least for the first model year, SS distribution will be concentrated in areas that have had strong sales of Chevy’s other rwd sports cars, the Camaro and Corvette, says Russ Clark, Chevrolet’s marketing director for performance cars. Those include large metro areas in the Northeast, Florida, California, Texas, Michigan and Illinois…

            …SS distribution will be limited mostly because the car will be imported and sold in low volumes. GM North America President Mark Reuss has said he would be pleased with annual sales of about 3,000 to 5,000. That’s less than one-quarter of the expected sales of the new Corvette.

            http://www.autonews.com/article/20130826/RETAIL/308269996

  • avatar
    doctor olds

    I saw the first SS in the flesh under a dealers lighting last night and was amazed at how different it looks from the G8/last gen Commodore, and how good it looks. Photos don’t do it justice. I still prefer the G8’s looks, but SS has the same stance. It is an incredible car. Experience with Commodore SV6 proved it a great driving car, and this just has better chassis, brakes and engine. Chevrolet will sell every one they can get.

    Local Chevrolet Dealer has lots of vehicles in the $35K-$55K range so the $46K SS fits right in, price wise. It offers exceptional performance per dollar.

    • 0 avatar
      Bark M.

      Then why are they already offering as much as ten percent off of MSRP?

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        A loaded 415-hp RWD performance car for forty grand?

        And you’re complaining?

        I don’t get it. If you owned a G8, as you said you did, then you know what this car is – it’s an updated G8 GXP. Did you drive that one? I did, automatic and all, and there was NOTHING wrong with that car. It was an absolute blast.

        If it sells, great. If not, we’ll be able to pick one up in a couple of years cheap. GM won’t go back into bankruptcy because of this car. Worst case, it’ll end up a cult favorite, like the original Impala SS or the G8.

        • 0 avatar
          Bark M.

          Nobody’s complaining. Just stating that this car is DOA.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            I guess not being overly optimistic about sales figures is complaining.

            The only real complaints I’m hearing so far is that the price is too high. Looks are subjective, so they don’t count. I don’t think many here (if any) have driven it, so not much to complain about there.

            Once I get a chance, I’ll make sure to let everyone know my complaints though.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Came out like a rant to me, but I appreciate the explanation.

  • avatar
    sunridge place

    Which 3rd party sites have these with 10% discounts?

    • 0 avatar
      Bark M.

      Search AutoTrader.com. You won’t have to look hard.

      • 0 avatar
        sunridge place

        I did…I found some dealerships in Michigan advertising the SS with the GM Employee Discount as they often do with their stock.

        I see a few of the other usual suspects who list a low price on their entire stock and put disclaimers like:

        Prices include all available factory rebates and incentives (in lieu of GM special finance rate , valid when originated from an internet advertisement, with approved credit or cash, must present the ad. Prices do not include taxes, any finance charges, any dealer documentation or other fees. All prices, specifications and availability subject to change without notice.Some installed equipment may not be included in advertised price.See dealer for most current information.

        Hardly a fire sale.

        • 0 avatar
          Bark M.

          Without getting into specific detail, I have much greater access to third party sites and pricing tools than consumers do. There’s about $1700 of markup in these cars and dealers are already listing them for less than invoice, including non-Michigan dealers (which might be the only ones who will be able to sell these things). All dealers have standard legal boilerplate like that on their internet pricing-or at least all the ones who have been sued already do.

          • 0 avatar
            sunridge place

            Without getting into specific detail, I have access to information too.

            1. Your $1700 markup includes hold back….you’re off by about $1300.

            2. Stop trying to do transaction price analysis on autotrader.com….you really look clueless when doing so.

            3. There are about 500 units in inventory….about 2000 total for the foreseeable future going to about 1000 dealers in the south, on some of the coasts, and in a couple of midwest markets. Yep, lets kick off a big marketing campaign for something that limited.

            I get it…you think that a Dancing with the Stars sponsorship will somehow lift sales of 400+ horsepower RWD sedans at $45k beyond where they really are OR you think GM should launch an entire lineup of SS’s to cover V6 and varied interiors to get a price range covering high $20k up to where the SS is priced.

