Chevrolet has now officially closed its order books for the SS – or what is our export Holden Commodore SS-V Redline.
Stateside automotive blogs and websites are in mourning this week as a Chevrolet spokesperson confirmed that Sunday February 19 would be when order books for the four-door with the Aussie accent would close. Which is right now, Yank time.
Chevrolet has confirmed this in a statement today saying "All US dealer orders are in for the allocated production of the 2017 Chevrolet SS. This includes any additional units that were confirmed for production last year."
Essentially, anyone without an order in already will have to pick from existing dealer stock. The Chevrolet SS was only available as a single model overseas, heavily based on our Commodore SS-V Redline but with a few extras thrown in.
It received adaptive magnetoheorological dampers that Holden sadly reserved for the limited-run Commodore Motorsport Edition and Director locally, and was equipped with ventilated front seats and internet connectivity that have never (and will never be) available locally.
GM’s US arm also swapped out the black 19-inch alloy wheels standard on our SS V Redline, retaining their multi-spoke design but finished in machined silver unavailable in Australia. It also keeps the Commodore SS’s standard tail-light design over the Redline's clear tail-lights.
The 6.2-litre V8-engined Chevy was available in both six-speed manual and automatic transmission, but with a pricetag of US$46,625 plus on-road costs. As it turns out, the motoring press appeared to love the SS more than punters did – its popularity has remained low since it first launched in late 2013 and few are seen on American roads.
Why? For some context, a BMW 330i M Sport costs US $44,445 plus on-roads. It also isn’t subject to a further $1000 ‘gas guzzler’ tax, as the Chevy is in some states such as populous California. In Australia, it’s $54,990 Commodore SS V Redline versus $69,900 330i.
Some pundits pointed to ‘anonymous’ styling in a market dominated by the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro and which favour brash applications of chrome and gills; others said the ‘SS’ nameplate was tarnished by its use on the Chevrolet Impala that died in 1996.
However, as Road and Track magazine reported: “The SS will be sorely missed by the few that recognised its charms. It’s so good, we deemed it worthy of comparison to the all-time benchmark sports sedan, the E39-chassis BMW M5.”
The original VE Commodore that debuted the wholly Australian-engineered Zeta platform, upon which the VF Commodore sits, was actually benchmarked on BMW’s E39 5 Series, which beyond the brilliant M5 also delivered a ride and handling balance in regular models that the successive runflats-equipped E60 and outgoing F10 generations struggled to match.
“The SS' demise leaves the Dodge Charger as the only affordable, V8-powered, rear-drive sedan sold in the US,” R&T added.
“Besides the Charger, the closest car to the SS that's still on sale today is, shockingly, the Lexus GS F. The only other V8-powered four-door from GM is the 477kW Cadillac CTS-V, which carries a base price that’s nearly $40,000 higher than the SS.”
The Chevrolet SS export program was pushed into fruition by former GM Holden managing director Mark Reuss before his departure in 2009. The US-born citizen now holds the title of GM global president.