Impala Forums banner

1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
56 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I was watching a podcast of Fast Lane Daily (car news, etc, worth subscribing to) yesterday, and on their Road Testament segment, a couple guys were talking about how in recent years, auto manufacturers have made some mistakes regarding their high-performance trim lines and/or levels. They used German manufacturers as examples, like how AMG (Mercedes) has "watered-down" some of the models, doing away with the CLK series and renaming it the E-coupe, making the Black Series (SL/CL, future SLS) the only "true" AMG cars with legit track-inspired mods and cues, stuff like that. They griped about how owning an AMG has come to mean less these days, since they have too-broadly proliferated their offerings and reduced HP numbers on many models except Black Series but even then I still don't doubt having a Benz AMG would still be pretty sweet. But I digress.

That topic made me think of domestic manufacturers, and how their high-performance lines have evolved and changed over the years, and I thought most about what Chevy has done (or lack thereof) recently. Putting Dodge's SRT line (only a couple models anyway) and Ford's SVT (more exclusive than SRT or SS imho) aside, Chevy's SS program line has gotten a lot different over the past few years, and imo it all hasn't been good. Please remember, I'm talking about specifically SS, not ZR1/ZL1 or RS offerings on Camaros and Vettes.

My main worry, is what happened to SS since the mid 2000's? I remember Chevy used to offer (in not any specific year, maybe 2004-07) SS options, with pretty damn good engine and styling packages, in models including the Impala (favorite of course, V8), Cobalt (supercharged and N/A), Monte Carlo, and even all the way to the Trailblazer and Silverado SS models (maybe Avalanche too? I don't know) That's about a half-dozen of solid SS choices from Chevy, and we're just not seeing anything like that anymore.

Now I know the economy tanked in 07/08, GM included, and that probably has a lot to do with it, but how does a car company with so much racing heritage (Nascar, Corvette/ALMS, Drag engines, etc) and well-selling SS models in those years go from 5 or 6 SS models five years ago, to ONE for the '11 model year? I hope I'm right with the 1 SS model for '11, the Camaro (counting both 1SS trim and 2SS as the same), unless I forgot the Cobalt if that hadn't gotten replaced by the Cruze yet for '11, and even then, if the '11 Cobalt SS were around, its presence was barely noticed or advertised. I think they cut off the Cobalt SS as a 2010 model.
And for us Impala guys, the 8th gen Impala SS went from V8 to V6 (I think?) all the way to the pedestrian LTZ (sharp-looks, nowhere near SS HP/performance numbers)

What is Chevy offering these days for SS guys anyway? Those who can't quite afford a ZL1 Camaro or would rather die before going to buy a Mustang GT at a Ford dealership (I'm one of them. haha), and what will the '12 and beyond model years bring for those who want to see quality SS offerings? Currently in the stable is the Camaro SS, great car, no doubt. Besides that...does the Cruze RS even count? I don't think so. OEM SS pickings are currently very slim, for current models, and I think it's been that way since around the '09 model year coming from Chevy, and a slight (or more) bit of SS looks doing more than SS performance figures (excluding Camaro).

I'm hoping to see in the next couple of years, hopefully by '15 or so, around 5 SS models with good performance and equally good looks. Here's what I'd love to see:
-Next-gen Impala SS, sharing a V8 powerplant with the Camaro SS
-Cruze SS (yeah, why not, haha might as well throw a S/C on there)
-Camaro SS continued and not overshadowed by ZL1
-Equinox SS (haha why not? a V8 will fit in there somehow)
-Malibu SS (Impala's younger brother finally getting a S/C V6 maybe?)

That's my rant, I guess I just went on and on. Feedback is welcome of course, feel free to show me how little I know. Haha I just hope SS gets back to its glory it was a few years ago, by whatever means necessary. I know the Bowtie can bring it.

Peace for now.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
22,815 Posts
DAMMIT! I hit the escape key and lost my whole paragraph.....

ANYWAY, starting over......


