As I sit down to pen a few words about the 2017 Chevrolet SS performance sedan, I feel as though I am writing its obituary. And to some extent, I am. No more than four years after this four-door Camaro arrived on U.S. soil it is destined for the history books.
But before we throw roses on the coffin we got to spend one last visit with what quickly became my favorite American sports sedan – even if it did speak with an Australian accent. To review, the SS is a rear-wheel drive sedan on the global RWD GM architecture that underpins Camaro here and the Holden sedans down under. It is rigged with one engine only – a beefy LS3 6.2-liter V-8 that belches out 415hp and 415 lb. ft. of torque. This is mated to choice of six-speed gearboxes – auto or stick. And things only get better from there.
This wonderful sedan from Elizabeth, South Australia is fitted with a sport-tuned electric power-assist rack and pinion steering system that provides great feedback to the driver and features four-wheel independent suspension architecture with GM’s great magnetic ride control. A drive mode selector allows the person in charge to choose from Normal (ho-hum), Sport (better), and Performance settings. I spent most of my week in Sport but rolled it over to Performance a few times when I had the road to myself. What can I say but the SS handles like a real champ while still offering enough manners to impress your parents and grandparents.
Brakes are more than substantial for the moments when life gets in your way. Brembo two-piece vented rotors are up front with solid rotors in the rear and there are 19-inch cast aluminum wheels shod with Bridgestone ZR performance tires all around. The SS features a limited-slip rear differential and has a dual-mode exhaust similar to that found in the Corvette. Merely switching from Normal to Sport modes attests to this fact as the rumble increases in decibels. Open up the throttle and the growl turns into a sinister roar.
The interior is everything one would expect in a fine global sport sedan – supportive leather sport bucket seating and nearly every creature comfort packed neatly into the driver-oriented cockpit. There is a gas guzzler tax of $1,300 slapped onto the sticker of each and every Chevy SS but the car wears that as a badge of honor, almost like a membership pin into an exclusive secret society. Our recent tester arrived with one option – the power sunroof – everything else is standard including keyless open and start, heated and ventilated front seats, alloy pedals, color driver information display, color touchscreen Chevrolet MyLink infotainment system with navigation and premium Bose audio system, color head-up display, and a host of the latest safety technologies.
Pricing for the 2017 Chevrolet SS begins at $46,625 with our tester arriving with a final window sticker of $49,820. Fuel economy is rated at 14 mpg city and 22 mpg highway.
Rumor has it production for this great car will end this month and most likely will not be renewed at any of the other GM plants here or abroad. Get yours while you can as this is one car that truly gives the German sport sedans a run for their money – and the Chevy SS costs a good bit less. Farewell, SS, it was great knowing you, and thanks for the memories.