The Chevrolet SS Will Be a Great Future Classic, But Don’t Buy One Now
With the release of the Chevrolet SS sports sedan only months away, there are many looking forward to Chevy’s return to the segment. General Motors hasn’t produced a proper large, V8 RWD sedan since the demise of the Pontiac G8 GXP, a car that I deemed a Future Classic not long ago. There are signs that suggest the SS will become a Future Classic as well, but does that mean you should rush to your local dealer to throw down a hefty deposit? My crystal ball says no.
You had to have been high as balls to buy a Pontiac G8 GXP at its original MSRP of $40,000. Conceptually, the car was a Corvette sedan that undercut its bigger brother by $10,000 or so, with a good old fashioned GM accounting machete destroying any soft-touch plastics or leather that may have been found in the cabin at preliminary stages. The G8 GXP was only available one year, and less than 2,000 were sold before Pontiac went belly up. My prediction for its future status as a classic car is based on its rarity, powerful engine, availability of a manual transmission, and its position as a halo car for a dying but loved brand built on the church of performance.
The Chevrolet SS appears to be an updated version of the G8 GXP, right down to the car’s Holden roots, and the SS will enjoy a Future Classic stamp for reasons that are similar to the G8 GXP. Chief among these reasons is my belief that the SS will sell in relatively low numbers here in the States. Chevrolet is importing the rebadged Holden Commodore from Australia loaded only with an automatic transmission, with no optional manual. The industry is moving away from sticks, so this won’t cost Chevy too many customers, but hardcore enthusiasts will stay away. While the absence of a third pedal won’t hinder sales in a significant way, the lack of V6 powertrains will. The G8 GXP’s bread and butter were the sales of the V6 version and the less potent V8-driven GT. The SS comes in only one flavor: 415hp V8, and MSRP is a hair under $45,000. That price point brings us to the main reason why the SS won’t sell in huge numbers.
$44,700 is the official MSRP from Chevy, making it about $2,000 less than the 470hp Dodge Charger SRT8 and $5,000 more than the 365hp Ford Taurus SHO. From a value standpoint, the SRT8 is the clear winner, especially considering the stripped down SRT Superbee costs $43,895. Dodge pretty much has the hi-po V8 large sedan market cornered except for those who’d die before buying a car without a bowtie. The Charger’s sheetmetal is classically American, full of athletic haunches and an angry maw ready to rip other cars to shreds. For those looking for more of a laid back cruiser, the Oval offers the comfortable but porky Taurus SHO, which comes with AWD for those residing in wintry climes. The SS has its work cut out, as the car is less potent than the SRT8 and, depending on the Charger’s trim, is either too expensive or too cheap.
With Dodge already offering a superior vehicle, the SS is likely to open to a limited audience. If this did indeed translate to low buyer turnout, Chevrolet may not produce the SS for very long. High power, low sales numbers, great brand. That’s one way to a future classic, so pay attention to sales figures for the SS in the year or so after it’s released. We may just have a future classic on our hands, so hold off on buying one until the SS shows up secondhand at pennies on the dollar.
Photo courtesy of General Motors.