You bring a very interesting synopsis. Here's what I have to say. You are losing V8 or higher performance models because of eco-freaks and debt. The Malibu used to offer an SS trim, but stopped before the redesign. The current Malibu would've made a cool SS. Maybe it's in the future for the 2013 Malibu, though GM has not said. The Cruze is rumored to soon be offering a SS trim with the Regal Turbo 2.4 engine, IIRC. It'll be a zippy little bugger. As for beyond that, don't hold your breath for any major releases. The days of the V8 in America have come to an end and if the automakers make a performance line, it will be a turbo 4 banger or SC 6 banger. That's the way it is. Nothing wrong with it, Hell, the Ford EcoBoost puts out 365 HP in a 3.5L and gets as good mileage as our NA 3.8s at 200HP. All I'm saying is that's our future.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
56 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the response, all you said makes sense and is totally agreeable. I forgot to mention the environmental issues associated with V8s. It's a safe bet you bring up that the V8 (in sedans at least) is probably dead, or will be soon here in the US (it already is on its death bed in Europe, etc.) Forced induction of 4's and 6's does seem like a more logical way to go, and personally, seems fine with me. I know Chevy is capable of providing many fun-to-drive SS models (regardless of cylinders) in the future, seeing more than one or two offerings would make me happiest though. They got good things going with the Cruze, and the next-gen Malibu looks good from what I've seen. We'll just wait and see I suppose.
 

·
8th Gen Antagonist
Joined
·
13,660 Posts
It seems to me that it was rare for an SS to offer anything more than trim, the 7th and 8th gen impalas along with the cobalt offered more performance sure. But the truck SS's and the 6th gen impalas, along with most of the others were really no different save for appearance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
56 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
But the 6th-gen SS ('94-'96) had the 260hp V8, and the base caprice had the 200hp V8, so the 6th gen SS had 60 more HP and looked a lot better than the caprice.

I'm pretty sure the Silverado and Trailblazer SS had the LSX motor out of a Vette, so not just appearance there either? Silverado SS was a response to Dodge's Ram SRT10 with the V10 I think.

Doesn't matter now though, probably won't see any V8 SS besides Camaro anymore.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
22,815 Posts
^I think you're comparing a 4.3 with a LT1. BTW, the 7th gen SS had 240HP. Trailblazer SS had the LS2 in it. Not sure about the Silvy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
56 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Probably made the wrong comparison, I just don't know stuff that specific yet. Just got outta high school. haha

Cars.com said the Silvy SS (05 example) had a 345HP V8, i assume from a vette, not too bad.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,492 Posts
I've mentioned in other threads that performance costs, and with today's economy, no one's paying to go faster, they're paying to go longer on a tank of gas. I truly believe that the death of the american V8 really is temporary. History has proven that in tough times, there are no SS models, when times are good, there are plenty to be had. I think it will return again. Time will tell though. I think the smaller cars will be relegated to the turbo'd and or S/C 4's and 6's, but I think the fullsized will see a return of the V8 in the future, maybe even a RWD or 2, again only time will tell. Until then, some fun wiki facts about the "SS"

Super Sport, or SS, is the signature performance option package offered by Chevrolet, a United States Auto Maker, on a limited number of its vehicles. All SS models come with distinctive "SS" markings on their exterior. The package was first made available for the 1961 Impala.[1] Some of the other models bearing the SS badge include the Camaro, Chevelle, El Camino, Monte Carlo, and Nova. Current SS models are produced by the GM Performance Division.
General Motors Company's Australian subsidiary Holden also offered a SS package on some of its vehicles. The Commodore SS is a sedan while the Ute SS is a two-door coupe utility.[2][3]


Chevelle SS 396


SS 396 logo
In 1961, the SS "kit" was offered on any Impala for just $53.80. The package included Super Sport trim for both the interior and exterior, chassis reinforcements, stronger springs and shocks, power brakes, spinner wheel covers and narrow-band whitewall tires. The car's dashboard received a Corvette style passenger hand bar and a steering column mounted 7000-rpm tachometer. Chevrolet built 491,000 Impalas that year and 453 had the SS package, of which 311 received the 348-cid and 142 received the 409 cid.[4]
Until the Impala SS was brought back in 1994, the Super Sport package was only available on two-door passenger cars. Since then, however, the SS package has been used on a variety of GM vehicles, including pickup trucks, four-door sedans, and front wheel drive cars.
Both historically and today, the Super Sport package has typically included high-performance tires, heavy-duty suspension, and increased power, along with a variety of other performance and appearance upgrades.
[edit]SS models

