Chevrolet SS 1LE package, a budget BMW M5?

Interesting, Others | February 19th, 2015 by 18
2014 chevrolet ss front view closeup 750x500

The Chevrolet SS 1LE package could make the SS a genuine, budget BMW M5

Recently, we discussed the constant battle between the American, automobile giant, General Motors and its desire to take on zee Germans.

We also discusses, how the majority of people don’t really recognize GM as a premium car manufacturer. Regardless of how good GM’s cars are, people just don’t want them.

And as soon as I write that, GM proves me right, again. I must put on my winning face, without looking too smug.

The Chevrolet SS.

2014 chevrolet ss daytona 750x469

What a conundrum that car is for the General. On one hand, it’s actually a very good car. Based on the Holden Commodore (that’s right GM fans, the SS is actually Australian, so stop cheering for ‘Merica with it), the Chevy SS is one of the more fun, faster and better handling sedans on the market today. Whether you like GM or not, there’s no denying the performance of the SS. However, there is one monumental flaw with the SS — No one knows about it.

2014 chevrolet ss front three quarters 02 750x498

For some reason, the SS’ sales figures are horrendous. Which is surprising, because it’s actually, very quietly, a good car. It’s one of the few GM cars I think I would actually buy. Maybe not buy, but I’d drive a friend’s if they had one. But my opinion clearly isn’t a common one. GM sold under 1,500 SSs last year(!). BMW sells more 3 Series’ in a week, in America. Admittedly, the folks at GM say that this is right on track with what they expected, and they say they are pleased, but I’m not buying it. There’s no way a company is pleased with 1,500 units a year.

Which brings me to the my very delayed point, regarding the SS. Apparently, Chevy wants to give the SS a 1LE package.


Doing so would give the SS bigger wheels and tires, same size front and back, revised dampers and brakes. This would ultimately turn the SS from a good car to a great one. This could make the SS a genuine, budget BMW M5. The same was said about the Pontiac G8 GXP, which was basically the same car as the SS. However, this probably won’t happen. The engineers at Chevy want to make this, but the bean-counters don’t see the value, as the SS is doing poorly already so making it more expensive will just exacerbate things. And we all know who, the engineers or the bean-counters, runs GM.

A shame, really. The SS is a damn good car for the money. Sure, at almost $50,000, it’s still just a Chevy sedan but it’s one that has a 6.2 liter V8, making 415 hp, it’s rear-wheel drive, it has Brembo brakes as well as leather seats as standard. It’s also available with a manual transmission, which is rare in that sort of car. It’s a proper sports sedan. Admittedly, it looks a bit like a tarted up Impala, but underneath, it’s the real deal. For some reason, though, it flies under everyone’s radar.

So despite having a very good car, and having engineers who want to make it better, GM won’t do it. They won’t because it won’t sell, which helps prove my Brand-Value theory right. I’m gonna practice my winning face now.

18 responses to “Chevrolet SS 1LE package, a budget BMW M5?”

  1. Air_Cav says:

    “people just don’t want them.” Really? There is a bit of smugness in this blog entry that you may want to rethink? My recollection is GM does sell a few cars on an annual basis but admittedly they can’t seem to crack 10,000,000 units annually so perhaps you are correct?

    For example “so stop cheering for ‘Merica with it” Does GM claim that these are made in America? I don’t believe so, and GM does own Holden so I see no problem with this.

    Before you think I am just some flag waving ‘Merican, please realize I do not own a Chevy, I do own two BMW’s yet I found this entry to be a bit too smug to stand without comment. Many fine cars do not sell well and BMW has had a few of those too

    • Admittedly, I was being a bit facetious in this article, but I happen to like the Chevy SS quite a bit. The Australian bit is a good example of that, was just trolling GM fans, just being a bit cheeky. I apologize if I came off smug, was just having some fun.

      And truth is people don’t want the SS, hence the horrendously low sales figures, but they should as it’s a good car.

      • markpetersonii says:

        You literally have no idea what you’re talking about and its as clear as the bright of day.

        GM is getting rid of Holden, the low production number is used by GM to reinforce their reasoning for shutting them down. Wouldn’t you think that GM would be advertising the car if they wanted to actually sell it? Have you seen any SS commercials? No. You haven’t. GM doesn’t want to sell the SS.

        It’s amazing how ignorant people are allowed to make stories about complete BS and people take it as the word of God.

  2. NoID says:

    The low sales volumes of the SS are not due to poor pull from the demand side, but from low push from the supply side. These cars were always planned as low volume, with the plan to turn supply up if/when it moves to different architecture for the next model year.

    People want this car, it simply isn’t available.

  3. Stephen Garrett says:

    Would the 1LE Pkg turn this car into a budget BMW? Lol, no.

    Suggesting as much is selling this car very short and giving the M5 much undeserved praise. The SS already handles and drives better than the new BMW’s. It has a true manual transmission, and a proper, glorious NA V8. It’s loaded to the gills with equipment that can’t even be had on some BMW’s, but costs as much as nicely-equipped 328i.

    The reason why they’re not selling is two-fold. For one, GM never expected it to sell well in the first place. It’s produced and shipped in very limited quantities. The second is that, while it may represent a good value, it’s expensive for the demograph it appeals to. Buyers of this car don’t care about ventilated seats and nav and whatnot. They just want an affordable V8 RWD sedan. If there was a decontented model that could be had for 35-37K, sales would explode.

    If GM was adamant about this being a 50K car, it should have had the new LT1 and transmissions behind it. As it stands, it’s essentially an updated G8 GXP which can be had all day long for around 30K. Or, one could go to the closest Dodge dealer and buy an RT Charger for about 10K less.

