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Auto blogSat, 16 Feb 2013 00:01:00 EST
Think you've waited long enough for this? If so, then you'll want to savor the high-res photos we've so far been given of the 2014 Chevrolet SS, the first rear-wheel-drive performance sedan from The Bowtie in 17 years.
We all know its our version of the brand new VF-model Holden Commodore, but what's under the hood that earns the appellation "performance?" A 6.2-liter LS3 V8 engine producing 415 horsepower and 415 pound-feet of torque. That's 35 hp and lb-ft less than the same engine is expected to produce in the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette. Chevrolet says the sedan will get from 0-to-60 miles per hour "in about five seconds."
Shifting comes courtesy of a six-speed automatic with paddles on the steering wheel, while stopping arrive via four-piston Brembo calipers up front, a single sliding piston in back. The forged aluminum wheels are 19-inchers all around, each set supporting right around 50 percent of the sedan's weight, and the aluminum hood and trunk are meant to keep the center of gravity low.
According to a letter from General Motors to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, flaws in the build process of the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu have led to the recall of 8,519 cars. Units built between December 6, 2011 and January 15, 2013 may have been assembled with rear suspension cradles that had insufficient torque applied to certain bolts. That out-of-spec assembly could lead to issues ranging from slight noises to a loss of vehicle control.
The problem was first noticed in December of last year by a GM test fleet driver and eventually tracked back to the improperly torqued bolts on the suspension cradle assembled through July 2012 by a supplier located not too far from the Malibu's Detroit/Hamtramck Assembly Plant. Since an official NHTSA recall notice has not been issued yet, it isn't clear whether or not Detroit-built Malibus were the only ones affected (the 2013 Malibu is also built at GM's Fairfax Assembly Plant in Kansas City, Kansas). Dealers will fix the problem by inspecting vehicles for proper torque specs, retightening if not within specs and, in some cases, perform a rear-wheel alignment.
We recently drove the brand-new 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and found it to be vastly improved compared to the outgoing model. And now that The General's pickup trucks have been squared away, it's time to focus our attention onto their passenger-friendly companions, the Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon (above).
Our spy photographers have passed along a huge smattering of photos (and a video), showing the new SUVs out testing. Both the short- and long-wheelbase models were spied, and while the overall shape of the vehicles hasn't changed all that much, we expect the updates to be substantial. In addition to new powertrain options, like GM's new small-block V8, we expect the interiors of both SUVs to get massive makeovers, providing better materials throughout their cabins and quieter, more refined environments. We even hear that some trick new suspension developments may be in store for upper-end models.
Visually, these spy shots allow us to see a couple of new details on the SUVs' front and rear fascias, including LED running lamps on the Yukon and some interesting LED taillamp treatments. Of course, the obvious third party missing from this set of photos is the Cadillac Escalade, but as we reported earlier, GM is working to further differentiate the 'Slade from the rest of the fullsize SUV lineup, and is working to make the new model "much less ostentatious."