[edit]Current SS models
Chevrolet HHR - 2.0 L (120 cu in) turbocharged Ecotec LNF I4 producing 260 hp (194 kW)
Chevrolet Camaro - 6.2 L (380 cu in) LS3 V8 producing 426 hp (318 kW)
Chevrolet Caprice — 6.0 L (370 cu in) L98 V8 producing 360 hp (268 kW) (Middle East market)
Chevrolet Lumina — 6.0 L (370 cu in) L98 V8 producing 360 hp (268 kW) (Middle East market)
Chevrolet Astra South America market
Chevrolet Corsa South America market - Brazil
Chevrolet Meriva South America market - Brazil
[edit]Previous SS models
[edit]Cars


1969 Chevrolet Chevelle SS396
Chevrolet Cobalt — 2.0 L (120 cu in) turbocharged Ecotec LNF I4 producing 260 hp (194 kW) 2008 - 2010 (4 door, 2009 only)
Chevrolet Cobalt — 2.0 L (120 cu in) supercharged Ecotec LSJ I4 producing 205 hp (153 kW) 2005-2007
Chevrolet Cobalt — 2.4 L (150 cu in) Ecotec LE5 I4 producing 171 hp (128 kW)
Chevrolet Impala 1961-1969, 1994–1996, 2004–2009
Chevrolet Malibu/Malibu Maxx 2006-2007
Chevrolet Chevelle 1964-1973
Chevrolet Camaro 1967-2002, 2010-
Chevrolet El Camino 1968-1987
Chevrolet Nova 1963-1976 (Also known as Chevy II)
Chevrolet Monte Carlo 1970-1971, 1983–1988, 2000–2007
Chevrolet Opala 4.1 L (250 cu in) 250-S I6 producing 171 hp (128 kW) 1971-1980 - Brazil
Chevrolet Opala 2.5 L (150 cu in) 151-S I4 producing 98 hp (73 kW) 1971-1980 - Brazil
Acadian Canadian market Nova (not branded as a Chevrolet or Pontiac; similar to Beaumont line)
[edit]Trucks
Chevrolet 454 SS 1990-1993
Chevrolet S10 Cameo 1989-1991
Chevrolet S10 SS 1994-1998
Chevrolet S10 Xtreme Force
Chevrolet S10 Hugger
Chevrolet S10 Xtreme 1994-2003
Chevrolet Colorado Xtreme 2004–Present
Chevrolet SSR — 6.0 L (370 cu in) LS2 V8
Chevrolet Silverado SS
Chevrolet Silverado Intimidator SS
Chevrolet TrailBlazer — 6.0 L (370 cu in) LS2 V8 2006-2009
[edit]South African market
For a short period of time in the early 1970s, a Holden Monaro-based "Chevrolet SS" model, similar in design, size and drivetrain to a Nova SS, was available in South Africa. Unlike the Nova, it was built as a hardtop, without fixed #2 or B-pillars or frames around the door glass.
[edit]Concept car

Main article: Chevrolet SS


Chevrolet SS concept (front) at the 2004 Los Angeles Auto Show
In 2003, Chevrolet released a concept car they named the SS. A rear wheel drive sports car with a modern 430 hp small-block V8 engine and race-tuned suspension, it was billed as "a modern interpretation of Chevrolet's Super Sport heritage". Though never intended for production, the vehicle was used as a show car and to hint at what was ahead for Chevrolet sports car design.
[edit]Collectors market

It is usually easy to visually differentiate an SS from a "plain-Jane" model. However, it is more difficult to tell the difference between a genuine SS and a "clone", a non-SS vehicle that has been altered to look like an SS. Because of the number of SS clones in the marketplace, potential buyers are advised to do their research and contact their local car clubs for help to ensure that the vehicle is a true SS by running the VIN codes and casting numbers on the engine.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
56 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Interesting, thanks for sharing that.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
22,815 Posts
The V8 most likely won't return as a common performance engine. The money is and will be spent on developing high performance V6 engines. Like the Taurus SHOs EcoBoost. Waiting 5 or so years to put an outdated V8 in is a step backwards. The V6 will be so developed and the V8 will be very similar to it's current form.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
10,732 Posts
Random reply comments:

I will own only V8s for as long as I can. I have had nothing but V8s, except for a twin Turbo V6, for at least a decade. Even the new SHO ecoboost feels like a V6 to me, not in terms of speed or acceleration, but in terms of "feel", sound, and smoothness. All subjective of course, but just my subjective feeling.

