Will we ever see Chevy bring back models like the Cobalt and Trailblazer SS?
For the 2014 model year GM pleased all its US fanboys by revealing the SS sedan. Powered by a 6.2-liter 415-hp LS3 V8, the SS was everything that we always wanted after the death of the wonderful Pontiac G8. Or was it? Like the G8, GM didn't give the SS a manual transmission right away, which may have put off some perspective buyers. Even now that the SS is available with a manual, sales don't seem to be going anywhere. So far, Chevy has managed to sell 1,131 SS models through April. Only 2,895 were sold in all of 2015 which was the highest sales year thus far.
So why is the SS still not selling? Simple: no-one knows about it! Seriously, go into your local Chevrolet dealership and ask if they have an SS. If you're lucky enough to even live near a dealership that does have one in stock, we bet you that none of the sales people know anything about it. GM has done almost no marketing for the SS and it clearly shows. Sales people are not educated about what the SS is, so unless you are specifically looking for one, there's no way a random person would stumble upon one when shopping for a large sedan. The dealership is far more likely to sell that type of person a much cheaper Impala. On the Chevrolet website, it is listed under 'Performance' with the Camaro and Corvette.
That means if you are just browsing for sedans, you might not even see the SS. This is quite puzzling. Rewind back to 2008, and GM was perfectly content selling SS versions of several cars. While some of these mid-2000s SS car were terrible, some were actually pretty cool. The Trailblazer SS was a worthy competitor to the SRT8 Grand Cherokee and the Cobalt SS was one of the fastest FWD cars of the time. You could even buy a Chevy HHR SS with the same 2.0-liter 260 horsepower four-cylinder engine. This could be mated to a woeful four-speed automatic or a pretty good six-speed manual. The Trailblazer SS even had a 6.0-liter 390 horsepower V8 under the hood.
We would love to see Chevy bring back some of these SS models. The Sonic is ripe for a Fiesta ST-battling SS model and who wouldn't love to see an AWD Turbocharged Cruze SS to finally continue where the Cobalt left off. All of this would help bring performance to Chevy products that are still practical. At the moment, the only SS model that you can buy is the Camaro. We really don't even know if the SS sedan counts as an SS model. Naming a model the SS may show that GM has no interest in putting an SS badge on other vehicles, which we think is a shame. The SS will continue to sell poorly until the accountants finally give it the axe. Here's a test, go into a dealership and ask for an SS.
If the salesman doesn't look at you like you have two heads, then walk you over to a Camaro SS, which you will tell him is wrong, color us surprised. If you do manage to find someone who knows what the SS is, we guarantee you won't easily find one with a manual. That is why the SS will continue to be a sales disaster, and a hidden gem.