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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The Chevrolet SS Might, Possibly, Maybe, Get A Second Generation


Copyright © 2016 Bold Ride LLC.
2016 Chevrolet SS

If you ask any automotive journalist what the most underrated car sold in the United States is, and their answer is anything other than “Chevrolet SS”, ask to see their G.A.E. (Genuine Automotive Enthusiast) certification, because you might be speaking with a poseur. In all seriousness, there is no vehicle sold on our shores that deserves more recognition and doesn’t get it, than the Holden Commodore-based, LS3 V8 powered, super sleeper sedan that is the Chevy SS.
Despite being everything that American buyers traditionally ask for—stupid fast, comfortable, not outlandishly styled, relatively affordable—the SS has not taken the country by storm.

 Hell, the SS has barely managed a strong breeze, Chevrolet sold just 2,985 of them in 2015, which for most vehicles would mean getting their ticket to car heaven punched. On top of that, Holden is closing up shop in 2017, so the automotive community assumed that would be the final nail in the coffin which has already been sized, and built for the SS.

2016 Chevrolet SS

However, an interesting bit of news came out of a conversation that CarAdvice had with Chevrolet Camaro chief engineer Al Oppenhiemer at The New York Auto Show this past week.

Oppenhiemer was quoted as saying the following, “It sells what it’s supposed to, and we haven’t announced an end date to it, so we’re just…we know that there are some decisions made on the Zeta [platform], that are imminent, and right now we’re just focused on the new ’17 model, which is great. It has the LS3 with the manual and the active exhausts, and it’s a great car.”

When the interviewer posited that a Holden SS based Chevrolet SS would be a good note to go out on, Oppenhiemer was quick to respond, “I didn’t say we were going out. I didn’t say it”.

 When they pressed him further, asking if a V8 powered global sedan was a future possibility, Oppenhiemer continued to play coy, “Maybe, I’m not answering the questions, so I’m not leaving you with any hope”.

2016 Chevrolet SS

I tell you what, that is some darn good situational awareness right there from Oppenhiemer. He said just enough to give us hope that, despite lackluster sales, and the end of production of the car upon which it is based, the Chevrolet SS might live to fight another day.

 Should it get a second generation, whether or not it will still have a hearty 6.2-liter V8 under the hood that cranks out 415 horsepower, and 415 lb-ft of torque remains to be seen. The bean counters at GM might nix the idea all together, and if it is approved for another production run, something tells me the engineers would have a hard time pushing a N/A power plant through given the current trendiness of turbocharging.

That being said, there’s the fact that Dodge currently owns the American market in terms of fun four doors, and there have to be people at Chevrolet who are not ok with that. Perhaps former managing director at Holden, and current president of GM Mark Reuss is one of them, I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

In the meantime, everyone should go out and get a 2016 SS, they’re ridiculously fun, and in the scheme of things quite affordable. Besides, with production being so limited, you know it’ll hold its value. Well, it might, maybe, possibly.