            Both really dumb ideas.

          • 0 avatar
            Bark M.

            It’s your contention that a $45K car has $400 of markup? Are you sure you want to stick to that argument?

            Nobody is doing transaction price analysis. There isn’t sufficient sales data yet on the SS to do any meaningful analysis. However, I look forward to seeing what the fine folks at KBB discover.

            If doing a full range of engine and trim level options is such a terrible idea, then why has it worked so well for every other car sold in America, including the Charger (this car’s main competition) and the Camaro (this car’s platform mate)? That’s how OEMs pay for their halo models—by selling the strippers.

          • 0 avatar
            sunridge place

            You subtracted the $1300 instead of adding it…I thought you had inside info?

            Apparently you don’t when it comes to dealer margins on the SS…although you sure as heck tried to imply that you do.

            You’re also the one making pricing assumptions on a few autotrader.com listings…not me.

            Trying a full line RWD Sedan (SS) side by side with a full line RWD coupe (Camaro) would, no doubt, hurt sales of the Camaro and provide very little incremental lift between the two.

            Why do that? Please, tell us why that would be a smart move? Which plant would you build all these new SS’s in? Where would you get the capacity and how would you pay for the tooling at those volumes and that pricing?

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            MSRP (including destination) of base model: $44,470

            Invoice (including destination) of base model: $42,731

            Spread: $1,739

            Holdback (based upon Chevy’s standard 3% of MSRP): $1,334

            There are no incentives at this time.

            A car sold at MSRP would gross $3,073.

          • 0 avatar
            Bark M.

            You said my $1700 included holdback. It did not. Perhaps you were just guilty of wording it badly.

            Pch’s numbers are correct, assuming that the car would sell the first day on the lot.

            Again, Dodge sells the Challenger right next to the Charger. When I was shopping for Challengers approximately a year and a half ago, I wasn’t cross shopping Chargers.

            I’m not sure what your need to argue over this is.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        Tell me a Chevrolet model that doesn’t show discounts online. Every Chevy model I looked up on AutoTrader had listings 10% below MSRP, and that includes a Camaro ZL1 convertible.

        I don’t disagree with your main point, but its not like the SRT8 is selling over MSRP. Chrysler 300s are listed at over 10% off MSRP as well.

        • 0 avatar
          Bark M.

          Yes, but the SRT-8 isn’t a brand new model that has been out for less than a week. Chevy dealers can smell a roach from a mile away. They know this car is showroom poison.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I agree that it is showroom poison. Its like the MkIV or MkV R32. Loved by enthusiasts, sat on the lots almost a year, sold new for a huge loss, and then resold at the same price after 45K miles.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        Perhaps the midwest is different.

        I just searched Autotrader for my area, the Pacific Northwest. There are two SSs available in the entire region, both at dealers in the further-away corners of the Seattle metro area. One is listed with a $10,000 ADM (!) and the other is listed at MSRP.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          I will admit that I am spoiled when it comes to pricing from the big three on new vehicles. Growing up, I never had an employee discount in the family, but dealers still sell almost everything under MSRP.

          When I moved to Tucson, I was suprised Ford was getting above MSRP on trucks and that VW was selling every model not named Routan at MSRP. I had to go to Phoenix to buy a GTI not marked above retail.

        • 0 avatar
          APaGttH

          Yup – I saw Good Chevrolet wanting $57.5K for their black SS with spare and sunroof. Completely out of their f-in’ minds is what I’m thinking.

          Good Chevrolet? Good to know they are so greedy so I NEVER go there.

          Discounts versus overage is going to vary by geography, The sad part – some idiot is going to buy it at $57K.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    OMG WTF 44K for a RWD performance V8 Chevy sedan with automatic only. God that’s way too much!
    But 44 large ones for a slower just as bland FWD V6 automatic only Kia is perfectly fine. This site kills me sometimes!

    • 0 avatar
      Dubbed

      Thank you

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        Completely different. That KIA is a LUXURY car NOT a performance car. KIA has NO HERITAGE to draw on. There aren’t KIA fanboys sitting around waiting for KIA to do a modern interpretation of something they built in the 60s.

