In a gambling mood? Let’s bet on how long GM can go without dropping a supercharger in the SS sedan. We recently tested — and enjoyed — the redesigned 2016 Camaro SS for Fourth of July weekend, and it’s a great car — unless you need back seats. So if you’re a Chevy guy with a penchant for speed and a need for a rear bench, then the wolf-in-sheep’s clothing SS is your answer.
In stock trim, the engine in the Camaro SS cranks out a solid 455 horsepower from its 6.2-liter V8, and generates the same amount of torque. While we’ll have a review for that car at a later date, we’ll admit that this is a very energetic engine, and when equipped with a manual gearbox, every gear pulls nicely, regardless of how fast you’re going.
But Chevy’s sedans don’t quite offer the same excitement. Yet… Unnamed inside sources have indicated to GM Authority that the 2017 SS “will follow HSV’s Commodore example and receive the supercharged 6.2-liter LSA V8” (think of HSV as the now-defunct SRT division of Fiat-Chrysler for GM’s Australia-based Holden). The LSA found in the HSV Clubsport R8 churns out an impressive 536 horsepower.
The SS currently lays down a respectable 415 horsepower, but in order to tango with something like a Charger Hellcat, Chevy needs to up its game. Here are four reasons why we’re taking bets on this rumor being true, and that it won’t be long before the SS gets a blower.
1. The engineering is already there
Hypothetically speaking, if GM doesn’t want to fiddle with getting the supercharged LSA around regulators, its next best bet is going with the supercharged V8 out of the Corvette Z06. This would give the SS 650 ponies on tap, and enough torque to make anyone rethink their underwear choice for the day.
2. Hellcats need neutering
The Corvette Z06 is really the only comparable car that comes close to the Challenger Hellcat, but it also costs almost 20 grand more. While the Camaro ZL1 — boasting the same power as the Corvette — can handle the Challenger, there isn’t an inexpensive warhorse to battle the four-door Charger Hellcat. Plus, a supercharged SS would hit a sweet spot: There will always be devout Corvette buyers regardless, and there’s no way it or the Camaro can compete with the sedan’s level of practicality.
3. Performance demand is high
While the truck and crossover markets continue to take the lion’s share of sales, America’s demand for fresh performance models has automakers working overtime to fill the need. With more millennials having the means to buy cars, the time is ripe for new releases. The largest demographic to hit the sales floor since the baby boomers has cash in hand, a firm idea of what they like and want, and an unquenchable need for speed, so make the most of it!
4. No one likes a quitter
Perhaps the most significant reason for GM to drop a supercharged V8 in the SS is the fact that bowing to the competition isn’t something automakers like to do. Chevy has a long history of not backing down from a good fight, especially if it involves performance (looking at you, Camaro), and quitting on the SS, which is designed for a competitive niche market, is not the way to go for America’s bowtie brand.