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Auto blogSat, 16 Feb 2013 14:00:00 EST
The car you see above is the 2014 Chevrolet SS, and it's important both because it is the first rear-wheel-drive performance sedan from Chevy in 17 years, and because it will be the nameplate the brand uses on NASCAR tracks all across the country starting this year.
Though it wears a name as American as baseball and apple pie, the machine was actually designed and built in Australia, sharing most of its parts with the brand-new VF-model Holden Commodore. That said, the basic chassis bits are shared with other Chevrolet models like the Camaro and Caprice Police Patrol Vehicle.
While Chevrolet is happy to sell a Malibu or Impala to anyone looking for a mainstream family sedan, but the SS is reserved for buyers interested first and foremost in performance. Most sedans sold these days are front-wheel drive, which is great for everyday driving and when the weather goes bad, but the SS is instead a rear-wheel-drive vehicle aimed at enthusiasts who love to drive and who prefer speed and performance above all else.
Chevrolet showed off the new 2014 SS in an airport hangar last night, its first rear-wheel-drive performance sedan in the US since the Impala SS from 1997. We'll have more to say about the SS later today, but this is the sedan that Chevrolet sees as the final piece in restoring its performance credentials. For those of you looking for a manual transmission, however, that wish will go unfulfilled - at least for now: the only two options buyers will have are the color and whether or not they want a sunroof.
We'll work on getting some more angles (in better light) today at Daytona International Speedway, but with fans seeing the car for the first time, we don't hold out much luck of getting a clear shot. So for now, enjoy the high-res gallery above.
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.
After you've convinced your better half to let you buy a new Corvette, then comes the hard part... actually figuring out which 'Vette you want. While Chevrolet has yet to release the official configurator for the 2014 Corvette Stingray, it did give us something else to kill some time playing around with.
The C7 Corvette "colorizer" recently went online, and it lets you look at the car in all of its available colors and wheel options from four different angles so that when this car does go on sale, you know exactly which one you want. It includes the Corvette's full pallet of colors including Torch Red, Laguna Blue and the hue you see above, Velocity Yellow. Toss in the black wheels, and we're sold. If you have some time this afternoon, be sure to check it out the Corvette colorizer for yourself, and even if you don't have the time, we've put together a gallery with all of the possible color combinations.
When you are not the one in charge of the purse strings, creativity is a must when trying to get the string-holder to bankroll that next shiny object you just can't live without.
When I was a kid, I decided that life wasn't worth living if it weren't in pursuit of owning a GMC Typhoon. My 12-year-old self crafted a fiscal strategy that, when combined with my offer of a 49-percent share of ownership in the car in return for my parents' contribution of 80-percent of the purchase price, would see me behind the wheel of a Typhoon by the time I hit college. They walked away from the negotiating table and, the economic climate of the 8th grade being what it was at the time, another partner wasn't found before the Typhoon was discontinued.
Roy El-Rayes, however, has succeeded where 12-year-old me failed, and he did it by using the sort of professionalism that only a PowerPoint presentation can provide, along with some humor and bold-faced flattery.
It won't be long before we see the official, production-ready Chevrolet SS sedan (hint: it will be revealed this weekend). And to tide us over until all of the official details are released about the US-spec version, we have this: the Holden VF Commodore SS V show car, a performance-oriented brother to the Calais V that debuted earlier in the week.
What we really want to know about the SS V is what lies underhood, but General Motors' Australian arm is keeping that under wraps until the Chevy model breaks cover this weekend. Nevertheless, it's obvious that the SS V will be a serious performer, with all sorts of aggressive cues driving that home on the car's exterior. Take a look at those 20-inch billet aluminum wheels that hide big Brembo brake calipers up front, the sculpted hood and front fascia, the wide air intakes with LED running lights and the quad exhaust pipes out back. It's like the Pontiac G8 GXP never even left us.
