When I first saw the Tribune article (which was based from a Detroit Free Press story), about Chevrolet’s new car the SS, it seemed like okay here’s another car from GM based on a foreign chassis and will initially be made overseas.
Yes this car will be the shell for the new Nascar representative from GM next year but its more than that. And yes it’s based on a Holden Commodore from Australia as was the late Pontiac GTO and G8. And most of us GM fans felt the G8 had so much potential (and horsepower), and was left for dead as Pontiac was on life support and poor marketing from GM as they had financial issues and sought a government bailout.
But this is round two and GM is better now, both financially and putting out some good, quality cars and this is proof. You know a car company is smart and running on all cylinders when they put out special cars that won’t end up in the rental car fleet.
This is a limited edition, soon to be collector’s item, straight up muscle car.
The last time Chevrolet was close to something like this was the Impala SS of 2007-8 but it was using the venerable 5.3 V8 that is found in Silverado trucks and Tahoe & Suburban SUVs. I’ve driven a 2009 Suburban with this engine, it sounds killer and has some real power and depending on the configuration it can get around 325 horses. But it’s a workhorse engine not really made for speed and performance.
GM makes some power to the wheels, the 6.2 V8 that powers the Chevrolet Camaro SS (and ZL1 version with an Eaton supercharger on it), does that and the 7.0 supercharged engine in the Corvette ZR1 is so powerful it had to be tuned down for Rolex series rally races.
Chevrolet hasn’t announced the engine for the SS yet but hopefully its “Stupid Fast” as it says on the side of Bob Bode’s NHRA drag race car.
As a Nascar fan I welcome this change of car for I can tell you what you see on the track isn’t close to what you can buy in the showroom.
This car is trying to change that.
See for several decades Nascar has just put a body on a race car and painted it and called it Chevrolet, Ford, Toyota or Dodge and not trying to make it seem like a performance car or anything. I mean Toyota supposedly races a Camry for crying out loud, tell me that grocery getter looks like a race car to you?
Anyway the new Chevrolet SS is a throwback or old school car of rear wheel drive, high performance and low practicality. Now granted Dodge has had the Charger since 2006 for this same purpose but only the top of the line (SRT8 & R/T), are performance cars, the rest are practical daily drivers with smaller V6 engines.
And Ford has the Taurus SHO (Super High Output), but that’s not their supposed Nascar representative, they throw a Fusion out there, I mean c’mon it has a hybrid version. The Mustang Shelby GT 500 needs to be out there.
Don’t get me wrong, I love American cars (full disclosure I drive a 2011 Chevrolet Malibu), and I love this renaissance of muscle with the Dodge Challenger, previously mentioned Dodge Charger, Ford Mustang, Ford Taurus SHO, Chevrolet Camaro and of course the Chevrolet Corvette. It’s wonderful that the Big 3 are putting out some power to the pavement.
But Nascar needs to get with it and help propel the finally growing domestic car market.
Remember the old slogan, “win on Sunday, sell on Monday?”
We need to get back to to having a true american muscle car in Nascar and on showroom floors for us fans.