Gearheads, It’s Time to Buy a Chevrolet SS
There’s a familiar maxim often heard in sports car circles: “Miata is always the answer.” And for the most part, it’s true. The lovable Mazda Miata is all things reliable, fun to drive, affordable, and comfortable. For those with a second vehicle for moving all the people and things in their life, the Miata really is a fantastic option. For those who don’t, I’d gander that this car is the answer. The Chevrolet SS. Except, perhaps not for long. The SS, which is often referred to as a four-door Camaro, is essentially the car that every gearhead with a family dreams about. A big V8 under the hood, enough seats for your loved ones (at least, four of them), a capacious trunk, a comfortable ride, a not-so-crazy price tag, and a proper manual transmission (or automatic) to send all 415 of those roaring ponies to the rear wheels. It’s a veritable ‘60s muscle sedan, reworked for modern times, and Dan Neil of The Wall Street Journal recently put it quite eloquently, “the Chevy SS is like an African game reserve filled with endangered technologies.” Sadly though, this wonderfully analog super sedan looks to be going the way of the dodo, seeing as how it’s built in Australia (next to its Holden Commodore twin) in a factory that’s scheduled to close at the end of 2017. Time will tell. RELATED: Rejoice! The 2017 Chevrolet SS Might Add a Supercharger
So what’s a gearhead (with a family) to do? Well, go out and give one a spin. If it is indeed on its way out next year, it surely hasn’t disappeared yet! There’s a lot to love.
Under the hood lives the much-loved LS3 6.2-liter V8, which summons 415 ponies without any tricky turbochargers or parasitic superchargers. You can spec it with a six-speed automatic, but make no mistake, it’s the six-speed manual gearbox that you really want. Big Brembo brakes find a home underneath as well, in addition to butt-hugging bucket seats, a remarkably well hewn interior, and Chevy’s trick Magnetic Selective Ride Control suspension.
The world doesn’t need to know you’ve got 415 horsepower at the prod of your right foot either, and to be honest, most people won’t. The Chevrolet SS is a relatively unassuming, honest-looking sedan. There’s just enough “flash” to be noticed for the right reasons, and not enough to be confused for a street racer.
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So why has it become a perennial favorite of the “best cars nobody buys” lists? The answer is a bit complex. In essence, it’s got pretty popular and hot-selling siblings in its family (hey there, 2016 Camaro and Corvette), only a certain limited allocation are imported to the US each year, plus we’re living in an SUV-crazed age, and well… it’s an ultra-competitive segment.
Though the Chevrolet SS costs just $46,575 in its base trim—a relative V8 super sedan bargain—it has to compete with some pretty heavy-hitting European competition from BMW, Audi, Mercedes, Jaguar, and even some more closely-priced rivals from home, such as the Dodge Charger.
The world certainly isn’t short of thunderous V8 sedans, which is perhaps why the distant death knell for the SS chimes a bit softer than say the soon-to-be-gone Viper.
So there you have it. It’s here today, it’s a truly special thing, but it won’t be around forever. Let’s just enjoy this four-door V8 gift from Australia while it’s still around. Rant ended.
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