If you’re yearning for a quick-and-nimble compact after the death of the excellent Cobalt SS, you’re not alone, and – according to MotorAuthority – a number of those fellow enthusiasts come from inside Chevrolet’s offices! Phil Colley of GM’s Advanced Technology Communications team let it be known that there is strong enthusiasm within GM and the bow-tie brand to get back into the fast, attractive, pocket rocket space. With the (recently unveiled U.S.-bound) Cruze set to replace the aging Cobalt, an SS version of the Cruze would be a great addition to what otherwise is becoming a boring mainstream GM line-up.
In fact, with the sporty Saturn Sky and Pontiac Solstice (along with their respective Redline and GXP performance variants) having been sent to the automotive graveyard, GM’s portfolio of small, sporty, tuner-friendly vehicles has shrunk to a point that the only compact performance model that still remains is the HHR SS sport wagon.
Engine & Transmission
The supposed Cruze SS could inherit the 260 horsepower turbocharged and direct injected 2.0 liter four-cylinder Ecotec along with the six-speed manual gearbox from the SS versions of the HHR and the axed Cobalt. We expect the awesome Launch Control and No-Lift Shift technology to make their way over as well.
On the down side, the Cruze inherits the Cobalt’s rear torsion bar suspension – which may limit the the handling ability of the Cruze SS by a bit. A redesign of the rear suspenders would most likely be cost-prohibitive for a low-volume SS model.
Chevy To Become More Selective With The SS Badge?
This news comes after Mark Reuss, the newly-appointed president of GM North America, revealed that going forward, Chevy will be more selective when it comes to what vehicles get to wear the SS badge.
At the present, there aren’t any official plans for a Cruze SS. If it does come – don’t expect it before the Cruze’s mid-cycle refresh sometime around 2014. Nevertheless, we look forward to a 260-horsepower six-speed manual Cruze that just may end up achieving 35 or more mpg on the highway… not that the performance community would care much about that number.
The GM Authority Take
If you ask us, the Cruze SS is definitely coming. We think Chevy is testing the waters here: gauging consumer response to the Cruze and the enthusiast community’s reaction to the proposed SS model.[Source: MotorAuthority]