Rumor Has It: Chevrolet Fixing to Send the SS out with a Supercharged Bang
If one was to compile a list of the coolest current U.S. market new cars and trucks virtually nobody is buying, the Chevrolet SS should absolutely be at the top of said list. This as-Americanized-as-it-has-to-be-and-no-more version of the VF-series Holden Commodore might look like the sort of harmless-to-a-fault fare you’d find on an Enterprise or Hertz lot, but the rear-drive layout, all-independent magnetically-damped suspension, 415 horsepower 6.2L LS3 V8 and available 6-speed manual transmission (A 6-speed automatic is also offered.) mean this is really more of a modern E39 BMW M5 that’s American by way of Australia. It’s a brilliant car. It’s also on the edge of extinction.
With Holden shutting down all Australian vehicle production sometime next year (and the current Commodore set to be replaced by a globally-developed, European-made, transverse-engine front/all-wheel-drive model), the SS is on borrowed time. But what are GM’s plans for the SS for the time it has left? Well, if an anonymous source within the company who recently spoke to GM Authority is to be believed, those plans involve fitting the LS3’s same-displacement supercharged cousin, the LSA, in at least some examples of the Bowtie-wearing Antipodean export next year. Doing so couldn’t get more feasible, as the LSA is already being installed in the top-dog of the Commodore family that are developed and marketed by Holden’s in-house tuning shop, HSV. In those applications, output officially peaks at 536 horsepower, though it’s worth mentioning that the engine made 556 horsepower and 580 horsepower in the previous generation Cadillac CTS-V and Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, respectively.
Again, this is merely an unsubstantiated rumor as far as we can tell. But we think some extra oomph for the SS would be a mighty nice going-away present for this wildly underappreciated super sedan, and would make the “four-door Corvette” nickname even more fitting.