        Secondly, there were plenty of people here that were piling on KIA for attempting to play in BMW/Mercedes territory just like there are plenty of folks here at TTAC that are willing to continue predicting the demise of the Hyundai Genesis/Equis as Lexus fighters.

        Just like plenty of TTAC commenters still pile on VW for the Phaeton and the hubris of a $75,000 VW. Just like plenty pile on MB for their latest FWD 4-cyl “OH LOOK I HAVE A MERCEDES” special. Just like those of us who decry BMW for trying to make the 3 series a poser 4 cyl with vinyl interior.

        I argue if GM was serious about this car it would have been the next Impala and that stretched Epsilon would not have happened. We would have a RWD Impala with available engines from V6 automatic through V8 luxury sedan to Impala SS which would be like the current Chevy SS but with available manual trans.

        Dodge/Chrysler will sell more SRT versions of the current Charger/300 platform this year than Chevy will sell of the SS before they cancel it.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          “I argue if GM was serious about this car it would have been the next Impala and that stretched Epsilon would not have happened.”

          But therein lies the problem, they aren’t serious and it shows. Pch101 is correct about the Aussie bailout money, GM has to export the Commodore in order to comply with the agreement but they clearly have no interest in doing so. Despite all of the hate, pre-bailout GM was doing things better product wise but it didn’t work. Now they will do everything wrong product wise including burying the compliance “performance” car as quickly as possible.

          Additional: I also noticed the words “KIA”, “performance”, and “luxury” were all used in a sentence together and it hurt my soul.

          • 0 avatar
            Mr Mk3

            I think it’s a bit disingenuous to say they were doing better product wise, it was quantity over quality. A pile of half baked niche vehicles, half assed unprofitable Opels on the saturn end, aging platforms, and redundancy top to bottom. Their current lineup is light years ahead of their pre-bailout stuff, and in the segments that count.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I’ll agree with you on the last point and also on the mess Saturn became but I’ll have to disagree with some of the rest. Buick was building interesting stuff at one time (SUV, van, large and small reliable sedans), now not so much. Hummer despite the hate was building products people wanted. I’m not going to get into a Pontiac thing but G8 predecessor was probably the superior product to the rehashed SS now being offered, and I’ll still take a MY09 G6 over the current Malibu.

        • 0 avatar
          Dubbed

          But it is still a $50,000 KIA. A KIA that cost $50,000. And that is with a V6.

          A $50,000 V6 equipped KIA. And then after that it isn’t even fully loaded. And it has a worse name the the Chrevolet. The Kia K900.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            To be fair, there really wasn’t many people championing the KIA. It might be a “nice” car, but it does nothing for me and likely won’t for many others either.

  • avatar
    ash78

    Is it bad to say I like it? It seems to have most of what was good about the G8, but in a more demure package. I’m never going German again, and there’s something appealing about a nice RWD V8 car with some usable space inside.

    Comparisons to the Vette are slightly skewed — I bet fewer than 10% of customers are even cross-shopping them, and even then, only by chance (ie, wealthy dealer walk-ins who say “Hey, what’s that?”).

    Better looking than anything similar from Chrysler or Caddy, IMO. Likely simpler and more reliable (with less brand baggage) than the Germans, and more interesting than anything similar from Japan.

    I’d most likely cross-shop this with a Genesis sedan.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Whatever, 10 years from now this thing is going to look choice in my garage sitting between a Genesis and a MKS.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      You like sedans I take it?

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        @28-Cars-Later, some of us still do, thank god. My next purchase will be a Big Ass Sedan (300+ hp, 100+ cu. ft. of interior room, and 15+ cubic foot trunk) before CAFE and other regulations make them dang nigh impossible to build.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      I think it’d look really good embarrassing the living hell out of any BMW 535 owner dumb enough to race it. :)

      To quote Han Solo: she may not look like much, but she’s got it where it counts, kid.

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        The 5-er was supposedly The General’s benchmark for the previous-generation Commodore/G8.

        If they’d bring this to St. Therese (sp?) and build it alongside the Camaro, with a lower-priced V6 variant for those who’d want it, this would be worth GM’s while. (Supposedly, the 3.6L V6 will move this chassis out smartly.)

