- 2015 Chevy SS

The Chevy SS didn't Fail Us, We Failed It.

A eulogy for one of the most tragically underrated cars of the last 20 years.

7w ago

There are certain cars that go unappreciated during their initial sales run. Some of these cars are easily forgettable once their times in showrooms are over, but for others, they stick around in our minds after they’ve gone away. In this particular case, I speak of the Chevy SS. The car that we asked for, but so harshly neglected. General Motors’ answer to the Charger everyone so badly wanted to see, but didn’t want to park in their garage.

Hold your breath. Make a wish. Count to three… Or four in this case. The V8 powered 4-door known as the Holden Commodore in Australia, came to the States for the first time  in 2013. This wasn’t the first time a rebadged Holden had shown up State-side, as the Pontiac G8 was also a Holden Commodore and was sold from 2008 to 2009. The SS was generally the same as her Pontiac cousin, but gained magneride suspension in her final years of production to make her one of the most dynamic sport sedans on the market.

The LS3 hiding under what usually gets mistaken for a Malibu pushed 415 horsepower to the rear wheels through a 6 speed manual- Hold on. A four door stick shift with an LS3 could be bought from a Chevy dealer and none of you wanted one? By the time we had realized what Chevy gave us, they had to take it away due to poor sales. A cheaper CTS-V, a Camaro with two extra doors, or a Corvette dressed for church. Any way you look at the SS, it represented the best of Chevrolet wrapped-up in a (down)under-the-radar package.

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Comments (14)

  • It had a disappointing name and GM didn't market it very well. GM has to do better with the names of the products. Stop with the Alpha numeric stuff.....

      1 month ago
    • I'm not particularly fond of the name myself, but it does have some meaning since SS packages have been available on every high performance Chevrolet (barr the Corvette) since the 1960s.

        1 month ago
  • One reason is the Chevy Execs won't allow any GM car to be faster than the Corvette. Rumor has it that when Pontiac figured out how to make a Fiero faster off the line than a Vette, Chevy demanded that the Fiero must die. Heck, the entire Pontiac line was killed because it was getting faster than the Vette. The Cadillac XLR was built on a Vette frame but Chevy demanded that it had a neutered engine that was slower than a Vette. Could it be that the Chevy SS was getting too close to beating the Vette?

      1 month ago
  • I’ve always loved this car, just couldn’t afford it. It sold for 5 series money so I’m sure a lot of people went that route. And agree that there was no marketing. This, the G8, and the GTO (think that was a Menaro?), all amazing cars

      1 month ago
  • I agree and I’ve missed gm building real rear wheel drive full size cars. My grandpa had driven full size Chevys going back to his sales days at ITW. While I personally loved the boxy style that ended in 90 I did love his 91. I believe it was a 91 that came out in 90 and it had the skirts. Full size v8 car and it got great highway mileage for a v8! The SS was underrated and I for one won’t forget it.

      1 month ago
  • Part of the problem as I understand it is there was some form of agreement where GM would bring a certain number of Holdens into the US and sell them. Since this was a relatively small number, GM wasn't really motivated to try to sell them, and thus only brought in well equipped models for the civies, and stripped down Caprices for the cops (at least for the Chevys, the GTO and G8 seemed to have been taken more seriously). High profit margin on the civilian side, and a quick bid to replace the deceased Crown Vic for the government that would hopefully sell in high volume. It's also possible that GM was already starting to read (or maybe put up themselves) the writing on the wall for the Australian auto industry and Holden. They maybe could've exported some of the tooling to North America, but the bean counters probably said no.

      1 month ago
    • "the bean counters". Only having the G8 and GTO available for public purchase probably also helped get people to buy Pontiacs those last few years too

        1 month ago