Chevy SS: A ’60s muscle car for the 21st century

Chevy SS logoBefore direct injection and electric motors, all that mattered was displacement. During the golden age of American performance cars, the 1960s, muscle cars with big V8s and rear-wheel drive ruled the streets. Chevrolet’s Super Sport, or SS, models, were among the best. Now, Chevy is hoping to bring back the glory days with a muscle car for the 21st century. A new rear-drive, V8-powered sedan, simply called SS, will debut next year.

The SS may be an all-American muscle car, but it will borrow its chassis from the Australian Holden Commodore. The current Commodore served as the basis for the Pontiac G8; a new version coming next year will be the basis for the SS. There is no subtlety under the hood, just a big V8. GM is not saying which of its many eight-cylinders the SS will use, but the 6.2-liter LS3 small block is a good bet. That engine was used in the G8 and is still used in the Camaro; both cars have Holden-derived platforms. In the Camaro, the LS3 makes up to 426 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque. Chevy might also use the new “Gen V” V8, which will have an aluminum block and direct injection.

What the SS will actually look like also remains a mystery. Chevy says the styling will resemble that of its new NASCAR racer, but since NASCAR does not mean “stock car” anymore, that isn’t much of a hint. The SS could have similar styling to the G8 and Chevy Caprice Police Pursuit Vehicle (pictured).

Chevy Caprice PPV garage lights flashingSS models are usually performance versions of regular cars, like BMW M or Mercedes AMG models. Not relating the SS to another model indicates that Chevy will position this car as a niche performance model; it won’t be stealing mainstream buyers from Chevy’s other big sedan, the Impala.

General Motors has been down this road many times. It’s Australian division, Holden, has always made old school muscle cars, so the temptation to bring a few to the United States has always existed. The 2004 reincarnation of the Pontiac GTO was based on the Holden Monaro. Pontiac’s 2008 G8 was also based on a Holden, the Commodore. Both cars received generally positive reviews, but unfortunately were sold as Pontiacs.

When Pontiac was discontinued as part of GM’s post-bankruptcy reorganization, it seemed logical that the G8 would live on as a Chevy. Instead, GM decided to important a long-wheelbase version as the Caprice PPV, and sell it to law enforcement only.

Despite changes in automotive technology, and old school muscle car could be a hit. The G8 was a pretty good car, but GM hardly had time to sell any before Pontiac folded. The SS could also cash in on the nostalgia many Americans have for ‘60s muscle. Chevy has tried to do that recently by using the SS name on everything from an SUV to the Camaro. Only a few of these cars have lived up to the SS name, and it looks like this new sedan will be one of them.

Computing

We want every laptop to be as thin as an iPhone. But is it practical?

The Acer Swift 7 is the thinnest notebook you can buy, and it feels like the notebook of the future. But it makes too many compromises along the way, and some weird design choices hold it back.
Computing

Apple MacBook Air vs. Microsoft Surface Pro 6

The MacBook Air was updated with more contemporary components and a more modern design, but is that enough to compete with standouts like Microsoft's Surface Pro 6 detachable tablet?
Computing

New rumors say the Pixelbook 2 could show up at CES 2019

What will the Pixelbook 2 be like? Google hasn't announced it, but thanks to rumors and leaks, we think we have a pretty good idea of what the potential new flagship Chromebook will be like.
Smart Home

How to talk to Santa on Alexa and Google Assistant

Nothing say "holiday" like talking to Santa. Here's how to talk to Santa on Alexa and Google Assistant, whether he's helping you create a playlist or checking to see if you've been naughty or nice this week.
Cars

NYC mandates minimum wage for Uber, Lyft, other app-based rideshare drivers

New York City's Taxi and Limousine Commission approved a rule that drivers for companies such as Uber and Lyft must be paid at least minimum wage, even though they are independent contractors. The new pay rate includes operating costs.
Cars

LM Industries’ autonomous shuttles head to Phoenix, Sacramento campuses

LM Industries will deploy Olli low-speed autonomous shuttles at school campuses in Arizona and California as part of its ongoing "fleet challenge," which asks local groups to propose uses for autonomous vehicles.
Cars

Driving a prototype 2020 Passat at Volkswagen’s Arizona Proving Ground

Volkswagen’s Arizona Proving Ground is where new cars are tested to the breaking point, including the 2020 Passat midsize sedan. Ride along as the new Passat completes testing ahead of its 2019 launch.
Cars

Bosch’s CES-bound shuttle concept takes us on a trip to a not-too-distant future

Bosch envisions a future in which driverless shuttles occupy their own market segment. The German firm won't build the shuttles, but it wants to provide everything else, ranging from the drive system to the apps used to hail them.
Emerging Tech

A lidar-equipped truck knows exactly how much de-icer to apply on roads

Lidar is best known as the laser-based technology that helps self-driving cars sense their surroundings. But the city of Knoxville has another, more seasonal use for it: De-icing roads.
Product Review

Boring takes a back seat as 2019 Corolla Hatchback mixes fun with practicality

We drive the 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback, the latest hatchback to bear the Corolla name. As the best-selling nameplate in automotive history, Toyota has high expectations to meet. This model mostly lives up to the legacy.
Cars

Hertz speeds up car rentals with biometric scan technology

Biometric security technology that uses face, fingerprint, and voice recognition is gaining traction, with Hertz emerging as the latest company to incorporate it into its daily operations.
Product Review

Inside Maserati's Levante SUV beats the heart of a Ferrari

Maserati’s luxury SUV gets a shot in the arm by way of Ferrari-derived V8 power, but is it enough to go toe-to-toe with the established players in the high performance sport-utility segment? Let’s find out.
Mobile

McLaren puts the pedal to the metal in special-edition OnePlus 6T

The OnePlus 6T is yet another flagship killer smartphone, bringing powerful specifications to a much lower price than the competition. Now, OnePlus has teamed up with McLaren for the OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition.
Cars

Aston Martin’s 1,000-hp Valkyrie will boast the Mona Lisa of the engine world

Aston Martin has released new details about its F1-inspired Valkyrie hypercar. Co-developed with Red Bull Racing, the Valkyrie will be one of the most aerodynamic production cars ever made.