Preview by Justin Pritchard, photos courtesy GM

Yet another ‘not for you, Canada!’ performance model is hitting US dealers later this year. Called the SS, it’s Chevrolet’s first rear-drive performance sedan since 1996 – and officials say it’s designed to deliver performance both on the street (but not Canadian streets) and on the track (but not Canadian tracks).

Preview: 2014 Chevrolet SS car previews chevrolet auto shows 2013 autoshows
2014 Chevrolet SS. Click image to enlarge

The SS made its debut to the drooling American masses earlier this month during the Daytona 500.

The SS is built on Chevrolet’s global rear-drive architecture, which also underpins the Camaro, Caprice Patrol Vehicle, and the Holden VF Commodore that’s loved by Australian performance enthusiasts and Holden fanatics across the web.

When the SS goes on sale in ‘Merica, it’ll have a good ole’ V8 engine behind its wide-mouthed grille, packing an estimated 415 horsepower and 415 lb-ft of torque. The big mill displaces 6.2 L, so it doesn’t sound like one of “them-there import jobbies” when fired up.

Since it’s an LS3-series engine, which is the same you’ll find in a 2013 Corvette, it’ll take well to modifications – meaning lucky owners can add intake, exhaust and camshaft upgrades to taste, dialing power up easily. Using aluminum construction for reduced weight, the LS3 engine is one of the most fuel efficient V8 powerplants on the road – and one engineered to breathe and rev freely.

Preview: 2014 Chevrolet SS car previews chevrolet auto shows 2013 autoshows
2014 Chevrolet SS. Click image to enlarge

Power is handled by a six-speed automatic with paddle-shift functionality. Routed through a 3.21:1 rear diff, officials claim 0-60 miles per hour (96 km/h) in about 5 seconds. No manual transmission is available in the American version of this machine.

Handling is supported by MacPherson strut and multilink suspension systems in front and rear, respectively, as well as an electronic power steering system that’s optimized for sport driving. Hardly revolutionary stuff. Brembo brakes are standard in case the radar detector goes off.

Aluminum in select body panels helped engineers keep the weight balance very close to the magical 50/50 mark while lowering the centre of gravity.

“Our goal was to create a car that delivers incredible grip and handling balance while cornering, while still being comfortable to drive on the road,” said David Leone, executive chief engineer GM global programs. “The perfect weight balance and lower centre of gravity were a big part of that goal because it enabled the team to tune for a more comfortable highway ride without sacrificing handling or driver confidence while cornering at the limits.”

Preview: 2014 Chevrolet SS car previews chevrolet auto shows 2013 autoshows
2014 Chevrolet SS. Click image to enlarge

Interesting feature content includes a full-colour head-up display system (HUD), a nine-speaker Bose audio system, push-button start and all mandatory ‘you’re leaving your lane / cutting someone off / about to plow into that car’ driver alert systems. The SS will also be the first Chevrolet model to offer a hands-free Automatic Parking Assist system like the one parking-challenged Canucks have been offered by Ford and Toyota for the past few years.




About Justin Pritchard

Justin Pritchard is a full-time auto writer, consultant, broadcaster and AJAC member based in Sudbury. When not writing about the latest new models and industry trends, you'll probably find him fixing his Dodge Viper.