  • avatar
    NoGoYo

    It would have been amusing if Chevrolet decided to call this the Impala SS, a bit of Montero/Montero Sport (two completely different vehicles) tomfoolery.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    OK, Chevrolet is going to bring a 415-hp sport sedan to the States and everyone’s bitching…because…why?

    Because it looks bland? Then it’s a Q-ship, to which I say: Praise the Lord! Line me up some unsuspecting BMW 535 owners to embarrass! Kneel to Zod!

    Because it’s expensive? Newflash: if you want a big, RWD sedan with a nasty V-8 and some moves, $45,000 is the OPENING ante. That buys you this car, a Genesis 5.0 R-spec, or 300C / Charger SRT8. That’s about it. The V8 Mercedes/BMW models that could run with the SS – the 5501 and E5550 – cost at least $30,000 more. What’s the issue?

    It won’t sell? Excellent news! That means in a couple of years I’ll be able to pick it up cheap, just like you can do with a Pontiac G8.

    This is a HIGH PERFORMANCE CAR, fellas! Who cares if Holden had to export it – it’s here, and the more fast cars we have here, the better. Rejoice!

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      From an enthusiast’s standpoint, it’s interesting and a pretty cool thing (even if it does look a bit blandtastic in Chevy guise.)

      From a business standpoint, it’s not so great. If there weren’t political pressures down in the antipodes, this car wouldn’t be offered here at all, and for good reason. It’s perfectly reasonable to point that out; this ain’t no BMW.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        @PCH101
        Obviously have not run a Business
        ” If there weren’t political pressures down in the antipodes, this car wouldn’t be offered here at all,”

        They need exports to survive. They charge large premiums to allow manufacturing in a small market, can discount to sell back to US.
        Toyota Australia has to do the same thing.
        Ok, No Manufacturing going to get importers who want to gouge, so you allow everyone in and they will settle the price.

  • avatar
    ajla

    If I was a potential Cadillac buyer I would wonder why my $55K luxury car shares the same engine with a W-body Impala “Limited” rental car (and soon a sub-Silverado pickup truck!) when for $45K (or less apparently) I can get something with a 415hp V8 that went in the Corvette.

  • avatar
    Numbers_Matching

    But who the hell is this thing intended for??

    Traditional American rwd sedan buyers are either too busy shopping for their own headstones or relegated to driving Hoverounds – to the nearest Bob Evans for that instant 1970’s TV dinner experience.

    The traditional ‘Southern-Man’ or NASCAR/musclecar types migrated to trucks YEARS ago and generally don’t care about things like advanced candy-assed ‘features’ or fancy interior stuff doo-dads.

    Too much car for the average fly-over-stater. Fly-over-staters (who still have not migrated to trucks) have fallen in love with big, comfy fwd sedans from GM – which are perfect for driving like, forever in a straight line.

    Coastals, New Englanders and Pacific NW’ers won’t even notice it – since it wears a bowtie and not a roundel/star/rings on the grill.

    I don’t think I missed anyone…so who’s gonna buy it?

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Market for this is the same as the SRT models from Chrysler – probably older, performance minded borrowers who are into old school brand heritage. Put differently, these are the same guys (and I’d say they’re pretty much all men) who would drop $100,000 for a resto-mod Camaro or Mustang if they had it. But they don’t, and they probably need something semi-practical; hence, the sedan layout.

      It’s not a huge market, but it’s there, and Chrysler’s been mining it for a long time.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      “fallen in love with big, comfy fwd sedans from GM” Like the Malibu? Big and Comfy?

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    Bark is barking way too loudly over this, for many of the legitimate reasons raised by the B&B.

    I’d just add that this is very much the exception to how GM is doing its business today, rather than the rule, and that nearly every volume manufacturer has or has recently had such non-illustrious white elephants.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Replace the gold bowtie with a gold Infiniti badge.

    I give you the 2003 I35.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      More like an M45, which always looked like the evolution of the Pontiac Catalina or perhaps a Bonneville if it had never gone FWD. (I meant visually, sorry.)

