Is the 2014 Chevrolet SS everything we hoped for? Is it what we wanted? We’re going to say almost. It’s not like our budget-minded behinds are going to be in line for one anytime soon, but there are at least five factors which we feel will turn off a few customers with the necessary coin from saying “yes” outright. Here they are:
No Manual Transmission At Launch
This one is tough to get over. A lot of people were expecting a complete reincarnation of the Pontiac G8 GXP — which had a manual transmission — in the Chevrolet SS performance sedan. In fact, nearly half of all GXP models sold were equipped with a row-it-yourself gearbox. Granted, there was less than 2,000 ever sold, but it’s not like the SS is intended to be a volume seller, either. In addition, the Holden Commodore SS V will launch with a stick shift, and while it’s still unconfirmed, most likely cradle the same LS3 V8 engine. Maybe it’s a supplier constraint. Maybe it’s a price issue. Or maybe it’s something else entirely. Whatever the case, it could be a deal breaker for many potential customers who were looking for a four-door Camaro SS.
The Lack Of Variety
It doesn’t seem that the Chevrolet SS will launch with the typical LS, LT and LTZ trim hierarchy. Instead, the limited-production RWD sedan will hit the market as loaded as it can possibly be. Put simply, this is in an effort to maximize the profit margin — which is a big part of what made the business case for the SS — and therefore, there might be some impending sticker shock. How much? We’ve heard as much as $40,000 and change, which seems like a lot for a Chevy. Though in the car’s defense, a V8-powered Camaro can exceed that price point. Still, this puts the SS out of range for many potential customers.
The simple “SS” title sounds cool. But it also doubles as a trim package on the Camaro, and has heritage in the Chevrolet brand as being a performance trim package, and never a model. We have to ask: what was so wrong about resurrecting the Chevelle name? Dodge pulled a parallel move with the Charger, despite adding an extra set of doors from the original, and has seen moderate success in doing so. The Chevelle name alone would have drawn customers. It’s also why the Camaro isn’t called anything else — there’s loads of equity in the name, just as there is in the Chevelle.
The Late Launch Date
The fourth quarter of 2013. Just in time for the summer… of 2014. Launching a vehicle of this nature in the cold months is a head scratcher, but we figure it might have something to do with it being the spring and summer months south of the equator, where Australia is located. Oh well. We’ll just have to throw on some Blizzak tires and get over it.
The Exterior Looks
We know that we counted this as a plus in the Five Things We Like About The Chevrolet SS, but here’s the rub in the conservative looks: there’s more drama in the design of the front-wheel-drive, far less athletic Chevrolet Impala. Kind of a bummer that there weren’t more visual changes from the Holden Commodore SS V, though we should still be thankful that the SS is even going to be offered.