We had the chance to pilot the 2015 Chevrolet SS recently around the roads of Wisconsin’s famed Road America, and one thing become glaringly clear: the Chevrolet SS is a performance sedan standout.
Let’s break it down as so. You can purchase a 415 hp V8 powered four-door sedan, with a six-speed manual transmission, in dark green (Regal Peacock Metallic to be specific), with a rear-wheel-drive-only configuration. Those attributes fall in line with something of yesteryear. But, it’s not yesteryear. Check your calendars, it’s 2015.
Driving the 2015 SS performance sedan made it clear that we must thank Australia for keeping General Motors’ rear-wheel drive program afloat during turbulent times. The Zeta platform gave us the Pontiac G8, Chevrolet Caprice, fifth-generation Chevrolet Camaro and, of course, the Chevrolet SS. All of these are examples of capable, and engaging, enthusiast offerings.
Because of this, we’re puzzled to wonder why is no one buying the Chevrolet SS. And it may be simply that there’s been a lack of effort put forth with marketing this car.
Think about it. When’s the last time you saw any marketing energy thrown at the Chevrolet SS outside of NASCAR? Nope, we can’t think of anything either.
While Dodge sells its Charger at a steady pace, based on an aged platform rooted from it’s tie-up days with Daimler, the 2015 Chevy SS is slowly becoming the latest automotive unicorn. During 2014, just 2,386 Chevrolet SS sedans found new homes, making them incredibly exclusive.
Largely to the public eye, there is absolutely no awareness this car even exists, and we’d bet our bottom dollar quite a few Chevrolet SS customers are former Pontiac G8 owners. Or, they’ve decided to keep their elder VE Commodores company with a VF.
And it’s a shame. Because driving the Chevrolet SS is a sublime experience that’s hard to find these days in a large RWD sedan. It’s taut and tidy for a large sedan, it devoured the twisty Wisconsin backroads, the six-speed provides great (albeit a tad long) throws and hearing the LS3 6.2-liter crackle under downshifts will make you giddy. All of these smiles for less than $50,000? One may scoff at the price tag before driving the Chevy SS, but we imagine many converts after taking one for a spin. Everything that was grand and memorable from the Pontiac G8 is here in amplified fashion.
As the marketing crowd likes to say, creating value is what moves product. No value proposition has been sketched out for the 2015 Chevrolet SS, but it’s in-your-face apparent upon sitting inside the cabin. Automatic park assist, heated, and cooled, seats, navigation, Chevrolet MyLink infotainment system and the list goes on. Try checking those options on a German sports sedan. You won’t be under $50,000. Yet driving the humble Chevrolet is more satisfying to us.
We know this lack of effort may have something to do with no direct successor, since Oz will relinquish its manufacturing abilities come 2017 thus creating a dead-man-walking scenario, but sources have told us to “stay tuned” in regards to where Zeta is headed next.
While we doubt we will see a true successor to a car quite like the VF Holden Commodore/Chevrolet SS, the automotive public deserves it. Going forward, the people buying cars will buy them because they want to drive. So, why not offer something with a little more soul, and a tad less autonomy?
The 2015 Chevrolet SS defines what a sport sedan is, and should be. It’s pure, enchanting and manages to do so without any badge ego. And speaking as a current Pontiac G8 owner, it seems to be a shame that Chevy isn’t giving the car the love it deserves.