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    Quick Drive: 2014 Chevrolet SS


    • The Car That Came From Australia

    General Motors' track record with bringing and selling vehicles from Australia to the U.S. has been very checkered. All of the attempts see to have ambitious sales goals, and then not meeting them. GM hopes the third (or the fourth as some would argue) try might be it. That try is the 2014 Chevrolet SS.

    The SS got many criticisms for its exterior design and how blah it is. But let's be honest for a moment; the GTO and G8 (to a point) weren't really that exciting to look at either. Sure both models down the line (or trim line in the case of the G8) got bits and pieces that made them look more aggressive. To me, I think the SS looks great, especially in the black with the nineteen-inch aluminum wheels. The overall look adds a bit of a sleeper element to vehicle, which consider what lies under the hood is a very good thing.

    Speaking of which, under the hood lies a 6.2L V8 with 415 horsepower and 415 pound-feet of torque. This is paired up to a six-speed automatic which sends all of that power to the rear wheels. GM quotes a 0-60 MPH time of under five seconds and it feels that quick. Step on the accelerator and V8 roars into life and moves you at a rate that you cannot believe is possible in a big sedan. The six-speed automatic is quick and responsive, but some will be wishing for a manual transmission to add to the enjoyment.

    As for handling, the SS feels like a proper performance car. Body lean and roll are kept to a minimum and steering is very responsive. Now I kind of wished for a little bit more feel and weight with the steering, but overall I was impressed. The drawback for some is that the sport suspension tuning means an uncomfortable ride. I noticed that somewhat, but it wasn't that bad compared some other models.

    With an as-tested pricetag of $45,570 (includes a $1,300 Gas Guzzler Tax) and a load of standard equipment such as leather sport seats, Chevrolet's MyLink, keyless entry and start, and much more; the SS may be the charm that GM has been looking for.

    Disclaimer: Chevrolet Provided the SS for the MAMA Spring Rally

    Year: 2014

    Make: Chevrolet

    Model: SS

    Trim: N/A

    Engine: 6.2L V8

    Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, Rear-Wheel Drive

    Horsepower @ RPM: 415 @ 5900

    Torque @ RPM: 415 @ 4600

    Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 14/21/17

    Curb Weight: 3,975 lbs

    Location of Manufacture: Elizabeth, Australia

    Base Price: $43,475

    As Tested Price: $45,770 (Includes $995.00 Destination Charge and $1,300 Gas Guzzler Tax)

    Options:

    N/A

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

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    While many including myself find this a bland looking car, I really do hope it is a success for GM as they need a Halo Family sedan for Chevy.

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    General Motors gets undue critical pressure RE sales volume.

     

    Sure, if you're making a profit per vehicle, you make more profit, but GM (or any other maker for that matter) will never again see 50% marketshare, and crushing volume is not going to be the best indicator of 'success'. IOW, while volume projections for a particular model are all well & good, not meeting that goal does not mean the model was better off not being built.

     

    It just gets tiresome to so frequently read GM = huge volume... except these 'failures'.

     

    Was not the GTO production-volume / import restricted, and actually sold right up to that quantity?

    - - - - -

    I haven't seen an SS up close yet, have to see if my local dealer has one.

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    Sounds like what a lot of people have been waiting for.  Who needs 50% market share when higher profits and better cash flow are the real name of the game?

     

    As for the car itself, this is really great.  Now if only there were a 6cyl version to directly compete with the 300/Charger twins. . . . .

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    Sounds like what a lot of people have been waiting for.  Who needs 50% market share when higher profits and better cash flow are the real name of the game?

     

    As for the car itself, this is really great.  Now if only there were a 6cyl version to directly compete with the 300/Charger twins. . . . .

     

    Keep dreaming on that last part.

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    A couple of comments on the car:

    1. The car is 98% there. Two things missing that prevents SS from greatness - a) LT1 and b) 7-speed Tremec and/or 8-speed GM/Aisin auto.
    2. Dimensionally and performance-wise the car is really close to the CTS V-Sport. Yet both vehicles are distinct. If CTS-V sport gets 17/25 mpg, so should the SS. However, possibly due to aggressive transmission setup and having lower number of cogs, the vehicle is being handed the GG Tax.
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    Is it possible that it has the transmission due to already being a produced auto for Australia and as such would require more work to upgrade the transmission?

     

    I would think if the transmission could handle the HP / Torque and it would get better gas mileage, then GM should have upgraded the transmission before importing it. This seems like a common sense upgrade that should have been applied before importing the engine. Or is it that GM needs to fulfill a contract and figure those that want the performance will pay the GG Tax and we get the contract fulfilled and if all sales go well then upgrade the Transmission in year two?

