2017 Chevrolet SS Sedan to Get 580HP LSA?
13- 07- 2016
The rumor mill has be churning as the Elizabeth, Australia assembly plant that produces the Chevrolet SS sedan is set to power down for good by the end of next year (2017). GM Authority is reporting that the 2017 Chevrolet SS could be in line for a powerplant upgrade in the form of the 6.2L supercharged LSA V-8 as a last hurrah. The 580hp mill was used in the 2012-2015 Camaro ZL1, and would make an interesting addition to the SS sedan as well as the Holden Commodore, which is produced in the same South Australia plant and on the same Zeta chassis.
Chevrolet has made no announcement of a flagship model or of the SS nameplate dying as of yet. However, it seems unlikely that the Zeta platform would continue given that the Camaro and other GM small sedans have moved on to the lighter and more nimble Alpha platform produced in North America. The soon-to-be-vacated Oshawa, Ontario (Canada) plant would be the perfect location to resume production of the Chevrolet SS, since it once produced the fifth-gen Camaro on a similar chassis. The fly in the ointment is that GM does not plan to continue producing cars or trucks with LS engines. The more efficient and powerful Gen V has been quickly replacing LS engines throughout the lineup. As a matter of fact, the Chevrolet SS is one of only two holdouts still being produced for the U.S. market with a Gen IV V-8.
The origins of the Zeta platform date back to the Australian Holden division, which used it to produce the VE Commodore as well as the 2008-2009 Pontiac G8. Following GM’s decision to fold the Pontiac brand, a similar design lived on as the extended wheelbase Chevrolet Caprice PPV used by U.S. police (but still made in Australia) starting in 2011. Two years later, the 2014 Chevrolet SS brought the familiar sports sedan back to the general public. The Chevrolet SS was basically a completely restyled G8 GXP, complete with Brembo brakes and a 415hp 6.2L LS3 V-8. Unlike the GXP, it came only with the 6-speed (6L80) automatic transmission. That soon changed, though, as a manual trans and other upgrades were made over the last three years.
Holden announced the shutdown of all Australian production in December 2013, which was soon followed by Toyota and Ford. The consumer backlash of pulling out was more than GM anticipated. However, the reality is that Australia is just too small to produce cars with enough efficiency to be profitable. “Our business is driven by scale of economics, of productivity, of an efficient supplier industry … optimized logistics… Australia is just too small in these scales,” said Stefan Jacoby, GM’s head of international operations. “Local production, even if would be a pure assembly (operation) doesn’t make any sense.” The Holden brand will live on, though, with various models imported from Europe, Asia or possibly the U.S.