      Badge engineering would be giving us a long wheelbase version of the Commodore and calling it a Park Avenue. (Which I am all in favor of BTW.)

    • 0 avatar
      bomberpete

      My friend has one of those. Yell badge engineering all you want, but it’s a fine-driving and durable car.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        I think my comment was mistook. I was referring to the styling of the SS as similar IMO to the 03 I35. Replace the badge mentally, and they’re pretty close.

        I wasn’t talking about GM badge engineering.

  • avatar
    Atum

    There’s one at my local dealer, yet there aren’t any Stingrays. Weird.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    This vehicle is going to lose a lot of money for GM and GM doesn’t want to make this loss.

    Also, if a few of you so called experts actually read information on vehicles other than the UAW weekly newsletter or your favourite fanboi brand website you would have known that GM made a statement about 8 months ago regarding this vehicle. They are going to limit the numbers available to the US market. In other words reduce numbers imported. Why?

    Because of CAFE. Yes, like the chicken tax and all of your other socialised vehicle regulations this vehicle will not be promoted as one would have thought. The real reason might lie a little deeper, costs or loss. But GM has used the CAFE argument, this came from near the top of GM management.

    I’ve read some interesting comments about this vehicle, some of them are silly.

    Personally, as I’ve mentioned about the Chev SS I don’t know why they’ve changed from the HSV style. Maybe the cost of manufacturer is the reason. The HSV version is far better looking than the SS.

    As for Pch101(aka DiM) has made some ridiculous comments about Holden being a subsidised compliance car. WTF? Typical DiM/Pch101 remark, uneducated and full of $hit. UAW all the way ;)

    Also, the comment stating that the Commodore was designed with the US market in mind, another real insightful piece of crap.

    The comment on the diesel utes, you guys should leave your township and at least go overseas. If you haven’t or have experienced it how can you judge?

    We do experience these vehicles far more than you do and we even have V8 utes and US pickups. Maybe you should listen to us, we have a car market you can only dream of, probably the best in the world.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      GM agreed to keep building cars in Australia until 2022 per a Holden bailout agreement.

      “This partnership will see GM Holden continue making cars in Australia until at least 2022,” Ms Gillard said.

      The PM was quick to say the government funding was “not a handout”, but a “strategic co-investment”.”

      http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/national/its-a-big-golden-holden-bailout-as-julia-gillard-comes-to-the-rescue-of-motoring-giant/story-e6freuzr-1226307685399

      Since it makes little sense to continue doing so from a business standpoint, building and exporting these Commodores at a loss essentially makes them a compliance car as in compliance with the bailout.

      “The export announcement will be welcome news for Holden executives and politicians who have borne the brunt of criticism of continued government handouts to the car industry, which openly admits it would not survive without such financial assistance.

      Holden was recently promised a $275 million government “co-investment” package as part of a $1 billion-plus commitment to Australian manufacturing until at least 2022.”

      http://smh.drive.com.au/chevy-chase-over-as-holden-secures-us-export-deal-20120517-1yto7.html

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        You can count yourself among those who know more about the Aussie auto industry than some of the Aussies who post here.

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          @PPCH101,From a Person whose knowledge of the outside world is less tan zero, that is a back handed compliment.

          @28-Cars-Later
          Yes 2022, What state the US vehicle industry will be in is another question. The subprime loan fiasco is starting to try and rise again.
          Who knows what the Automotive world will look like in 2022 and what the vehicle mix in the US will be like?

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          @DiM/Pch101
          Really? Start providing links for your arguments.

          Read the link I posted below. It makes sense.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @BAF0 – Aren’t these the same A$$HAT Holden marketing directors that claimed the Chicken tax was to blame for the Holden Ute not coming to America? Of course you know there’s no Chicken tax on Aussie Utes/trucks.

            So yes, corporate mouthpieces will spout off whatever saves face. And such statements are meant for the Aussie public that don’t know any better. Of course YOU know better… Or do you??? I guess not…

            http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/08/chicken-tax-derails-u-s-success-of-holden-ute/

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Here is an interesting link that may explain what is going on now in the US with the Chev SS sales.