The last generation malibu SS was as underrated and appreciated and the 8th gen Impala SS IMO. 240 HP in that old small box Malibu was a lot.

What was the worst use of "SS" branding? I am going to think on that.....
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,492 Posts
I think just as we (GM) are shifting to the DOHC V6 of cadillac, we (GM) will shift to cadillac's DOHC V8's, they are not as underdeveloped as you think, they are just underutilized. But I'm sure there is plenty of development left in both, you're right.
 

·
8th Gen Antagonist
Joined
·
13,660 Posts
There is a lot of half-assedness to cadillacs V8's, and has been for decades. There is no reason however that these technologies everyone is speaking of cannot be applied to a V8 however. As for the worst use of SS branding? My vote is for the pickups, all they did was lower them and put some red decals on them, plus ITS A F***ING PICKUP!!! When are the auto makers, and the rednecks, going to realize that a pickup is not, and cannot be, a performance vehicle? Barring the SSR and foreign brethren of course, but that is closer to the El Camino than an actual truck.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
7,057 Posts
I will humbly keep my V-8's for as long as I can continue to get parts for them! I too like the smoothness of the V-8's. The 4 bangers have way to much vibration at idle for me. And 4 or 6 bangers don't sound good with louder mufflers on them, I really hate hearing them. It has always been my opinion if you want the great sound of a V-8 engine than buy a car with one in it.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,430 Posts
Dont know if Id agree that V8 is dead. Both Mercedes and BMW(and Volvo) offer V8 still. Maybe not in the american way, theyre smaller, but they are still there and I have a very hard time thinking they would stop offering these engines/models. I think its in the way they're offered. The European V8s are NOT offered to the common man. They are exclusively for ppl with alot of money. V8 in at least European cars Im certain will still be there. In performance/luxury models.

As for AMG, yes, they have been watered down. A friend bought a ML 500 some years ago. He first wanted the AMG version. But realized it was mostly chrome and plastic that made the difference. Speaking hps, it only differed 20hp, and for the money he wouldve spent on an AMG he got a better equipped "normal" 500. So watered down, yes I agree.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
913 Posts
plus ITS A F***ING PICKUP!!! When are the auto makers, and the rednecks, going to realize that a pickup is not, and cannot be, a performance vehicle?
I don't agree with that.



Thats a truck. A very very very fast truck that IS street driven.




I really don't think they'll worry too much about S/C v6's when they've seen the performance and gas saving abilities of the turbo 4-banger. They'll probably try to apply a turbo to a v6 or maybe a TTv6 to compete with the SHO. Not to knock our 7th gen brothers, but the cobalt SS/tc is faster and gets better gas mileage so it would only make sense to follow that aspect.

As much as I would like to see a RWD Impala with the 5.3l or larger, I really don't see it happening.



Oh and I agree with the statements about the latest model Malibu SS. It was very underrated and is actually pretty fun to drive. I liked them so much, I bought my girlfriend one!!




Seriously though... The Malibu SS has a few features that I wished my Impala SS came with. Bolstered seats, "manual mode" shifting, I like the steering wheel a little better, adjustable pedals, just to name a few.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
22,815 Posts
OMG!!!!!!! That's the way the damn Impala fogs should've been to match the other grill stuff.
That's a cool car, BTW.
 

·
8th Gen Antagonist
Joined
·
13,660 Posts
Fast in a straight line does not make a performance vehicle. And just because something CAN go fast, doesn't mean it SHOULD. Watch what happens if that thing tries to go around a corner. The Malibu SS is kinda cool though.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
22,815 Posts
So, just food for thought. I thought everyone should know the Nissan GT-R is a 3.8L V6 putting out 485HP with 434 torque.
 

·
8th Gen Antagonist
Joined
·
13,660 Posts
And I want one!
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
Top