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    I do not think logistics is the issue. IIRC, transmissions and engines (V8s at least) for zeta cars are built in USA and shipped to Australia. That is why GTO power-train could be upgraded within 1 year of production or G8-GXP then had the 6.2, while other zetas did not have that engine.

     

    I think by 2018 SS in its current form will disappear as Australian production terminates, unless GM retools one of the Oshawa or Lansing lines and continues the production. There is a darn possibility that given GM mentality more resources won't be put in the car. Thus, the engine will not be changed and there may be some hollowness to the rumor of the car getting stick-shift.

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    It is more, I think about, not killing the sacred cows. I can see LT1 would have been held up for Corvette and such would be the case for the 8-speed due to it going in the Cadillac CTS first.

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    It is more, I think about, not killing the sacred cows. I can see LT1 would have been held up for Corvette and such would be the case for the 8-speed due to it going in the Cadillac CTS first.

     

    Also, I think GM's sales goal for the SS (which is 3,000 per year I think) doesn't make any sense to that stuff at the moment. Which is a shame, because I really think an eight-speed could do some wonderful things.

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    It is more, I think about, not killing the sacred cows. I can see LT1 would have been held up for Corvette and such would be the case for the 8-speed due to it going in the Cadillac CTS first.

     

    Also, I think GM's sales goal for the SS (which is 3,000 per year I think) doesn't make any sense to that stuff at the moment. Which is a shame, because I really think an eight-speed could do some wonderful things.

     

     

    Is 3,000 per annum a capacity restriction in the Victoria plant or GM's reluctance to build more?

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    It is more, I think about, not killing the sacred cows. I can see LT1 would have been held up for Corvette and such would be the case for the 8-speed due to it going in the Cadillac CTS first.

     

    Also, I think GM's sales goal for the SS (which is 3,000 per year I think) doesn't make any sense to that stuff at the moment. Which is a shame, because I really think an eight-speed could do some wonderful things.

     

     

    Is 3,000 per annum a capacity restriction in the Victoria plant or GM's reluctance to build more?

     

     

    More of the latter

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    It is more, I think about, not killing the sacred cows. I can see LT1 would have been held up for Corvette and such would be the case for the 8-speed due to it going in the Cadillac CTS first.

     

    Also, I think GM's sales goal for the SS (which is 3,000 per year I think) doesn't make any sense to that stuff at the moment. Which is a shame, because I really think an eight-speed could do some wonderful things.

     

     

    Is 3,000 per annum a capacity restriction in the Victoria plant or GM's reluctance to build more?

     

     

    More of the latter

     

     

    That is what I figured. Then GM is to blame for not giving this car a chance to be what it wanted the car to be. If executives make excuse that people didn't buy it, even though we offered a "great car", then they need to be "shown the light".

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    It is more, I think about, not killing the sacred cows. I can see LT1 would have been held up for Corvette and such would be the case for the 8-speed due to it going in the Cadillac CTS first.

     

    Also, I think GM's sales goal for the SS (which is 3,000 per year I think) doesn't make any sense to that stuff at the moment. Which is a shame, because I really think an eight-speed could do some wonderful things.

     

     

    Is 3,000 per annum a capacity restriction in the Victoria plant or GM's reluctance to build more?

     

     

    More of the latter

     

     

    That is what I figured. Then GM is to blame for not giving this car a chance to be what it wanted the car to be. If executives make excuse that people didn't buy it, even though we offered a "great car", then they need to be "shown the light".

     

    AKA Show them the DOOR! We need young people who are willing to think long term on building quality auto's that people can love.

    They can be older people also as long as they are still willing to learn and change and not set in their way.

