Video: “The Smoking Tire” Drives the 2014 Chevy SS

The Chevrolet SS is cool. We all know it’s the Pontiac G8, v2.0. Anything with LS power is fine by us and we’re  thankful that the folks at GM finally brought it over here, um again. The SS fixes some fatal flaws of the G8, specifically the bland styling, lackluster coal bin interior and five dull exterior color choices. The SS looks better for sure with metallic color options, cool wheels, an upgraded interior, current telematics, and better interior design and materials.  The mechanicals were always right on this platform, and were updated accordingly with the 415 HP 6.2l LS3. 

Sadly, there are still bugaboos with the car, such as an awkward bi-level grille, dumb vents on front fenders, and essentially the same shape that could be mistaken for any Euro sedan currently available round the globe. How does it shake out on the open highway? Find out with this video road test from The Smoking Tire.

Best Australian Chevy yet.

The vid has some great rolling shots of the car in the hills around Los Angeles and the hosts extol the car’s virtues of great power and brakes, but ultimately, the gigantic Matt Farah summarizes the new SS as cool but with no “attitude,” and for a little bit more dough, a Chrysler 300C  SRT8 would be his choice.  

Don’t get us wrong; we love the SS, and know this was an easy way for GM to compete with Chrysler’s RWD cars. Unfortunately, like “Groundhog Day” the result is another exercise in automotive marketing that straddles two market segments with few takers.

What does this have to do with Australian “Chevrolets”? Only when the NA designed and built Caddy CTS arrived in 2003 did sales take off. Photo via Curbside Classic

For example, the Euro guys don’t like these global Chevys because the pedigree is wrong. Whether it’s designed in Germany or Australia, its still considered a mutt. These folks could care less about the Chevy legacy and turn their noses up at it.  So much for attracting the coveted, (allegedly) younger BMW crowd. See “Cadillac Catera.”

The muscle car guys also scratch their heads because the pedigree is wrong for them too. They look under the hood and see an LS motor but look on the outside and see a Euro sedan that looks like every other new car on the road and ultimately, does not compute. 

The end result of all this badge rearranging is a car that appeals to neither buyer and becomes a weirdo orphan right out of the gates. Which isn’t to say we don’t love orphan cars. We think they’re cool and all that, but Chevrolet needs to commit to their loyal customers base with a proper entry and not a placeholder that leaves us hanging.

Now here’s the good news. With our deepest condolences to our Australian gear head brothers and sisters, the implosion of Holden and the Australian auto manufacturing sector might the best thing for us hard core Chevy fans, as it hopefully will drive design, development and manufacturing back to North America and result in a real RWD successor to over 50 years of full size Chevy glory. 

With gas mileage standards looming, the bean counters will squawk , so offer a hybrid/electric and all that weird-beard stuff, but offer a range topping SS version with V8 Power.  A coupe and wagon would be nice too.  Mark Reuss, do you copy?

About the author

Dave Cruikshank

Dave Cruikshank is a lifelong car enthusiast and an Editor at Power Automedia. A zealous car geek since birth, he digs lead sleds, curvy fiberglass, kustoms and street rods. He currently owns a '95 Corvette, '76 Cadillac Seville, '99 LS1 Trans Am and big old Ford Van.
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