The Chevy SS: A Horsepower Hootenanny Hidden in a Holden
When you think of muscle cars, Australia might not be the first country that comes to mind. However, the land down under has a rich history of producing some powerful machines. The Holden Commodore, produced by Australian automaker Holden, was one such vehicle. In the United States, this impressive machine was introduced as the Chevy SS, a high-performance sedan with some serious muscle under the hood. So, buckle up and get ready for a wild ride through the history of the 2014-2017 Chevy SS, which packs more punch than a kangaroo on steroids!
A History Rooted Down Under
Before we dive into the American Chevy SS, it's important to understand its Australian roots. The Holden Commodore was a long-running series of vehicles produced by Holden, an Australian subsidiary of General Motors. The Commodore nameplate dates back to 1978, and it continued production until 2020.
When the decision was made to bring the Commodore to the United States, it was rebranded as the Chevy SS, a nod to the classic Chevrolet Super Sport performance vehicles. The SS was introduced in 2014 and continued production until 2017. During these years, the Chevy SS provided American drivers with a unique blend of performance, practicality, and style.
The 2014 Chevy SS: An Aussie Invasion
In 2014, the first Chevy SS hit American shores, and it quickly gained a reputation as a serious performance machine. Powered by a potent 6.2-liter LS3 V8 engine, the 2014 SS produced 415 horsepower and 415 lb-ft of torque. Mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission, the SS could sprint from 0-60 mph in just 4.7 seconds. That's not too shabby for a family sedan!
The SS was more than just a straight-line speed demon, though. It also featured a sport-tuned suspension, Brembo brakes, and a near-perfect 50/50 weight distribution, providing excellent handling and control. The exterior design was understated yet aggressive, giving the SS a sleeper car vibe that allowed it to fly under the radar.
2015: More Muscle, More Fun
In 2015, the SS received several significant updates to enhance its performance and appeal further. Most notably, a 6-speed manual transmission became available as an option, making it the only V8-powered sedan in the United States to offer a stick shift. The automatic transmission was also updated to include paddle shifters for manual control.
Another major update for 2015 was the addition of Magnetic Ride Control, a sophisticated suspension system borrowed from the Corvette and Camaro models. This advanced technology allowed the SS to adapt to different driving conditions, providing a comfortable ride on long cruises and impressive handling on twisty backroads. The 2015 SS also received Brembo rear brakes, which were previously only used on the front.
2016: Minor Updates, Major Impact
The 2016 Chevy SS saw a few minor updates that further enhanced its performance and appeal. The most noticeable change was the updated front fascia, which included a more aggressive grille design and vertical LED daytime running lights. These changes gave the SS a more menacing appearance that matched its potent performance capabilities.
The 2016 SS also received a new dual-mode exhaust system, which allowed drivers to choose between a more subdued sound or a throaty, aggressive roar. This feature, combined with the Magnetic Ride Control and manual transmission options, made the SS a versatile and highly customizable performance sedan. Additionally, the 2016 SS was offered in two new exterior colors: Slipstream Blue and Red Hot 2, providing even more options for buyers looking to make a statement.
2017: The Final Chapter
The 2017 Chevy SS marked the final year of production for this impressive muscle sedan. While no major changes were made to the 2017 model, it still offered the same potent combination of power, handling, and practicality that had made it a favorite among performance enthusiasts.
One notable aspect of the 2017 SS was its rarity. Due to limited production numbers, the 2017 model quickly became a sought-after collector's item. Its combination of performance, style, and exclusivity make the 2017 Chevy SS a highly desirable vehicle for enthusiasts and collectors alike.
- The Chevy SS was based on the Australian Holden Commodore, a vehicle with a storied history that dates back to 1978.
- The SS was the only V8-powered sedan in the United States to offer a manual transmission option.
- The 2014-2017 Chevy SS models were all powered by the same 6.2-liter LS3 V8 engine, which produced 415 horsepower and 415 lb-ft of torque.
- The SS featured a sport-tuned suspension, Brembo brakes, and Magnetic Ride Control, providing impressive handling capabilities.
- The 2017 Chevy SS was the final year of production, making it a sought-after collector's item.
- The Chevy SS was the spiritual successor to the Pontiac GTO and Pontiac G8, two other high-performance sedans produced by General Motors.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the top speed of the Chevy SS? A: The top speed of the Chevy SS is estimated to be around 160 mph, making it one of the fastest sedans of its time.
Q: How many Chevy SS models were produced? A: Production numbers for the Chevy SS were relatively low, with only around 12,000 units produced during its four-year run.
Q: What was the price of the Chevy SS when new? A: The base price of the Chevy SS ranged from around $45,000 to $50,000, depending on the model year and options.
Q: What is the fuel economy of the Chevy SS? A: The EPA-estimated fuel economy for the Chevy SS was 14 mpg city and 22 mpg highway, with a combined rating of 17 mpg.
Q: Are there any special edition Chevy SS models? A: While there were no specific special edition models, the limited production numbers and various options available make each Chevy SS unique in its own right.
While the Chevy SS was an impressive performance machine straight from the factory, there are several aftermarket upgrades available to enhance its power and handling even further. Some popular options include:
- Cold air intakes can improve engine performance by increasing airflow.
- Performance exhaust systems can provide a more aggressive sound and potentially improve horsepower and torque.
- Upgraded suspension components, such as stiffer sway bars and performance shocks, can improve handling and cornering capabilities.
- High-performance brake pads and rotors can provide better stopping power and heat dissipation for more aggressive driving situations.
- Engine tuning software can provide additional power gains by optimizing fuel and ignition parameters.
Whether you own a stock Chevy SS or have already started modifying it, there's no shortage of aftermarket parts available to help you take your vehicle's performance to the next level. And with a strong enthusiast community and a wide range of XtremeCFM parts to choose from, you'll have all the support and resources you need to make your SS a true American muscle sedan.
Chevy SS: A Modern Classic
The 2014-2017 Chevy SS was more than just a high-performance sedan; it was a testament to the passion and engineering prowess of General Motors and its Australian counterpart, Holden. With a potent V8 engine, agile handling, and a sleeper car appearance, the SS was a unique and exciting addition to the American automotive landscape.
While its production run may have been short-lived, the Chevy SS left a lasting impression on performance enthusiasts and muscle car fans alike. Its blend of power, practicality, and understated style make it a modern classic that's sure to be admired and appreciated for years to come.
So, if you happen to spot a Chevy SS on the road, give the driver a knowing nod and a thumbs-up, because you're witnessing a piece of automotive history that's as rare as it is impressive. And who knows, maybe one day, the Chevy SS will ride again, bringing a new generation of muscle car fans along for the ride. Until then, we'll always have the memories of this Aussie-American powerhouse, which proved that sometimes, the best things in life come from the most unexpected places.
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