Chevy’s SS, or Super Sport, branding began back in 1961, when Impala buyers could get the package for a mere $53.80, or about $420.00 in 2013 dollars. For that you got upgraded wheels, shocks, special metallic brake linings and one of four high-powered V8 engines. Since then, the honor of being christened an SS has been reserved for pack leaders like the Camaro, Nova, and Chevelle. But we think there have been a number of cars in the last few years that are worthy of their own SS package. Here are five of them:
The Cruze, in its current form, is proof that sportiness and practicality can exist under the same metal roof. The sporty little car would be amazing with sleeker trim, upgraded suspension, and a high-pressure turbo with a bit more zip than the current powerplant.
While civilian models of this classic are no longer sold in the US, a police-only version called the PPV was turned loose on these shores in 2011. Combine upgraded components with the natural desire of regular citizens to drive a cop car, and Chevy could have a vehicle worthy of the SS logo. Sure, Chevy has the standalone “SS” model on its way, but people dig the idea of a Caprice Super Sport– why deny them that!
Unveiled in 2012, the Code 130R is a concept car rumored to be slated for a 2015 public release. It carries on Chevy’s great tradition of building sports cars for the masses. Unfortunately, it also suffers from an underpowered 1.4-liter engine making a scant 150 horsepower. Its great looks yearn for a power upgrade and make it a perfect candidate for an SS package.
A retro station wagon with an SS version? Well, why not? The HHR (for “heritage high rider”) is aimed at buyers with an appreciation for all things vintage. And nothing speaks to the past like components designed with speed in mind instead of fuel economy. The HHR did actually get an SS option in 2008, which put a 2.0-liter turbocharged I4 under the hood. But maybe add an engine like the 3.6-liter V6, or turbocharged V6 in the Cadillac CTS V-Sport — why not something a little more powerful under the hood?
No, we’re not joking. Anyone who has kept tabs on Chevy’s ultra-high mileage vehicle knows that it hasn’t sold like hotcakes since its release in 2010. This is partially due to its bland, hyper-responsible image. But, as any Tesla aficionado can tell you, electric engines are capable of fearsome 0-60 acceleration. Tweaking the standard Volt with some high-performance options might shock and even amuse some onlookers. But it may also be the kind of bold move needed to rescue GM’s costly investment in this slowly sinking eco-ship.