By on April 5, 2017

2016 Chevrolet SS - Image: GM

The Chevrolet SS is not what you’d call common. Since launching more than three years ago, only around 9,000 SSs had been sold through the end of February 2017.

There’s always been a righteous hankering for the Chevrolet SS among those in the know. Sure, the bland styling does it no favours. And at nearly $50,000, it lacks any semblance of a premium badge. But there’s a stonking great 415-horsepower 6.2-liter V8, rear-wheel drive, and manual transmission availability. It’s a BMW M5 at half the price.

Yet the Chevrolet SS has never managed to enter the public consciousness, and even in its best-ever month (April 2016) the Chevrolet SS was outsold by low-volume cars such as the Lexus GS, Volvo S60, BMW i3, Lexus RC, Nissan Leaf, Scion FR-S, and yes, even the Lincoln MKS.

Now, however, the Chevrolet SS has come to the end of its run. The chance to snap up an SS is fleeting. Naturally then, U.S. sales of the Chevrolet SS exploded in March 2017. (Read More…)

By on March 16, 2017

Peril Chica checks out a Chevrolet SS, Image: © 2017 Jack Baruth

Today’s Ask Jack, just like the calls in those old teen horror movies, is coming from INSIDE THE HOUSE.

Hey Jack,

I’m a woman in her 30s with four cars — Chevrolet Tahoe Z71, Ford Fiesta ST, Chevrolet C5 Corvette with 421 rwhp and coilovers, as well as an MX-5 Cup race car. The Fiesta was a great car to get started in this automotive hobby but I’m no longer very excited by its performance on or off the racetrack. So I’m looking for a faster, more interesting, more capable car for those off-the-cuff track days where it’s too much hassle to trailer the Cup car or deal with the Corvette’s voracious appetite for tires and brakes.

I’ve been thinking about one of the last six-speed Chevrolet SS sedans. I can get one pretty easily for $38,000 against a sticker of $48,900. But I’ve also been thinking about a Civic Type R. It looks like they will be priced around $35k. I’d get similar performance, although delivered in a very different fashion. But which one is really faster around a track? Which one is more fun to drive? Less hassle to own? A smarter financial proposition? Also, would you mind getting all your BMX bike stuff off the dining room table? Three weeks ago you said you’d have that done by Sunday. Sincerely … the anonymous reader who wishes to be known as, um, “Peril Chica”.

Well, Peril Chica, I’m glad you asked this question! The answer is … Buy a lightly-used Snakeskin Viper ACR. What? You’re not happy with that answer? Alright. Let’s take a serious look at this, and then let’s get the readers involved.

(Read More…)

By on January 11, 2017

2016 Chevrolet SS blue

Mattias writes:

I’m doing my responsible midlife crisis thing, and I’m wanting a V8 sedan. My budget is around $40,000, and I’m looking at used examples of the Lexus IS-F, Cadillac CTS-V, and Chevy SS.

(Read More…)

By on January 11, 2017

2015 Chevrolet SS front

Unless your local police force harbors a crop of non-conformists, it’s easy to believe rear-drive Chevrolet sedans bowed out in the 1990s.

Of course, that’s not true. General Motor’s Australian Holden division saw fit to continue sending a limited number of rebadged Commodore sedans our way, long after the Impala and Caprice faded into the history books. Gussied up with a few tell-tale styling cues, the Commodore easily morphed into the performance-oriented Chevrolet SS and fleet-only Caprice PPV. Both models sell in limited numbers on this side of the Pacific, but not for long.

With Holden poised to pull the plug on Australian manufacturing later this year, the old-school Commodore has only months left to live. That means the exotic, badge-engineered American brothers will cease to exist after the 2017 model year.

(Read More…)

By on October 26, 2016

2016 Chevrolet SS blue

Nate writes:

Hi Bark,

I like to know your opinion on the subject matter of the email. My ideal car is a reliable all-wheel-drive, full-size sedan with more than 400-500 horsepower, similar 400 lb-ft of torque, decent average fuel economy of 25 miles per gallon, and it’s made by Honda/Acura with all the safety features (lane keep assist, front collision mitigation, blind spot detection, etc).

However, that vehicle does not exist, and I have a budget of $55,000 out the door.

(Read More…)

By on August 16, 2016

2016 Chevrolet SS blue

Michael Phelps has won more gold medals in the pool at the last four Summer Olympics than the whole Team Canada claimed, across all events, in the last seven.

Despite currently producing more total medals per capita than the American team in Rio, we Canadians can be found suffering from an inferiority complex. And yes, per capita medal counts are the kinds of statistics you can expect from the citizens of a nation that suffer from an inferiority complex.

It doesn’t help that Canada’s new vehicle market, one-ninth the size of the U.S. market, is deemed too small to benefit from one of the planet’s best sports sedan values, the Chevrolet SS.

