Chevrolet SS
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Overview

It’s a fully-loaded Aussie sedan for people who always wished the Camaro came with four doors instead of two.

Drivetrain

You’ll enjoy the sounds of a 415-horsepower Corvette-based LS3 V8 . . . the 2013 Corvette, that is, and not the new C7; no manual transmission, but there are paddles attached to the steering wheel for the automatic transmission.

The SS’s lineage is an interesting one. The sedan is constructed at GM’s Australian facility where for years it has worn the Holden Commodore badge. During the 2008 and ’09 model years, GM shipped the car to North America dressed up as the Pontiac G8. When the brand was cashiered in 2009, the G8 was also history, or so we were told. The car returned for 2013 as the Chevrolet Caprice Police Pursuit Vehicle (PPV), which was a significant hint that the Holden/Pontiac/Chevrolet would soon be made fit for civilian duty. Now dubbed the Super Sport – SS for short – the rear-wheel-drive car was unveiled last February at Daytona Beach, Fla., prior to NASCAR’s season-opening 500-mile event. To fulfill the performance image for the street, the SS’s running gear consists of a 415-horsepower 6.2-liter V8 that’s found in the current Camaro and in pre-2014 Corvettes. It’s mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. There’s no manual gearbox, but at least the standard steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters let you swap your own gears. Chevrolet claims the SS will nail the 60-mph mark from rest in the five-second range, which is quick for any 4,000-pound chariot, and will give competing performance sedans a run for their money. For stopping the SS, Chevrolet has installed a set of beefy Brembo-brand brakes that are only partially hidden behind a 19-inch wheel-and-extra-wide-tire package. Concurrent with its race-bred leanings, the SS also doubles as a stellar luxury-car performer. The standard-equipment list encompasses a leather interior with eight-way adjustable and ventilated sport bucket seats, dual-zone climate control, navigation, keyless push-button and remote start, alloy pedals and a 220-watt Bose-brand audio system. Along with 10 standard airbags, you can count on blind-spot and cross-traffic alerts (the latter being most helpful when backing out of a tight parking spot) and super-bright xenon headlamps. In fact, about the only option offered to SS buyers is a power sunroof, which likely makes the SS the only GM vehicle in recorded history to offer such a meager extra-cost list.

Base price (incl. destination): $44,500

Type: Four-door sedan

Base engine (hp): 6.2-liter OHV V8 (415)

Layout: Front-engine, rear-wheel-drive

Transmission: Six-speed automatic

MPG (city/hwy): 15/25 (est.)

Safety: Front airbags; front/rear side-impact airbags; side-curtain airbags; front knee airbags; anti-lock brakes; traction control; stability control

Weight (lb.): 3,975