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      The connecting rods are stronger, too, and incorporate a new 45-degree split-angle design to allow the larger-diameter rod bearings to pass through the cylinder bores during engine assembly. They’re forged and sintered with a durable powdered metal alloy, with a fractured-cap design enabling more precise cap-to-rod fitment. 
      A new, stronger cast-aluminum piston design tops off the rotating assembly. It features a taller crown area and a remelted combustion bowl rim for greater strength. Remelting is an additional manufacturing process for aluminum pistons in which the bowl rim area is reheated after casting and pre-machining, creating a much finer and more consistent metal grain structure that greatly enhances thermal fatigue properties.
      Additionally, the Duramax’s pistons don’t use pin bushings, reducing reciprocating weight to help the engine rev quicker and respond faster to throttle changes.
      Lightweight cylinder heads, solenoid injectors
      The redesigned engine retains the Duramax’s signature first-in-class aluminum cylinder head design, with six head bolts per cylinder and four valves per cylinder. The aluminum construction helps reduce the engine’s overall weight, while the six-bolt design provides exceptional head-clamping strength — a must in a high-compression, turbocharged application.
      A new aluminum head casting uses a new double-layer water core design that separates and arranges water cores in layers to create a stiffer head structure with more precise coolant flow control. The heads’ airflow passages are also heavily revised to enhance airflow, contributing to the engine’s increased horsepower and torque.
      The Duramax employs a common-rail direct injection fuel system with new high-capability solenoid-type injectors. High fuel pressure of 29,000 psi (2,000 bar) promotes excellent fuel atomization for a cleaner burn that promotes reduced particulate emissions. The new injectors also support up to seven fuel delivery events per combustion event, contributing to lower noise, greater efficiency and lower emissions. Technology advancements enable less-complex solenoid injectors to deliver comparable performance to piezo-type injectors.
      Electronically controlled, variable-geometry turbocharging system
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      Along with a new camshaft profile and improved cylinder head design, the Duramax’s new variable-vane turbocharger enables the engine to deliver more power with lower exhaust emissions. It uses a more advanced variable-vane mechanism, allowing a 104-degree F (40 C) increase in exhaust temperature capability. The self-contained mechanism decouples movement from the turbine housing, allowing operation at higher temperature. That enables the engine to achieve higher power at lower cylinder pressure. Additionally, it has lower internal leakage, allowing more exhaust energy to be captured during exhaust braking.
      The integrated exhaust brake system makes towing less stressful by creating added backpressure in the exhaust, resulting in negative torque during deceleration and downhill driving, enhancing driver control and prolonging brake pad life.
      Venturi Jet Drain Oil Separator
      A new Venturi Jet Drain Oil Separator employed with the Duramax 6.6L is the first of its type in the segment and is designed to ensure oil control in sustained full-load operation. The totally sealed system collects the fine mist of oil entrained in the blow-by gas and uses a small portion of the boosted air generated by the turbocharger to pump the collected oil back to the engine oil sump for re-use by the engine. Less sophisticated systems are not able to return this oil during full-load operation, which can result in oil carryover into the cylinders during combustion.
      Cold Start System
      The new Duramax also provides outstanding cold-weather performance, with microprocessor-controlled glow plugs capable of gas-engine-like starting performance in fewer than 3 seconds in temperatures as low as -20 degrees F (-29 C) without a block heater. The system is enhanced with ceramic glow plugs and automatic temperature compensation — a first-in-class feature providing improved robustness and capability. The automatic temperature compensation assesses and adjusts the current to each glow plug for every use, providing optimal temperature for cold start performance and durability.     
      Electronic throttle valve and cooled EGR
      Unlike a gasoline engine, a diesel engine doesn’t necessarily require a throttle control system. The Duramax 6.6L employs an electronic throttle valve to regulate intake manifold pressure in order to increase exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) rates. It also contributes to smoother engine shutdown.
      Additionally, a cooled exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system enhances performance and helps reduce emissions by diverting some of the engine-out exhaust gas and mixing it back into the fresh intake air stream, which is fed through the cylinder head for combustion. This lowers combustion temperatures, improving emissions performance by reducing NOx formation.
      The exhaust is cooled in a unique heat exchanger before it’s fed into the intake stream through a patented EGR mixing device, further improving emissions and performance capability. An integrated bypass allows non-cooled exhaust gas to be fed back into the system to help the engine more quickly achieve optimal operating temperature when cold.
      B20 Biodiesel Capability
