After driving the 2017 Chevrolet SS, the only real takeaway is get it while you can. We weren’t even sure we’d see this one since the Chevy press site doesn’t even list a 2017 model. GM announced that later this year it is closing all its vehicle manufacturing in Australia, where the rear-drive SS is built. So the 2017 model is it, unless the division decides it can find room in the plant that now builds the Camaro and Cadillac ATS and CTS to keep this automotive equivalent of a throwback jersey on the road.
The throwback jersey analogy is apt here since in today’s NFL, beneath the retro uniform is a very healthy and capable young athlete. And so it goes with the SS. Only the name, V8 power plant and driven rear axle harken back to the golden age of American Muscle. Close inspection of the Chevy SS finds a thoroughly modern drivetrain and chassis with a smooth-shifting 6-speed automatic, fully independent suspension with magnetic-controlled shocks, 4-wheel disc brakes and 19-inch alloy wheels. Think of it as a resto-mod in a nicely tailored suit.
Driving the SS is a hoot. There’s plenty of power on tap from the 6.2-liter V8, which makes 415 horses and 415 lb.ft. of torque, more than enough to overpower the defeatable traction control and allow for a wee bit of hoonage. For the more hardcore, there’s also the availability of a 6-speed manual gearbox, something that is becoming a rarity especially among vehicles with V8s. The suspension is taut without harshness, the steering direct and not overboosted and the power delivery and braking satisfyingly linear.