2015 Chevrolet SS Automatic
The Australian Muscle Car America Needs.
Kushagra Pandey | July 2015
Recently, I test drove Chevy’s flagship sedan, the 2015 Chevrolet SS. It’s a four door sedan boasting all the creature comforts you would expect in a BMW 5 Series, while providing an excellent driving experience.
The Chevy SS pumps out a very healthy 415 hp and 415 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheels thanks to a 6.2-liter V8. It comes standard with a 6 speed automatic gearbox, with the option of a 6 speed manual if you prefer to row your own gears.
Yes, you read that right, it’s 2015 and Chevrolet is offering a big luxury sedan with the option of a good ol’ fashioned manual. It does have to be special ordered, but we’ll take what we can get. The good news doesn’t stop there either. The SS goes 0 to 60 in just 4.6 seconds on to a top speed of 165 mph.
With a car capable of those speeds you’ll be happy to know that it comes standard with high performance Brembo brakes to keep you on the road. It also comes with GM’s magnetic ride control to give it the handling prowess you’d expect from much smaller two-door sports cars.
The SS uses the Corvette’s 6.2 liter LS3 V8
With the impressive numbers and high-performance equipment this car boasts, I was excited to see how it all translated to the driving experience. This car is a blast to drive. Holden (GM’s Australian counterpart that designed and engineered the SS) have hit the nail on the head when it comes to performance. Push the starter button and the small block V8 comes to life. Hit the gas and it emits a deep throated rumble through the twin pipes.
There’s plenty of power to get the tail sliding if you want to play drifter at your local track. Though there is plenty of grip with the traction control on if quick lap-times are your goal. Cornering is flat and precise which is quite impressive in a car that weighs nearly 4,000 lbs. The engine has plenty of power throughout the rev range and the throttle is very responsive.
My main gripes are with the electric-assist steering, which feels way too light and provides little to no feedback, and the automatic gearbox, which can be a little slow when downshifting.
A well-executed interior packed with features
Head-up display brings out your fighter-pilot aspirations
From the second you sit in the vehicle you can tell you’re in something special. There is SS badging everywhere, body-hugging bucket seats and a thick flat-bottomed steering wheel that feels great in your hands. The interior is packed with enough entertainment and tech features to keep any technophile happy for hours, even just parked in the driveway.
The car comes equipped with the Chevy MyLink infotainment system. It combines music, apps and navigation on a large 8-inch color touch-screen. I found the graphic interface pretty easy to use, although the responsiveness could be improved.
A color head-up display also comes as standard, projecting information such as your speed and turn-by-turn directions directly onto the windshield. Chevy says it’s there so you can see vital information without taking your eyes off the road, but we all know it’s a gimmick to make you feel like a fighter pilot. Not that there is anything wrong with that.
The cabin itself is pretty quiet and spacious. You can easily transport four adults in comfort, as long as they find power sliding out of the Walmart parking lot comfortable. American cars have come a long way in terms of cabin quality. It’s still not quite on par with the Germans, but I can’t really complain.
One thing I don’t understand is GM’s fascination with chrome. There is a lot of chrome throughout the cabin, which looks kind of cheap and can get quite distracting on a sunny day. It’s hard to stay focused when you’re giving yourself second degree burns from hot chrome. Especially on a performance car, you would expect either carbon fiber or brushed aluminum accents.
Large dual-exhausts hint at the power lying beneath the hood
Thanks to the limited production run of the SS this was the first time I had seen one in person. While it probably won’t turn heads like a Corvette or Camaro, it is quite a handsome car. It manages to look muscular and purposeful while still being understated.
A keen eye can spot the performance oriented styling features such as the aggressive front end and bright dual-exhaust tips. But once again there is way too much chrome. It’s everywhere. The grille, window surrounds, wheels and accents are bathed in chrome. Why GM, why? They should have the option for brushed aluminum or black. Overall though, it carries a well-proportioned, stylish and purposeful look.
SS badging lets you know you are in something special
With a base price of $45,770 this car does not come cheap. A lot of people will say that is too steep for a Chevy but you get a lot for the price with almost every feature on the car coming as standard, the exception being a sunroof (which is a $900 extra). There is also enough refinement and performance to rival the Europeans. While this car is technically Australian, to me it still feels like a great American muscle car, big V8 in front, rear wheel drive and that iconic American V8 rumble. God bless Australia America.
(Pictures courtesy of Chevrolet USA)