the face of Chevrolet’s NASCAR efforts, this car is a secret. And it will probably remain a secret until someone looks back on them and realizes what they missed.
confuse this with the Impala (pictured). They’re both new cars. They’re both full-sized Chevrolets. And the last time Chevrolet had a rear-wheel-drive V8 performance sedan was when they built the 1996 Impala SS. But that’s where the similarities end. The new Impala is a front-wheel-drive car. This is a rear-driver. The Impala is a thoroughly modern family sedan. The SS is an old-school performance machine. Other than the prominent bowtie in the center of the grille, they are not similar at all. And while I really like new Impala, this SS is the kind of car that I would love to own.
shared with the Camaro. But we have seen a previous iteration of this car before. If you recall the Pontiac G8 GXP (pictured), which went away when the brand was killed in 2010, you have basically seen the new SS. This is the evolution of that car, with a revamped suspension and more aluminum in the structure, but if Pontiac were still around today, this car would have a split grille divided by an arrowhead.
The media sheet that was delivered with the car has a little “fast fact” that the SS is Chevrolet’s first V8, rear-wheel-drive performance sedan since 1996, so every article you see about this car mentions that. They’re referencing the old Caprice-based Impala SS (pictured). I can speak to that, because I have personally owned two 1996 Impala SSs. The spirit is similar, in that there is a torquey V8 twisting the rear tires, and they are both representative of the full-sized cars of their day. As a huge, body-on-frame car, the ’96 still did business in a leisurely, comfortable manner, while the new SS has more of a hyper, high-strung personality. But they both serve their purpose for their time. 18 years is a long time, and people have come to expect different things out of their cars since then.
Once the weather started cooperating, I had no desire to give up the keys to this 2014 Chevrolet SS test car. It was one of my favorite things that I have ever driven. But alas, it was not meant to be. The car eventually had to be returned, and all we’re left with are a few photographs. Check them out in the slideshow below, or click this link for a nicer version.