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An Australian Love Letter to the U.S.
MotorTrend
By: Alex Nishimoto
December 23, 2014


When Pontiac was axed in 2009, the U.S. car market lost its only link to the parallel muscle car universe that is Australia. The Holden Commodore, known here briefly as the G8, again became forbidden fruit. But Americans were given a second chance at GM Australia's flagship model last year when Chevrolet launched the SS sedan. For 2015, the SS offers a six-speed manual transmission, allowing it to pick up where the dearly departed V-8-powered G8 GXP left off.

For its second model year, the Chevy SS gets GM's Magnetic Ride Control suspension system standard, rear Brembo brakes to join the previously standard fronts, and a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hot spot through the OnStar system. But the biggest news for enthusiasts is the availability of the aforementioned manual transmission as a no-cost option. All SS models are still powered by a 6.2-liter LS3 V-8 that makes 415 hp and 415 lb-ft of torque. Manual-equipped cars get a 3.70:1 rear axle to offset the taller -- but closer-spaced -- ratios. Manual SS sedans also get GM's skip-shift feature, which is as annoying as ever but easy to avoid triggering once you've driven the car for a while. The shifter feels like it was transplanted directly from a Camaro SS, with short throws and relatively tight gate spacing. The shifter is on the notchy side and doesn't like to be hustled, but other than that, how can you complain when you have a manual gearbox in something that's rear-drive, has generous amounts of power, and has four doors? Once you get used to the slightly heavy clutch, the manual is great for everyday driving. A very clear engagement point and a communicative pedal make the SS easy to drive around town.

Full article available at link.
 

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What an awesome car. Now that it has an available manual transmission and MRC, it's a truly incredible machine. It's an ultimate box checker, too. Cool technology? Yes. World class interior? Absolutely. Great engine? You bet. Excellent driving dynamics? Hell yes!

Kudos to GM for bringing it over to the US.
 

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Now let us see how many "I won't buy one unless it has a manual" mouthy crybabies buy one. I doubting most of them won't,they just needed another stat to argue about while they bench raced in the breakroom @ work.
You are right, they won't - while it's a great car, it barely sold any as an automatic, let alone a manual....I have yet to see one on the road in Houston....the local dealer doesn't have any inventory either, makes it tough to buy if you can't find it...
 

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They should have brought over the Ute as well.
 
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You are right, they won't - while it's a great car, it barely sold any as an automatic, let alone a manual....I have yet to see one on the road in Houston....the local dealer doesn't have any inventory either, makes it tough to buy if you can't find it...
I've seen three in Houston, a quite forgettable experience. Styling is beyond bland. I'm not surprised no one cares about this car and it's not selling: an old engine and bad styling are terminal for this type of vehicle.
 

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At $50K OTD, it's still going to be a rare sight on the roads...in fact, I've yet to see one at all here in Western MI. I don't even think I've seen one for sale at any of the local dealers either. For $50K, it should have the LT1 and 7-speed manuals/8-speed autos.

Congrats to all of the 300 or so people that will buy one, but I won't be trading my GTO in for this anytime soon.
 

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Dodge's offering with the charger and challenger really outshine this gm offering.

I'm a gm guy and I'd be hard pressed to not go with the dodge offering.

I personally prefer my sedans to be automatics (sportscar can have manuals) so the manual offering here is for others,,,,,

The 415 hp LS3 engine is great yet compared to the 485 hp in the scat pack dodge....or the 707hp in the hellcat....how exactly does this very competent car compete?

At least they painted it red to give it some notice.

Thanks for posting up
 

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Now let us see how many "I won't buy one unless it has a manual" mouthy crybabies buy one. I doubting most of them won't,they just needed another stat to argue about while they bench raced in the breakroom @ work.
I was one of those people, BUT I got sick of waiting and bought a new 335 with a manual. GM was too late to bring over the manual. I think it was a mistake, people who want a manual such as myself aren't going to settle for a automatic.
 

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I still think the exterior is boring, but that is the only leg left to stand on at this point. The car has every other box checked that I'd want checked.

Maybe do a Holden conversion on the front end and call it perfect. If I were in a position to buy (well, a more comfortable position to buy), I'd order one today. The LT1 and new 7 speed would be nice, but the LS3 is more than capable with a TON of mods available, and the TR6060 is a more-than-proven transmission. I have no issues with that drivetrain being "old tech."
 

