Chevrolet adds SS to its race-proven performance pack team

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The 2014 SS joins Chevrolet and roars into the Pittsburgh area looking like it’s primed for the racetrack. Like the 2014 Corvette Stingray and Camaro, the SS makes a statement with muscle and an aggressive design, while maintaining a comfortable interior and modern conveniences.

The new SS benefits from the proven, race-tested, rear-wheel drive architecture that is the foundation of Chevy’s collection of performance vehicles. The SS, powered by the LS3 Chevrolet V8, delivers 415 horsepower and 415 lb.-ft. of torque, and is matched with a six-speed automatic transmission that can be shifted manually using tap-shift paddles mounted on the steering wheel. With an aggressive 3.27 final-drive ratio, Chevrolet SS accelerates from 0 to 60 miles per hour in about five seconds flat.

With all that power, one might get the impression that the vehicle doesn’t offer a lot of finesse or maneuverability, but Jim Crivelli Jr., dealer principal at Jim Crivelli Chevrolet in McKees Rocks, said that’s not the case.

“The SS's body structure is so rigid that it allows the suspension to do the job that it was intended to do and make the car responsive and confident when it matters,” said Mr. Crivelli. “This, along with its impressively stout brakes, helps the SS feel like it's built for shaking off pricey luxury sedans.”

The SS also includes electronic power steering, standard Brembo front brakes with ventilated 14-inch two piece rotors and four piston calipers, and forged 19-inch aluminum wheels wrapped in Bridgestone tires.

Its steering system saves fuel by drawing energy only when the wheels are turned. The variable-effort design provides lighter parking efforts at low speed and greater effort at higher speeds, for a more direct steering feel. The system is calibrated to detect constant driver steering-wheel load due to factors such as road camber and crosswind. It will compensate to reduce steering effort to a more neutral level and lessen potential driver fatigue.

Handling is optimized with a nearly 50/50 weight distribution and a low center of gravity, attributes made possible by the aluminum hood and rear deck lid that are 30 percent lighter than traditional steel panels.

If you’ve got the punch, then you’ve got to look the part. And the 2014 Chevy SS does just that. Its robust look blends performance cues and premium details. Staggered front and rear wheels pushed out to the corners enhance the SS’s brawny posture. Up front, the hood features a subtle “power bulge,” hinting at the capability of the engine underneath. At the rear, the tapered, tear-drop shape contributes to improve aerodynamic performance.

Premium cues include jewel-like chrome accents, standard high-intensity discharge headlamps and light-emitting diode daytime running lights.

Along the vehicle’s sides, a character line extends from the hood to the trunk lid, creating a classic wedge shape that accentuates the planted appearance and muscular sheet metal. The vehicle tapers at the rear, with the C-pillar flowing into the deck lid. Bright dual-exhaust tips punctuate the rear design, delivering the throaty roar performance enthusiasts expect in a performance vehicle.

Such traits don’t come at the cost of comfort and convenience. According to Mr. Crivelli, the SS’s interior “exudes quality as well as quantity.” It accommodates five adults, with 42.3 inches of front legroom and 39.7 inches of rear legroom. Leather seating surfaces are standard, as are eight-way power adjustable front bucket seats with additional side bolstering that hug the driver and front passenger in tight-handling situations.

The SS emblem is prominently stitched onto the soft-touch instrument panel. At night, the interior is illuminated by ice-blue ambient lighting. An integrated center stack includes infotainment, climate and other vehicle controls, while the center console of the SS houses extra-large dual cup holders that can accommodate a wide range of container sizes. Two auxiliary power outlets allow concurrent charging of items such as mobile phones, tablets and portable satellite navigation devices.

A USB outlet is located on the vertical face of the covered storage console. The Chevrolet SS also offers standard technologies including an audio system with navigation, SiriusXM radio (with a 12-month trial), a Bose 220-watt, nine-speaker sound system; a color heads-up display and color driver information center; and dual-zone automatic climate control.

Chevrolet’s next-generation MyLink infotainment system is standard and is accessed via an eight-inch color touchscreen. In addition to icons covering everything from navigation to phone to music apps such as Pandora, MyLink is designed to accommodate new features and enhancements and be customized. On its screen, users can fling through lists, swipe and drag just as they would on a tablet. Users with compatible smartphones can pair them with MyLink using Bluetooth or a USB connection.

The 2014 SS offers a collection of standard safety features. It employs advanced technologies including radar to help avoid crashes. Visual and audible alerts help drivers identify potential crash situations. The system identifies potential threats and provides sufficient warning to give the driver time to react and make changes.

SS also offers automatic parking assistance, which provides hands-free help. The standard feature uses an ultrasonic sensing system to detect the width and depth of either parallel or reverse right-angle parking spaces. While the driver controls the throttle, transmission and brake, the feature controls the steering inputs necessary to park the vehicle.

Born out of the Impala lineup in 1961, the SS or Super Sport moniker still applies to this performance-based sedan today. A modern take on the classic rear-wheel drive sedan, the Chevy SS really delivers.

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