Yet the Chevrolet SS is by no means the only new vehicle on sale in the United States that doesn’t cross the border. (Read More…)

By on July 12, 2016

2016 Chevrolet Impala V6-008

An anonymous GM employee writes:

I have a field role with General Motors that affords me the luxury of driving (mostly) anything in The General’s portfolio. I can choose from any brand except Cadillac, and can’t drive a Corvette or pickup (because of retail demand and limited supply). I’m 22 with student debt down into the low four digits. GM pays for gas, insurance, and incidentals like oil changes and winter tires because I need a car to do my job. I live in a snow-heavy state where I’m expected to do around 30,000 miles a year for business travel alone. Finally, I switch out cars every four months because that means it remains eligible for new vehicle incentives and programs when it’s sold back to the dealer at a big discount.

Here’s the catch: the vehicle is considered a taxable benefit.

(Read More…)

By on April 20, 2016

Ten Best/Worst Automobiles Today

So far, you’ve nominated 156 separate vehicles for TTAC’s 2016 Ten Best Award — including a cornucopia of models that shouldn’t be nominated. (Reading comprehension, people!)

Here are some insights into the Best & Brightest hive mind.

(Read More…)

By on February 23, 2016

2014 Chevrolet SS at Daytona Beach, Image: Steve Fecht/Chevrolet

Greg writes:

Hi Bark,

I’m a 32-year-old red-blooded male, life-long car enthusiast and hopeful to be raising a few future enthusiasts in the foreseeable future. I can smell which way the wind is blowing and know that the car market is going to look very different in the future. I’m excited about electric cars, but also want a “timepiece” that’s tasteful, fun, and a bit irrational to cherish for the indefinite future.

(Read More…)

By on July 21, 2015

TTAC Aussie imports 2

Often criticized for flopping in the U.S. marketplace, Chevrolet set a sales record with the Aussie-built SS in June 2015.

Prior to June’s “surge” up to a still rather paltry 354 units, Chevrolet hadn’t sold more than 300 SS sedans since March of last year, the only other time the SS has crested the 300-unit mark. June 2015 SS volume was four units stronger than the March record. (Read More…)

By on May 26, 2015

2015 Chevrolet SS

General Motors sold more Chevrolet SS sedans in April 2015 than they did in April 2014.

Albeit only 16 more, to be precise. 5.7% more.

Yet not in any of the previous five months in which the SS could produce a year-over-year increase did it manage to do so. (October 2014 sales jumped 11,400% from one reported sale in October 2013 to 115.)

Moreover, the SS’s April 2015 sales total was the second-highest level ever for the Aussie-built sedan.

Are we finally seeing an SS recovery, or is this just a blip on the Dodge Charger SRT’s radar? (Read More…)

By on February 17, 2015

2015 Chevrolet SS rear redIn September, we told you the Chevrolet SS didn’t sell as often as the dreadfully unpopular Cadillac ELR in August, the first time the SS failed to do so during the period of coexistence.

They tied in September before the ELR outsold the SS again in each of the following months.

In December, we told you that Chevrolet SS volume slid to a new low in November. With only 105 sales, the SS was outsold by ultra-rare cars like the BMW i8, Nissan GT-R, Volkswagen e-Golf, and yes, the Cadillac ELR.

Yet during the month of December, SS volume fell to yet another new low. Only 93 were sold, a 61% drop. (Read More…)

By on December 22, 2014

IMG_8539

(Please accept my apologies for this long-ago-promised and painfully overdue comparison. -DK)

With the demise of the Chrysler 300 SRT, Americans are limited to two choices for a domestic sports sedan. And neither of them are built in America.

(Read More…)

By on December 11, 2014

2015 Chevrolet SS redNovember 2014 U.S. sales of the Chevrolet SS fell to the lowest full-month total in the model’s 13-month history with General Motors reporting just 105 units.

SS volume peaked at 350 units in March of this year. Last November, in the SS’s first full month, 178 were sold. Year-over-year, SS sales slid 41% twelve months later. (Read More…)

By on September 9, 2014

2014 Chevrolet SSThe Cadillac ELR flopped. Not because there wasn’t any for you to buy, but because there weren’t any buyers. This is what we knew back in April, and again back in May.

July volume, however, was double what General Motors managed in June, which was nearly double what the ELR managed one month before.

Now get this: August sales increased yet again. (There are no year-over-year figures available yet, as the ELR only arrived in December 2013.) 196 Cadillac ELRs were sold in the United States in August 2014, more than the total number of ELRs sold in December, January, February, and March combined.

196 sounds like a lot, right? Well, it sounds like a lot if we’re comparing ELR volume to the sales totals achieved by the Chevrolet SS.  (Read More…)

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