For true gearheads, almost immediately after a new model comes out, the questions start to come about when higher-performance variants will be available. Even on vehicles with an overtly performance-oriented image and name, like the 2014 Chevrolet SS, get this scrutiny. The standard drivetrain of a 415-hp LS3 V-8 and six-speed automatic are plenty potent, but for some, it’s still not enough. Chevrolet Performance Cars marketing manager John Fitzpatrick told Automotive.com that variants such as a model equipped with a manual transmission, or a supercharged engine could be coming, based on how well the current model sells.
The SS’ predecessor last sold in the U.S., the Pontiac G8, sold well below the projected 20,000-30,000 units a year. Consequently, sales targets for the SS are a much more modest 3000 units a year. If the single automatic/LS3 configuration sells above expectations, variants such as a supercharged model and a manual transmission option could make their way across the Pacific from Australia to the States. The essentially single configuration initially offered for the Chevrolet SS was decided upon to increase profits and reduce complexity.
Although similar in size to the Impala, the SS’s rear-drive configuration and V-8 power, not to mention its considerably higher overall price, give it an much more focused, niche appeal than the mass-market positioning of the Impala.