    • guest says:

      “The SS already handles and drives better than the new BMW’s”

      Im guessing you have never driven a BMW. American cars will never come close to drive and handle like the german counterparts, particularly BMW. American cars are only good for drag race on straight roads. No handling what so ever. Look at the new Hellcat, all the power and the car doesnt have the handling to match it.

      American cars have a long way to come to match the drive and handling of the Germans. I dont think they ever will.

      • DrSicPkle says:

        Except for the E63 AMG which it beat around the Motown mile test track. Those AMG’s… Only good in a straight line huh?

      • Stephen Garrett says:

        I’ve been in the car business for almost 10 years. I’ve driven more cars than you’ve probably read about. I own 2 BMW’s. If you think for one second the Americans aren’t capable of building a good handling car, or that the new BMW’s live up to the reputation as those of yore, you’re clueless. You sound like a 15 year old regurgitating back what you read in magazines.

        Good only in a straight line, lol. Yeah, those Camaro Z28’s, Boss 302’s, and C7 Stingrays handle like shit. Idiot.

      • Stephen Garrett says:

        I’ve been in the car business for almost 10 years. I’ve driven more cars than you’ve probably read about. I own 2 BMW’s. If you think for one second the Americans aren’t capable of building a good handling car, or that the new BMW’s live up to the reputation as those of yore, you’re clueless. You sound like a 15 year old regurgitating back what you read in magazines.

        Good only in a straight line, lol. Yeah, those Camaro Z28’s, Boss 302’s, and C7 Stingrays handle like shit. Idiot.

      • Aussie says:

        *Australian Car* get your facts straight. I’m guessing you have never driven the SS (Holden VF Commodore)

      • TJ says:

        i’m a BMW as well as a Holden owner. to say that you don’t think this car handles as well as a BMW, you’re mistaken.

        Holden modeled their cars off BMW’s handling dynamics and have been for more than a decade. Cars in Australia need to have good handling on roads down here. the VF Commodore has the best of both worlds — tight european handling with the brute force of an American V8 thats not only powerful but also a hell of a lot more reliable than BMW’s over complicated twin turbo setup.

        When looking for a new performance car to replace my Pontiac GTO (Holden Monaro) I seriously looked hard at the 4 and 5 series BMWs, being a loyal BMW owner for the past decade. But you simply cannot have the same amount of power, handling or equipment from the BMW at the price that the SS is priced at — and thats not to say that the SS feels cheap either. Its build quality and fit/finish are excellent. Not to mention in recent years BMWs have really lost their personality and characteristics in how they feel and drive. The SS really reminded me of how BMWs used to be — a true drivers car.

        Chevy imports this car in very limited numbers to the US, and with no advertising campaign they expected to only sell about 2,000 units a year in the first place, so its sales are actually right where they need to be.

      • sherob says:

        I’ll put my 15 Camaro SS/1LE on a track against any BMW you have in your garage. :-)

      • Pat Faram says:

        You obviously have never driven an SS

  4. IceDree says:

    I don’t think they really care about the sales of the SS, at this point, the SS is an 8 years old platform, development costs have been paid a long time ago & they squeezed all the profit they could … Now they are just building it while supplies last or until the factory shuts down soon.

    On a side note, I’d rather have the Dodge Charger SRT.

  5. W Van Landingham III says:

    Everyone in America knows the car is built in Australia you d-bag, so stop being so boring, it’s sort of a big deal and part of the reason I think it hurts the NASCAR audience the car is aimed at. No one has issues with Australia, but the idea of stock car racing has always been it’s an American car and an American sport – its the same reason Toyota being in NASCAR doesn’t affect its sales in the least.

  6. DrSicPkle says:

    Wow what a smug article. Staying true to how people perceive BMW owners I see. Allow me to throw a couple facts into the discussion. They only made 3500 SS’s in 2014 of which they’ve only sold in the high 2,000’s. So yeah, not too much of a demand at all. The MY14’s were only available in auto and doesn’t come with the magnetic ride control that are on the vette’s and the CTS-V. The MY15’s do have MRC and the manual option. Some who knew about the car were probably holding out in hopes for those options in a MY15 since they had been rumored halfway through 2014.

    You can’t drum up demand if you don’t advertise the car. GM does nothing to promote it beside slapping a Chevrolet SS sticker on the front of a NASCAR shell. The main reason I think they aren’t advertising this car is because Holden is going away in 2017. Not only that but the platform which the SS, Commodore, Caprice, and Camaro are built on (Zeta) is being retired. So the SS was never going to hit mass production regardless of if it sold well.

    It is a great car. Others will thumb their nose at it and that’s fine. We all have our favorites. The is BMWBlog after all, I don’t expect anyone who frequents this site to even remotely care about an SS. Just know this; for the amount of money one can save buying an SS brand new over an M5 one could add full header back exhaust, CAI, aggressive tune, and a SC. Which would put the HP above an M5 and would still save you $25k to $30k. But most of you BMW boys probably lease and wouldn’t know what to do with those things anyway.

  7. Minos Nikolaidis says:

    GM does not want the Chevrolet SS to succeed. The production of this wonderful 4 door sedan will seize by the end of 2016 maybe early 2017. The decision by GM to close the Australian factory was based on an exchange rate of over $1 Aussie to the US $1 making exports from Australia very expensive. The person/s that thought that this was going to be the case on an ongoing basis should be sacked as at present the $1 Aussie is less than $0.80 US making exports from Australia very profitable. After the factory closes GM does not have a supply option for the US market as a result Chevy does not have any interest in making this car a success.

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