      The new Duramax 6.6L is capable of running on B20 biodiesel, a fuel composed of 20 percent biodiesel and 80 percent conventional diesel. B20 helps lower carbon dioxide emissions and lessens dependence on petroleum. It is a domestically produced, renewable fuel made primarily of plant matter — mostly soybean oil.
      Manufacturing
      The new Duramax 6.6L turbo-diesel engine is produced with locally and globally sourced parts at the DMAX Ltd. (GM’s joint venture with Isuzu) manufacturing facility in Moraine, Ohio.
      Allison 1000 Automatic Transmission
      The proven Allison 1000 six-speed automatic transmission is matched with the new Duramax 6.6L. A number of refinements have been made to accommodate the engine’s higher torque capacity, including a new torque converter.
      The Allison 1000’s technologically advanced control features, such as driver shift control with manual shift feature and a patented elevated idle mode cab warm-up feature, haven’t changed. Also, the Tow/Haul mode reduces shift cycling for better control and improved cooling when towing or hauling heavy loads.
      There’s also a smart diesel exhaust brake feature that enhances control when descending steep grades.
    • By William Maley
      For a time, the V6 was looked down upon in the likes of the Chevrolet Camaro, Dodge Challenger, and Ford Mustang because they were seen as lackluster. The engines didn’t match aggression that was being expressed by the exterior of the coupes. But rising gas prices and increasing regulations on fuel economy and emissions has the likes of GM, Ford, and FCA revisiting the idea of a V6 muscle car. We recently spent some time in a 2016 Dodge Challenger V6 to see if it is worth it.
      I will argue that the Challenger is still the meanest looking out of the three muscle cars on sale. Dodge’s designers were able to bring the design of the original Challenger into the modern era without making it look like a complete mess. The little details such as the narrow grille, quad headlights, fuel filler cap, and rectangular taillights are here and help it stand out. Our tester featured the optional Blacktop package that adds a blacked-out grille, black stripes, and a set of 20-inch wheels. The downside to bringing the original Challenger design into the modern era is poor visibility. Large rear pillars and a small glass area make it somewhat difficult to backup or making a pass. The good news is that a number of Challenger models like our SXT Plus come with a backup camera as standard and blind spot monitoring is available as an option. The Challenger’s interior hasn’t changed much since we last reviewed it back in 2014 with the SRT 392. It is still a comfortable place to sit in and controls are in easy reach for the driver thanks to the center stack being slightly angled. Still, the limited glass area does mean you will feel somewhat confined. Power for the SXT is Chrysler’s 3.6L Pentastar V6 with 305 horsepower and 268 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with an eight-speed automatic only. If you want a manual, you need to step to one of the V8 engines. The V6 is quite surprising with how much performance is on offer. Step on the accelerator and the V6 moves the Challenger with surprising authority. Power comes on a smooth rate no matter what gear you find yourself in. The eight-speed automatic is one of best in the business with smart shifts. Only disappointment is the V6 doesn’t sound like it belongs in the Challenger. There isn’t that muscular roar when step on the accelerator. A new exhaust and some tweaking in the engine could fix this issue.  As for fuel economy, we got an average of 23.4 mpg. Not bad for a coupe that is rated at 19 City/30 Highway/23 Combined. One item that the Challenger is known for is its ride comfort and this hasn’t changed. Even with the optional Super Track Pak fitted to our tester, the Challenger was able to provide a cushy ride over some of Michigan’s terrible roads. Road and wind noise are kept at very low levels. Speaking of the Super Track Pak, this should be mandatory equipment on the V6 model. With firmer suspension bits, it makes the Challenger feel slightly smaller and reduces body roll around corners. However, it cannot mask the Challenger’s weight. Pushing it around a corner, the Challenger feels quite big and not as nimble the as the Chevrolet Camaro I drove afterward. The Challenger SXT Plus starts at $29,995. Add on a few options such as the Blacktop package and you’ll came to an as-tested price of $34,965, pretty good value for a muscle car. Going with the V6 option in the Challenger isn’t bad a choice. You get the looks of a muscle car and some decent performance. But as I drove the Challenger during the week, I couldn’t help but think about what if I had the V8. Six is good, but eight is even better. Disclaimer: Dodge Provided the Challenger, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2016
      Make: Dodge
      Model: Challenger
      Trim: SXT Plus
      Engine: 3.6L 24-Valve VVT V6
      Driveline: Rear-Wheel Drive, Eight-Speed Automatic
      Horsepower @ RPM: 305 @ 6,350
      Torque @ RPM: 268 @ 4,800
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 19/30/23
      Curb Weight: 3,885.2 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Brampton, Ontario
      Base Price: $26,995
      As Tested Price: $34,965 (Includes $995.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      SXT Plus 3.6L V6 Package 21V - $3,000.00
      Driver Convenience Group - $1,095.00
      Sound Group II - $795.00
      Blacktop Package - $695.00
      Super Track Pak - $695.00
      UConnect 8.4 NAV - $695.00