    Like I stated look at CAFE.

    http://news.drive.com.au/drive/motor-news/fuel-to-curb-vf-commodore-exports-20130328-2gvpe.html

    • 0 avatar
      Athos Nobile

      Now that is a good link. An argument with some traction.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        GM has a long tradition of blaming the government for its inability to sell cars. Meanwhile, it keeps losing market share to other companies that do a lot less whining.

        The full-size sedan market is on the slide in the US. The nameplate has no US pedigree (since it’s new), and it’s part of a shrinking segment. And the Chevy brand doesn’t have the clout to market a sedan in that price range.

    • 0 avatar
      MoDo

      That article is BS. They sell 90,000 camaros a year in the US, make your own assumption on how many are V8. Add the Vette in there too, oh, and all the trucks.

      Now a car built on the other side of the planet is somehow going to make them go overboard on their CAFE numbers? Laughable.

      Can’t blame the Australians for trying to justify it somehow, though.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @MoDo
        I would really like to think that also, but your take on this doesn’t seem quite correct.

        So, how much is GM making on a Camaro in comparison to the SS? If I ran a business I would want to sell more of a profitable product than not profitable.

        Because of cheaper wages in the US the Camaro would be much cheaper to produce. Common sense.

        Now, the SS isn’t for American consumer, let alone GMH. It’s for homologation purposes.

        These cars will sell enough.

        I have also read only 1 000 have been shipped into the US. Do you really need to advertise when so few are imported?

        They will sell themselves and if so few are getting to the US what will their value be down the track as a classic?

        Is it worth buying one and locking it up in the garage?

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Question. I did a Google search for 2014 Chevrolet SS review and came up with – nothing.

    I’m wondering where the 13.7 second as tested 1/4 mile time is coming from.

    I have a 9L1 Holdenized G8 GT with only a Cortex tune, Volant and axle backs – I can turn 13.3 all day long with traction being my limiting factor, With drag radials I have a 12 second car – easy.

    Just a but surprised that same weight, better rear end gears, basically the same tranny, with more HP and torque would turn slower numbers – but can’t find any test results. I’ll add that some testers of the G8 GT posted 14.1 1/4 mile times. I guess that’s possible, in Denver, on a wet track, with four people in the car, traction control off and over inflated tires.

    • 0 avatar
      Bark M.

      GM’s own reported number is 5.0 seconds 0-60 and 13.5 in the 1/4.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        You wrote…

        …LS3 to an automatic transmission that makes the SS slower in every way than the GXP was, not even cracking the five-second zero-to-sixty barrier in most tests…

        I’ve obfuscated the discussion asking about 1/4 mile times, but you say in most tests. I can’t find a single review when searching …2014 Chevrolet SS review…

        Which by the way, bolsters your position that GM is putting zero muscle behind the SS.

        What tests/reviews out there for real performance numbers on a SS? I can’t find any.

        As a G8 GT owner I can say GM quoted slower 0 to 60 and 1/4 mile times than reality.

        • 0 avatar
          Bark M.

          I pulled my digits straight from http://www.chevrolet.com. I’m sure there’s some test out there that will claim a 4.5 or some such nonsense. That’s why I said “most,” to prevent this sort of numbers bickering. :)

          • 0 avatar
            APaGttH

            So there aren’t any other tests, despite you saying there was?

            Journalistically, blog or not, not a terribly defensible position.

            Color me disappointed

          • 0 avatar
            Jack Baruth

            There are already owners doing quarter-mile times out there at dragstrips. I can’t find anybody who’s broken 13.4.

          • 0 avatar
            Bark M.

            If I hadn’t worded that way, somebody here would have found a test where somebody pulled a 4.98 and then would have moaned about that.

            Allow me to clarify: this car is slower than an SRT8 or a G8 GXP. That’s the main point.

          • 0 avatar
            MoDo

            Its not even on the same playing field as the SRT8 Mopars. Its a 5.7L Charger R/T and 300 S, 300 C competitor.