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The hardest thing for me now is that its going to be over $50k OTD here. Thats a hell of a lot of money. I could stand $45k but with them adding MRC standard (as awesome as it is) it brings the price up a decent amount on TOP OF the MSRP price hike. If, and its a big if, this gets the GM card top off I might have to venture into the dealership.

The best thing? They did add a bunch of little styling options that you can choose that gets rid of the chrome. Its a nice touch.

I want one of these so bad but there are a lot of compelling different choices out there as well. With the LS3 in there you know how easy it is to get a tiny bit of power out of it. Spend about $1500 for a full exhaust and tune and you are looking at 430+ at the wheels. Plus, with the old ECU setup its supposedly very hard for GM to tell its been tuned.

I loved my G8 GT and the only reason I sold it was so I could have a manual again. Such a hard choice.
 

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Looks apparently kills this car "despite almost meeting sales targets and matching Mopar's offerings (in comparable trim/cost) yet people like me can hardly believe it to be so when the GAUDY offerings with appauling interior feel, looks, fit and finish are considered to be the superior alternatives.

The other one that still gets me is the one about Zeta being too heavy yet it is lighter than comparable offerings from ford, Mopar AND even GM and comperable to the much hyped but somewhat smaller Alpha! These are old arguments which have been officially long lost by the Zeta/Holden fanboy Brigade. So when a Zeta/Holden basher forgets the war has been won and trots out an old line, he's liable to get smacked down(subjected to a OTT reaction) by a Zeta fanboy who resents the armistice that has been imposed.
 

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In term of market signals, it probably isn't great that a very well sorted RWD sedan with an excellent interior and competitive performance sold less than 3000 cars last year. That and the slow sales of Cadillac Alphas (and the BRZ/FRZ) provides scant evidence that there is a significant demand for great handling RWD cars that aren't ponycars in North America. It indicates that the Charger and 300 sell as much as on their styling as their power train configuration. Not sure what I would make of this as a product planner, but as much as it pains me, it doesn't make much of a case for large investments in RWD platforms.
 

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A perfectly balanced vehicle that is well worth the price. Really, 415hp, 6-speed manual, MRC, Brembos, and sedated styling(no ricer look) makes this vehicle close to the best $50 000 car available. The Charger scat pack and helcat offer more power but can't match the drive ability of the SS. IMO.
 

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In term of market signals, it probably isn't great that a very well sorted RWD sedan with an excellent interior and competitive performance sold less than 3000 cars last year. That and the slow sales of Cadillac Alphas (and the BRZ/FRZ) provides scant evidence that there is a significant demand for great handling RWD cars that aren't ponycars in North America. It indicates that the Charger and 300 sell as much as on their styling as their power train configuration. Not sure what I would make of this as a product planner, but as much as it pains me, it doesn't make much of a case for large investments in RWD platforms.
Charger sells so much because of fleet sales (hello V6 rental!!) and because FSA has to sell them. Until the 200 came around it was their family car.

There just isnt much sales volume on anything once you get about $45k. It just puts a lot of people out of the price range.

FWIW, the SS likely sells just as much as the Charger SRT8 (only 1000 Challenger SRT8s).
 

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A perfectly balanced vehicle that is well worth the price. Really, 415hp, 6-speed manual, MRC, Brembos, and sedated styling(no ricer look) makes this vehicle close to the best $50 000 car available. The Charger scat pack and helcat offer more power but can't match the drive ability of the SS. IMO.
When someone spends nearly $50,000 for a performance car, they don't want it to be a sleeper. They want it to be noticed so they can brag about their car. They don't to blend in with the crowd.
 

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When someone spends nearly $50,000 for a performance car, they don't want it to be a sleeper. They want it to be noticed so they can brag about their car. They don't to blend in with the crowd.
Not true at all. Tons of people prefer to have a sleeper and love the fact that they dont have to show off to other people what kind of car they got. Yet, its mainly men who buy these cars so they want something to show off and prove themselves manly by how their car looks.

I've owned nothing but sleeper V8s. Firebird Formula, G8 GT and GTO. Unless you know what they are, you wouldnt assume that any of them had a V8 from the looks. Thats what I love.
 
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