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      For a time, the V6 was looked down upon in the likes of the Chevrolet Camaro, Dodge Challenger, and Ford Mustang because they were seen as lackluster. The engines didn’t match aggression that was being expressed by the exterior of the coupes. But rising gas prices and increasing regulations on fuel economy and emissions has the likes of GM, Ford, and FCA revisiting the idea of a V6 muscle car. We recently spent some time in a 2016 Dodge Challenger V6 to see if it is worth it.
      I will argue that the Challenger is still the meanest looking out of the three muscle cars on sale. Dodge’s designers were able to bring the design of the original Challenger into the modern era without making it look like a complete mess. The little details such as the narrow grille, quad headlights, fuel filler cap, and rectangular taillights are here and help it stand out. Our tester featured the optional Blacktop package that adds a blacked-out grille, black stripes, and a set of 20-inch wheels. The downside to bringing the original Challenger design into the modern era is poor visibility. Large rear pillars and a small glass area make it somewhat difficult to backup or making a pass. The good news is that a number of Challenger models like our SXT Plus come with a backup camera as standard and blind spot monitoring is available as an option. The Challenger’s interior hasn’t changed much since we last reviewed it back in 2014 with the SRT 392. It is still a comfortable place to sit in and controls are in easy reach for the driver thanks to the center stack being slightly angled. Still, the limited glass area does mean you will feel somewhat confined. Power for the SXT is Chrysler’s 3.6L Pentastar V6 with 305 horsepower and 268 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with an eight-speed automatic only. If you want a manual, you need to step to one of the V8 engines. The V6 is quite surprising with how much performance is on offer. Step on the accelerator and the V6 moves the Challenger with surprising authority. Power comes on a smooth rate no matter what gear you find yourself in. The eight-speed automatic is one of best in the business with smart shifts. Only disappointment is the V6 doesn’t sound like it belongs in the Challenger. There isn’t that muscular roar when step on the accelerator. A new exhaust and some tweaking in the engine could fix this issue.  As for fuel economy, we got an average of 23.4 mpg. Not bad for a coupe that is rated at 19 City/30 Highway/23 Combined. One item that the Challenger is known for is its ride comfort and this hasn’t changed. Even with the optional Super Track Pak fitted to our tester, the Challenger was able to provide a cushy ride over some of Michigan’s terrible roads. Road and wind noise are kept at very low levels. Speaking of the Super Track Pak, this should be mandatory equipment on the V6 model. With firmer suspension bits, it makes the Challenger feel slightly smaller and reduces body roll around corners. However, it cannot mask the Challenger’s weight. Pushing it around a corner, the Challenger feels quite big and not as nimble the as the Chevrolet Camaro I drove afterward. The Challenger SXT Plus starts at $29,995. Add on a few options such as the Blacktop package and you’ll came to an as-tested price of $34,965, pretty good value for a muscle car. Going with the V6 option in the Challenger isn’t bad a choice. You get the looks of a muscle car and some decent performance. But as I drove the Challenger during the week, I couldn’t help but think about what if I had the V8. Six is good, but eight is even better. Disclaimer: Dodge Provided the Challenger, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2016
      Make: Dodge
      Model: Challenger
      Trim: SXT Plus
      Engine: 3.6L 24-Valve VVT V6
      Driveline: Rear-Wheel Drive, Eight-Speed Automatic
      Horsepower @ RPM: 305 @ 6,350
      Torque @ RPM: 268 @ 4,800
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 19/30/23
      Curb Weight: 3,885.2 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Brampton, Ontario
      Base Price: $26,995
      As Tested Price: $34,965 (Includes $995.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      SXT Plus 3.6L V6 Package 21V - $3,000.00
      Driver Convenience Group - $1,095.00
      Sound Group II - $795.00
      Blacktop Package - $695.00
      Super Track Pak - $695.00
      UConnect 8.4 NAV - $695.00
    • By William Maley
      The seemingly never-ending diesel heavy-duty truck war is back in force with Ford announcing the power figures for the F-Series Super Duty back in the summer. We were wondering when either FCA or GM would strike back. Well GM did this over the weekend by accidently and then subsequently deleting the figures for the next-generation Duramax V8 diesel.
      Truck Trend got screenshots of GM Powertrain's website where the details of the L5P 6.6L Duramax turbodiesel are there to see: 445 horsepower and 910 pound-feet of torque. Compared the 6.7L PowerStoke V8 found in the 2017 F-Series Super Duty, the updated Duramax produces 5 more horsepower but is slight behind in torque (15 down from the PowerStroke's 925 pound-feet).
      We know for sure that the new Duramax will debut a new air intake system (you can see the new hood scoop in the picture above). More air is a good thing as it means better cooling and more power.
      The Texas State Fair is this week and it has become a showplace for the various truck manufacturers to make big announcements. We wouldn't be shocked if General Motors debuts the new Duramax there.
      Source: Truck Trend

      View full article
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