The Super Sport was first introduced by Chevrolet in 1961 as an optional performance package on the Impala. As the muscle car wars raged on through the late-‘60s, the Chevrolet SS would re-define what a performance car should be and soared in popularity. The SS insignia became synonymous with legendary performance on the Impala and spread to other models, such as the Camaro and Chevelle.
Through the recent years, however, the SS package had become more of an afterthought, with the once-legendary crest demoted to basically an appearance package status (one exception: Camaro). It had more to do with looks than its original performance car roots, especially when most contemporary models offering the SS were front wheel drive (FWD).
It’s been nearly 20 years since the last true rear wheel drive (RWD) full-size models ended in 1996 with the Impala SS, a 4-door Caprice fitted with a LT1 260 horsepower V8.
Well, the (full-size) muscle car formula is back: Big-car performance mixed with V8 power combined with RWD.
But this time, Impala and SS are going their separate ways.
The Chevrolet SS was officially unveiled at Daytona International Speedway on February 16, replacing the Impala in the Budweiser Speedweeks racing series.
Named simply “SS,” Chevy calls it a “sport sedan.” Neither the website nor Chevy officially claims this model to be a Super Sport. Ask any car buff and they’ll tell you what the squiggly lines on the emblem mean (and it’s not “Sport Sedan”).
The all-new 2014 Impala is being released this spring, and though it looks sleek and muscular, it just wouldn’t be right. FWD wasn’t going to cut it this time.
Especially after basically teasing GM devotees with the now extinct Pontiac G8 4-door. Go figure, GM finally builds a sedan to compete with the likes of BMW, with good handling and a decent interior, and then cans it. Okay the whole Poncho Division went kaput, but I’m just saying…
GM did the righteous thing and rewarded patient fans with a car they can call their own: a dedicated full-size, 4-door sedan with old school grunt. Engine details are pending, but rumors persist the SS will likely be powered by the all-new (for 2014) Corvette Stingray’s Direct Injected LT1 6.2 liter V8.
Perhaps Chevy wants to start something new, make a mark as it once did so long ago (circa 1961). Listening to the public, even a performance niche market at that, is one way to gain insight into what to build. Could it be that Chevy knew what fans wanted… and actually listened? Then made it? Wow, sounds like a novel idea.
This car looks like it has all the right tools to succeed. As seen in these official General Motor’s photos, the SS is indeed sleek and oh-so-rear wheel drive. How retro! How cool. How needed.
The sheetmetal is definitely a muscular design, though a bit reserved. Erring on the side of caution, perhaps GM designers spent all their new-wave international design energy on the 2014 Corvette Stingray, a car far more edgy.
Chevy reveals the SS wears, “Polished aluminum alloy 19” x 8.5” front wheels… and 19” x 9” wheels in back wrapped in ultra-high performance summer-only tires.” Brembo calipers are noticeable behind the rubber, so it should have the ability to offer serious stopping power… after all those straight-line jaunts.
Chevrolet has said that the SS will be a low-production, higher-end performance sedan, though no official figures have been revealed. My guess is this car will be on par with Cadillac offerings. And like its sister Camaro model, also considered by Chevy as a “premium” sports car, don’t expect a hometown (fan) discount.
For information on the upcoming 2013 Chevrolet SS, click here: