The Chevrolet SS Was the Australian BMW M3 Killer Everyone Forgot About

Back in the mid-2010s, BMW was killing it. The F80 generation BMW M3 was out, and it was hunting down its competitors. Chevrolet needed a more practical sports car that wasn’t the Camaro as an answer to it. Thankfully, GM subsidiary Holden was making the Holden VF Commodore over in Australia. Enter: The Chevrolet SS.

Doug fell in love with the failed Chevrolet SS | Doug Demuro

You’d think the 415 hp, rear-wheel drive, manual Chevrolet SS would have been the perfect answer to the BMW M3. However, it was a sales flop. In fact, Chevy only sold less than 20,000 SS models over its entire production run, and Chevy dropped it in 2017.

Why was the Chevy SS discontinued?

A red Chevrolet SS shot from the high 3/4 front angle
Subtle styling and real power should have made the Chevrolet SS a real hit | Chevrolet

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Now, this really is a sad story. The SS ran from 2014 right up until 2017, when Chevy axed it. However, the story of why the Chevrolet SS got killed off goes back to 2013. Back then, Holden (think Australian Chevrolet) wasn’t doing so hot. New car sales in Australia were horribly low, and GM decided they were going to put the ax to Holden in 2017.

I’m sure you can see where this is going. Obviously, the SS being a Holden VF Commodore, that means there wouldn’t be a place to make the SS past 2017. So, the car died, Holden along with it, and our collective hopes of having a BMW M3 fighter from Chevy.

Holden makes a killer Chevy

This pale green Holden Commodore was the perfect candidate for GM's BMW M3 fighter, seen here on a rainy day in Australia
Unfortunately, Holden is no more | Morne de Klerk via Getty Images

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However, for four glorious years, consumers had the BMW M3 killer they wanted. Only they didn’t want it and no one bought one. Which frankly, mystifies me as a car enthusiast. How can consumers not want a V8, RWD, stick-shift car with sedan practicality and some of the best suspension in the business? Turns out, most people have goals for their car other than Nurburgring lap times and canyon Bonzai blasts.

Like so many other dead enthusiast cars, the Chevrolet SS’ sedan layout and poor fuel economy turned away more logically-minded consumers than it attracted rabid enthusiasts. That said, those who do own these cars worship them with a cult-like reverence. So much so that values have only come up since the last Chevrolet SS left the dealer floor.

The Chevrolet SS is about as safe an investment as a car can be

A red 2015 Chevrolet SS on a Colorado back road
The 2015 Chevrolet SS | Chevrolet

Now, I’m not advocating for buying cars as an investment. It’s a form of gambling far worse than the stock market. Hell, most of the time you’d be better off buying Dogecoin than a car as an investment. However, the Chevrolet SS regularly changes hands at or above its original MSRP. If someone put a gun to your head and told you to bet on a car’s value rising, this would be a good choice.

Funnily enough, the death of the Chevrolet SS and its BMW M3 killing dreams means it’s a hot commodity on the enthusiast market. People want what they can’t have. And if you want an SS, you’d better get to buying one before they start showing up all over Cars and Bids.