Inside, there's a sporty-looking interior with aluminum accents that mix in with black leather and suede surfaces, all tied together in the middle with an eight-inch MyLink touchscreen infotainment system. It looks great, and again, while we don't know anything regarding powertrain details, it makes us oh-so happy to see a manual shifter smack dab in the middle of the center console.
Spy photographers have caught what looks like the next-generation Chevrolet Cruze out on snow patrol. The camo could be tricking our eyes, but it look like it has an even tidier, more rounded front end and even lower fenders in relation to the top of the hood. And either a chunk of camo has been wedged between the side mirrors and the doors, or the mirrors are up for revision, too.
The door handles have been moved up the side of the car, leading the way to a rear end that grows a bit in length. If the rumors are true, the coming second-generation Cruze sits on the new D2XX platform that will replace the Delta and Theta platforms at General Motors. A global architecture, the Cruze will be the first to get it, but it will underpin everything from next Chevrolet Volt to the Equinox and could be responsible for 2.5 million units by 2018. The next Cruze is expected to begin production in GM's Lordstown, Ohio plant in the third quarter of 2014.
This restyled blue 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray is wearing manufacturer plates, and it appears to be the same one seen around the internet in various pictures lately. This crash is likely not part of the Chevrolet testing regimen, however. Digital Corvettes forum member gpetry posted the shot with a note: "got this picture e-mailed from a friend in Arizona last week..." No circumstances are given, other than the incident occurred in the thick of a set of curvy roads, and the coupe ping-ponged off a guardrail and into the rock wall. Hopefully everyone involved in the incident walked away.
It may not be a pretty thing to see, a crashed sports car that's not even available for sale yet, but rest easy. Many pre-production cars are used for development and then unceremoniously crushed and scrapped, anyway. If that's the case here, that makes this wrecked 'Vette less of a tragedy and more of a case of exceptional efficiency.
To say that things aren't going well for the newly redesigned 2013 Chevrolet Malibu is a pretty sizable understatement. Reports have been swirling about the Malibu getting an emergency design refresh, less than a year after its introduction, as well as having its production at the Fairfax Assembly Plant halted twice already this year for excessive inventory. Now, Motor Trend is reporting that the midsize sedan will be receiving price drops across the board ranging from $300 on a number of models up to $770 on the 1LT trim; offsetting some of MSRP drop, though, the destination charge has increased from $760 to $810.
Without destination, the entry-level Malibu LS now starts at $21,995, which is still about $300 more than a Honda Accord and about $300 less than the segment's top-selling Toyota Camry. This new pricing also drops the price of the Eco, 2LT and 3LT trims by $300. The LTZ trim has dropped by $415, meaning that the Malibu's top dog now starts at just under $30,000, excluding destination.
Here are the new starting prices for all eight of the Malibu trim levels compared to the previous prices for the 2013 model year (including destination):
Chevrolet's "Runs Deep" tagline has finally been run into the ground, replaced with the Bowtie brand's "Find New Roads" slogan that's part of parent General Motors' plan to unify its everyday brand's marketing efforts worldwide. The new Chevrolet campaign was ushered in on prime time last night during the Grammy Awards on CBS, and the first spot, a 90-second full-line ad, also marks the first appearance of the 2014 Corvette Stingray in a commercial.
Being a full-line ad, the commercial is composed of vignettes centered on different vehicles in the brand's lineup. The all-new 2014 Impala also makes its first commercial appearance in dapper fashion, and time is spent on a skateboarding Sonic and a bouquet of brightly colored Spark hatchbacks driven by fashionable women. The ad starts and ends with Chevy's green halo car, the Volt, along with a young girl with her robotic dog (yes, really).
Chevrolet's "Runs Deep" campaign got off to a rocky start in the fall of 2010, but it did last for a couple of years with some tweaks. This new one, "Find New Roads" seems more intent on drawing new customers into the fold than the outgoing tagline, which seemed to play more toward the brand faithful. It admittedly reminds us more than a little the short-lived "Find Your Own Road" Saab motto (which, we note, was conceived while the Swedish brand was under GM's control), but no matter, we still think it's got more long-term potential than "Runs Deep."