Other "budget" manufacturers have moved up-market, so why shouldn't Chevrolet?
Back in 1970, the Chevrolet Chevelle SS was the biggest, baddest muscle car on the block. The Ford Mustang and Chevy's smaller Camaro may have all the glory today, but the Chevelle SS was a beast in its own way. The 454 cubic-inch LS6 V8 produced an outrageous 450 horsepower from the factory, but many people believed that it was actually underrated. It is estimated that this monster muscle car actually produced closer to 500 horsepower. Over the years, the Chevelle lost most of its luster and by 1977, it was gone completely.
The Chevelle name has been lying dormant in GM's secret graveyard of historic names (we are just making that part up but we could really see GM having something like this), and we think that now is the perfect time for it to be resurrected. We think that a revived Chevelle sedan would be a great rival to the Dodge Charger and Kia K900. Both of these cars prove that non-luxury brands can build exceptionally nice full-size sedans. The Charger particularly needs some competition. The top-of-the-line Hellcat model is a bargain at $65,000 with a 707-horsepower supercharged V8. No car in any segment can match the dollar-per-horsepower proposition of the Hellcat.
The K900, while obviously not as wild as the Hellcat, does show that Kia can build an impressive full-size luxury car. The K900's 3.8-liter V6, and optional 5.0-liter, 420 horsepower V8 are not what you have expected from Kia less than a decade ago. Both of these cars are seriously impressive, and we think that Chevrolet needs to enter the competition. You may be saying "Wait! Chevy already makes the SS which kind of competes against the Charger and K900." Unfortunately, because of many manufacturing issues related to Australia, the SS isn't long for this world. We have called the SS one of the most underrated cars in the world right now, but we have an idea to help it enter the spotlight.
The SS is a wonderful car, but most people frankly don't know that it even exists. The Chevelle name is synonymous with big power in a big package, so why not refresh the SS with the Chevelle name? We would love to see a new architecture similar to the elongated Alpha platform that the Cadillac CTS uses. This way, our new Chevelle can keep the RWD set up of the SS, and lose some weight in the process. We would drop in the LT1 V8 from the new Corvette, which would improve fuel economy thanks to cylinder deactivation. In the Corvette, this engine produces over 450 horsepower and can still get 30 mpg on the highway if you baby it. But don't worry, we wouldn't stop there.
We would follow up the "normal" model with an awesome Chevelle SS. Here we would use the monstrous LT4 supercharged V8 from the Corvette Z06, Cadillac CTS-V, and upcoming Camaro LZ1. With 640 horsepower or more, the Chevelle SS would be an excellent car to take on the unchallenged Hellcat. Please Chevy, bring back the Chevelle so that the SS can live on.