            That 5.7L is reportedly getting a bump to 415 HP in MY2015 so there you go, thanks Chevy! (for making better Mopars) lol

  • avatar
    el scotto

    Cleetus told his kids to log off the computer and go watch wrassling, or a NASCAR call-in show, or sumpin. After 3 tries of one finger typing and try to to spell “Chevrolet”; he said the hell with and typed in “Chevy”. From there he could handle “SS”. After spending his half-day at work on Saturday he stopped by the Chevrolet dealership. He looked, sat in and drove the machine of his dreams, the Chevy SS. He left a voicemail at his bank before he started his shift on Monday morning. Ole Cleetus got back in his trusty Chevy that afternoon and saw he had a voice-mail. Some loan officer at the bank left a cold message saying they were sorry to inform him but the bank doesn’t make second mortgages on trailer homes. Cleetus was devastated and it was he could do to stop the silent tears from running down his face. I can’t even afford the best Chevy sedan was all he could mumble.

  • avatar
    Tyruss

    Hi from OZ ! Seeing as you Yanks don’t appreciate REAL race cars I thought I would show you what our Holdens do on weekends in OZ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7kVwSRv3kXg

    Holden V Ford

  • avatar
    Tyruss

    oops :)

  • avatar
    MoDo

    The death knell to this car was when they announced that it wouldn’t get the new LT1 or even LS7/LS9.

    People figured for certain it was going to be bad ass with a then rumored 45-50K price point. When they said it was coming with the old LS and no six speed manual it just killed any momentum (which was already minimal) the car had.

    If this car makes it 3 years I’ll be surprised. One thing is for sure though, the dealers will literally be giving them away once they’ve been sitting around awhile.

  • avatar
    Spike_in_Brisbane

    Big Al is a proud Aussie and I applaud that being one myself but the truth about this car is pretty mundane really. Holden Commodore has been the mainstream everyman’s car for decades but volumes have continually declined due to several reasons including rising fuel costs, lowering import tariffs and the strong Aussie dollar. (Actually the weak US dollar).

    It’s always been a great car for towing the family boat, caravan or trailer because of the strong body, durable engines and RWD but that role is increasingly being lost to SUVs and CUVs with 4WD or AWD. It is increasingly irrelevant and will disappear in favour of some foreign FWD platform in a few years.

    Even here the V8, performance version like your SS is a small percentage of sales. Most have the 3.8l V6 and lower spec and price. Their performance is close to the 5-series BMW but it does not have the cachet of that roundel. Commodores have been exported for years to New Zealand, the Middle East (as Luminas) and even Samoa switched to driving on the left to import these things and Falcons.

    I don’t think they will sell any better than G8s in the USA and I suspect there is some truth to the politics behind getting an Aussie government grant. Anyway, time will tell. More variety is a good thing right?

  • avatar
    84Cressida

    This car is the perfect example why automakers should flat out ignore enthusiasts and their claims of what they should build. If I’m wanting a GM vehicle of this type, why would I spend that much money on a Chevy when I can get a Cadillac for similar coin? I’d love for Toyota to bring back the Cressida as a halo RWD sedan in the Toyota lineup, but they would have to be completely out of their mind to do that as it would interfere with Lexus.

    People forget that Chrysler can sell the SRT 300s and Chargers because there is no luxury brand to step on. Ford could probably get away with it since Lincoln is such a mess. Unless GM plans on nuking Cadillac, this car at its price point makes no sense. Price it lower and then you have it going against the Impala, and one could argue that car already has enough competition from within in the form of the Lacrosse.

    This car will not last more than two years.

  • avatar
    inodes

    It’s very easy to palm the SS off as a slight update to the G8, but it’s anything but.

    It’s more than a 90% revision, with the only thing being retained visually being the doors and some switchgear.

    Here in Australia, even the car magazines were thinking it was “same old”. The largest Australian car award (and longest running worldwide – Wheels Magazine), almost denied judging the car this year for a criteria stating = “must be significantly different from the previous model”.

    At first glance, it was a minor upgrade.

    Going beneath the surface though, the noted how massively different it was. Then they drove it.

    Apart from almost winning this year’s award (it took the seriously good Golf VII to deny it), the writers said it was a shame that GM Holden was closing shop.

    This model was said to be several generations of improvement over previous model that lent itself to the G8.


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