SS Is Alive. Should Anyone Care?

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
ss is alive should anyone care

Autoweek apparently got an interview with GM vice president of global vehicle engineering and former chairman of Holden, Mark Reuss. Apparently, because their write-up takes a light hand with the quotation marks, using them to fill in the gaps between the author’s breathless interpretations of the topic at hand: Chevrolet’s SS line.

From 1960s Chevelles to modern Camaros, speedy Chevrolets have always been indentified with two letters: SS. But does the tradition-laden performance designation have a future in the new General Motors, which is under pressure to cut costs, make money and meet stricter fuel-economy regulations? “Absolutely,” Mark Reuss, GM vice president of global engineering, told AutoWeek. In fact, the SS line could be better–or at least more clearly defined. Reuss envisions cars outfitted on a case-by-case basis, rather than somewhat generically adding horsepower and red-letter stitching to Chevys across the board. Or as he put it, “Not trying to peanut-butter SS for everything.”

And though the intent of Reuss’s proclamation was clearly to encourage, the SS brand may be one of GM’s most-damaged. Here, for your viewing pleasure, are a few of the reasons why.

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3 of 29 comments
  • Geozinger Geozinger on Nov 20, 2009

    @panzerfaust: The Cobalt SS is competitively priced against it's competition, i.e. Mazda 3 Speed, or VW GTI. To compare the top of the line Cobalt against the bottom rung Camaro is an apples to oranges exercise. Yes, there's a $10K difference between the base Cobalt and the top Cobalt SS, but a base Cobalt starts out with a lot less equipment than does the V6 Camaro, other car lines (Civic, Mazda 3, etc.) are priced in the same manner. @Bunter 1, "IMHO, Chevy SS made any reason for Pontiac to exist disappear a long time ago." I agree with this in a roundabout way. Since Pontiac is now defunct, the Chevy SS's (SSes?) can now take the place that Pontiac had in the hierarchy of GM. The reality is that former Pontiac owners are going to want to have something different than a 'regular' Chevy in the brave new GM world. And they may not want a Buick, maybe ever. GM should take the lesson to heart from the loss of former Oldsmobile buyers who wandered away from GM and offer a line of SS models to replace the Pontiacs that folks desire.

  • Reclusive_in_nature Reclusive_in_nature on Nov 21, 2009

    I think the recent Impala SS is worthy of the moniker (of course I own one). Say what you want about it's handling or how hard the plastics are, but when it comes down to it most vehicles I meet at a red light get destroyed. The feeling I get when I smoke some dumb ass kid who's idea of performance is tacking a giant spoiler and coffee can exhaust on a Honda makes up for any short comings a critic could come with. As for being stereotyped, well, it's only happened once. Some teen at a carwash called it a hick car. I called his car a weedeater. Escalation ensued. I still don't have the heart to get the windshield repaired where his head got slammed and his tooth/teeth chipped the glass.

    • Don1967 Don1967 on Nov 21, 2009

      The 1990s Imapala SS probably was the last real "SS" GM ever produced... it was certainly closer to the original theme than anything since. Unfortunately, today's "SS" designation is more descriptive of the sound air makes when coming out of a tire.

  • 28-Cars-Later I'm actually surprised at this and not sure what to make of it. In recent memory Senator Biden has completely ignored an ecological disaster in Ohio, and then ignored a tragic fire in Hawaii until his handlers were goaded in sending him and his visit turned into it's own disaster, but we skipped nap time for this sh!t show? Seriously? We really are through the looking glass now, "votes" no longer matter (Hillary almost won being the worst presidential candidate since 1984 before he claimed the crown) and outside of Corvette nostalgia Joe doesn't care let alone know what day it happens to be. Could they really be afraid of Trump, who AFAIK has planned no appearance or run his mouth on this issue? Just doesn't make sense, granted this is Clown World so maybe its my fault for trying to find sense in a senseless act.
  • Tassos If you only changed your series to the CORRECT "Possibly Collectible, NOT Daily Driver, NOT Used car of the day", it would sound much more accurate AND TRUTHFUL.Now who would collect THIS heap of trash for whatever misguided reason, nostalgia for a much worse automotive era or whatever, is another question.
  • ToolGuy Price dropped $500 overnight. (Wait 10 more days and you might get it for free?)
  • Slavuta Must be all planned. Increase price of cars, urbanize, 15 minutes cities. Be poor, eat bugs
  • Sid SB Not seen a Core without the performance pack yet. Prefer the more understated look of the Core vs the Circuit, but both are great fun to drive.