Old moniker is hot again: The Chevy SS is not a budget sedan
With the 2009 shuttering of Pontiac, V-8 sedan enthusiasts lost one option in their quest for a sporty and powerful four-door. That model was the G8, and it was based on a rear-wheel-drive Holden platform imported from Australia. Die-hard fans rejoiced, however, as the G8 returned in the form of the Chevrolet SS in 2014.
Minimal changes to Chevy-ify the appearance package gave buyers a second shot at the American performance sedan of their dreams. Powered by the LS3, a 6.2-liter V-8 packing 415 horsepower, this sedan sprinted to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds, giving buyers the option of defining the two-letter name as “super sport” or “super sedan.”
The real treat though was the option of a six-speed manual transmission. While 2014 models did not have the option, 2015 buyers found the box on the order sheet to add a third pedal. Already sporting Brembo brakes large enough to function as Miata wheels, along with a decent options package that elevated the interior to a level that the European makes were at least within reach, the SS was a good fit for a well-to-do American who wanted to keep an American car in the garage without compromising on driving experience.
The problem from the start was three-fold—the name, price, and appearance. Selling the SS alongside the Camaro SS was flat-out confusing, especially to those who might not have known the SS existed prior to waltzing into their local dealer. A well-optioned SS could easily see a sticker price north of $45K, and when you combine that with a design that looked more Impala than Camaro it was a big ask. Enthusiasts love sleeper cars, but those willing to plop down $50K for a new Chevy want at least some flash for their money.
All of this stacked up to make the SS last only slightly longer than its brother from another mother. By 2017, the SS exited down the long road in the sky. Those curious enough to look for one on the Chevrolet website are told, “The Chevy SS is no longer available,” and they’re offered a couple of interesting alternatives—Camaro or Impala? Big gap there, Chevy.
You might want to turn to the used market instead. For example, a 2015 model is currently listed on Bring a Trailer, and it has a few great things going for it. That model year was the first for the Magnetic Ride Control suspension, which is a significant upgrade over the standard springs and dampers of the first-year car (and the G8.) Thankfully, the stock wheels are included; although the custom 20-inch wheels on it look sick, by the looks of the tire sidewall I could drive over a dime and know if it was heads or tails.
Hagerty vehicle data specialist Greg Ingold says, “Overall, everything done to this car is tastefully executed and can be reasonably reversed by someone with a little mechanical knowledge. That means the market for this car is open to individuals seeking a moderately used car to collect, as well as the individual who wants to drive the wheels off of it. Neither is a bad choice.”
Which has us wondering who might buy one of these muscle sedans. Hagerty data shows that Gen X and Millennials comprise 72 percent of insurance-quote-driven interest, split fairly evenly between the two. Fittingly, interest in the Pontiac aligns with the SS. Quote interest across all groups has risen steadily, seemingly since the 2017 announcement that Chevrolet would be discontinuing the model.
It is easy to see why it went away, considering total production saw only 12,924 SS sedans. In other words, if you want one—and you should want one—stay sharp, because any models worth buying are likely to disappear quickly.