Let it be known that I shed a single, manly tear as I wrote this article. Chevy’s SS muscle car is not long for this world, and it is (soon to be was) a truly underrated vehicle. I feel it never really got its time to shine, and was cut down in its prime, at a time when consumers are demanding a fun vehicle to drive, that is still somewhat easy on the gas. That’s what the SS offered: a combination of fun and practicality, with just a hint of sporty flair. A Corvette-derived V8 engine, one of the last rear-wheel drive sedans on the market, and a simple sedan body are only a few of the perks this vehicle offered.
I bet some of you never even knew the Chevrolet SS existed, and I’m not surprised. It was never advertised as heavily as the other Chevy vehicles, nor did it really turn heads. It was a hero that never wore a cape, a bright sun behind a wall of dark clouds — and now it’s going away after 2017.
Damned and Doomed
Car and Driver reports that the SS is going to go away after the 2017 model year. But, Chevrolet did say it will keep taking orders for the vehicle through the end of February, sell off whatever models are left milling around the manufacturer’s plants and dealerships, then bid bon voyage to this vehicle. Car and Driver got this information from a GM spokesperson in charge of marketing for the SS; unfortunately, this is legit.
So, if you want a practical, low-key, handsome-looking sedan with old-school muscle stuffed under the hood, you have a year left to buy one.
Or, you could always buy one used. But, it won’t be as shiny… and it deserves to be shiny.
Why, God? How Could You Let This Happen?
In this case, God is General Motors, and this desperate and depressed question is answered with an infuriatingly good reason: Chevrolet is executing the SS model simply because GM is shutting-down the Australian factory that produces it. Why shut it down? GM worries about cost, and if the SS isn’t selling well, it won’t offset the expense of shipping models from Australia.
Can’t argue with that. After all, the company needs to grow as a whole. Considering the fact that the SS is a very niche (but totally underrated) car, it’s not surprising that only an abysmal 3,013 of them ended up selling in 2016. In part because it’s a niche sedan, but also because Chevy never ended up giving it its time in the sun through promotion and advertisement. The most the brand did was badge its name on a NASCAR race car.
Why It’s Niche, and Failed
I hate saying this, but since it only marketed to a niche audience, the SS ended up failing. It provided the power of a muscle car on the body of a subdued sedan. I’m not kidding about the muscle car performance, by the way. It has a 6.2-liter V8 engine with a 0-60 mph time of 5 seconds flat. That’s nothing to sniff at, nor is the 415 horsepower/415 lb.-ft. of torque the engine produces.
Unfortunately, a lot of consumers who want the muscle car power also want the muscle car look. Not something the sedan is able to provide. Keep in mind, that’s my own two cents. Not saying that’s the actual reason for its demise, but I’m confident that the design was just underwhelming for a lot of consumers, especially since it can actually do a 0 to 60 mph run that fast.
Still, it really was something special, and I’ll miss it. I’m sure those of you who knew about it (or own one) will miss it as well.