2014 Chevy SS Unveiled
Just before this year’s Bud Shootout at Daytona, Chevrolet finally took the covers off the new SS, the first RWD sedan to be available for public purchase since the Impala SS back in 1996. (Yes, the ’13 Caprice police car is a RWD sedan, but not available to the public.) The SS is the most powerful five-passenger Chevy car since the ’70 LS6 Chevelle.
“The Chevrolet brand was largely built on the strength of rear-drive performance sedans, yet it’s been 17 years since we’ve offered one,” said Mark Reuss, president of General Motors North America. “The all-new Chevrolet SS fills that void and fills it better than any other vehicle in the brand’s rich history. The comfort, convenience, spaciousness and V-8 power make the SS a total performance package unlike any other on the road today.”
The Chevrolet SS is powered by the 6.2L LS3 V-8, and it delivers 415 hp and 415 lb-ft of torque. It is married to a six-speed automatic transmission, which can be shifted manually using TAP shift paddles mounted on the steering wheel. No manual trans will be offered, but we’re hopeful that could change. With a 3.27 final-drive ratio, the SS is said to accelerate from 0-60 mph in about five seconds, making it one of the quickest sedans on the market. We predict very low 13-second e.t.’s stock.
To ensure that it turns and stops as well as it accelerates, the Chevrolet SS also features a sport-tuned chassis, including MacPherson strut front and multilink independent rear suspension geometry with an electronic power steering system, optimized for sport driving. The controls arms are aluminum. Brembo brakes are standard, with ventilated, 14-inch rotors and two-piece, four-piston front calipersForged aluminum wheels, wrapped in ultra-high-performance Bridgestone tires: 19 x 8.5 inch wheels with 245/40ZR19 tires in front; 19 x 9.0 wheels with 275/35ZR19 tires rear.
Handling is also improved by a near 50/50 weight distribution, and a low center of gravity—made possible in part by the aluminum hood and rear deck lid that are 30-percent lighter than traditional steel panels. The SS should be over 80 pounds lighter than the Pontiac G8, which used the previous version of this chassis. The interior is all new compared to the G8, and looks much improved.
Lamar Walden Releases New 409 Crate Engine
Lamar Walden’s at it again, with two new crate engines. Available in 409 or 509 cubes, the LWA 409/509 retains the W-motor’s three most distinctive features: its W-shaped valve covers, its wide embracing water pump and its block deck machined at 64 degrees to the center line, unlike the 90-degree convention of most engines.
The LWA block accommodates a 4.500-inch bore, increased from the original 4.3125. Increasing the bore diameter moves the valves further away from the cylinder walls, allowing the engine to breathe better and rev faster than the original 409. With the revised larger bores the valves are now unshrouded and function much more efficiently. In fact, when replicated on a flow bench, the 4.500-inch bore improves airflow by 30-percent.
Other factors that contribute to the engine’s performance are increased diameter main bearing journals and bigger camshaft journals. In addition, the 509 uses cylinder heads that flow 350cfm, operating with inlet and exhaust valves of 2.25-inch and 1.750-inch respectively. Pricing has not been announced, but should be in the $25,000 range for a 409 and $35,000 or so for the 509.
Send Us Your Old Photos!
Super Chevy is looking for photos of readers with their cars from back in the day. Be it ’50s leather, ’70s polyester, or ’80s mullets, we want to see what everyone was driving way back when. Please scan and email your photos with information about you and the car as you were to firstname.lastname@example.org. Once we get enough submissions, we’ll start running them in the Super Chevy. Snail mail is Super Chevy, 9036 Brittany Way, Tampa, FL 33619. Include a self-addressed stamped envelope so we can return the pictures.
Houston Man Wins Corvette Dream Giveaway
The 2012 Corvette Dream Giveaway, a nationwide drawing sponsored by Kids Wish Network, came to an end on December 30, 2012. Vernon Grew of Houston, Texas, was the grand prize winner.
Mr. Grew received the keys to both a ’67 Corvette Stingray coupe and a matching ’12 Corvette coupe that was upgraded by Lingenfelter Performance Engineering to 570hp. In addition, he also received $45,000 cash to help pay the prize taxes.
2013 Nova Special
On sale now, the 2013 Super Chevy Nova Special! Packed full of nothing but Novas, this year’s issue features seven different tech stories covering all aspects of building a killer Nova, six features from original resto to full custom mod, and some project concepts that could help inspire your next Nova build. If you can’t find it at your favorite newsstand-kind of place, it can be ordered online at www.circsource.com.
On the Block
Cruising the auction results from Mecum and eBay, here’s what caught our attention …
1970 Chevelle LS6 SS454
Recently we got a chance to attend the 2013 Mecum Kissimmee auction. Walking along the rows, we spotted a lot of cool Bow Ties we’d love to own if we ever hit the Powerball jackpot. Sprayed in Autumn Gold and sporting a numbers matching LS6/M22 drivetrain, this ’70 is everything it means to be a muscle car. Shocking was its final sale price, $65,000. While that’s not chump change, that’s about half what these cars typically go for. And since we saw it with our own eyes, we knew this Chevelle was a definite steal.
1969 Nova L78 SS396
Another absolute larceny at the Kissimmee auction was this other muscle car powerhouse. Dusk blue with blue interior, this L78 SS396 Nova had its numbers-matching engine and trans, along with factory build sheet, and still had its smog pump and accessories. When the gavel banged, some lucky SOB took this very rare Nova away for $38,000.