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Chev SS gains auto parking in 2015 update

Easy park: Chevrolet’s Aussie-built SS sports sedan finally brings hands-free parking to GM’s mass-selling brand in North America.

Aussie-built Chevrolet SS gets lift with features from the Holden parts bin

Chevrolet logo31 Jul 2014

IT HAS taken an Australian car-maker to introduce hands-free parking to America’s biggest car brand, Chevrolet.

The Holden-made Chevrolet SS has become the first vehicle in the American ‘bow tie brand’ range to offer the automated parking system – a feature already offered on Holden’s VF Commodore and WN Caprice ranges in Australia.

The 2015 export model for North America also gets a host of other new features, including an optional six-speed manual transmission as an alternative to the six-speed automatic, Magnetic Ride Control suspension, Brembo brakes all round and OnStar connectivity as standard equipment as Chevrolet puts more spice into the single-model SS in reaction to calls from US customers.

Announcing the updated model this week, General Motors vice-president for Chevrolet Brian Sweeney revealed that BMW was the top non-GM trade in on SS in the showrooms.

“The SS reinforces Chevrolet’s position as America’s performance car brand and affirms what we’ve believed all along – enthusiasts want the driving experience that only a rear-drive sedan can provide,” he said.

“And by the way: BMW is the top non-GM-brand trade-in from SS customers.”

Surprisingly, no other Chevrolet has offered hands-free Automatic Parking Assist to date. The SS gets the most advanced version – as offered on Holden’s Commodore and Caprice – that not only automatically parallel parks your car but can also reverse park at right angles.

The systems uses ultrasonic sensors on the front and rear bumpers to size up parking spots and guide the car into position as the driver controls the gears, throttle and brakes with the help of a rear-view camera.

As GoAuto has previously reported, many of the latest enhancements to the SS have come straight out of the Holden Special Vehicles (HSV) features list, with items such as Magnetic Ride Control (MRC) already fitted to HSV’s Gen-F HSV Senator Signature, Grange and GTS.

The third-generation MRC dampers have sensors that “read” the road every millisecond, electronically adjusting the shock absorbers in as little as five milliseconds to alter the damping rate for better ride and handling.

The driver can select between three suspension modes – Tour, Sport and Performance.

While the Commodore-based Chev SS already had Brembo brakes up front, it now gets Brembo discs and callipers at the rear too.

The front discs are 355mm, while the rears, unusually, are bigger, at 360mm.

One feature that is not available on the Australia range is the North America-only OnStar system that comes with a built in 4G wi-fi hotspot, with a free three month trial connection.

Working in conjunction with the MyLink screen, OnStar offers satellite navigation, emergency crash response, stolen vehicle assistance and automated service checks, among other services.

The SS’s only engine choice is the big-bore LS3 6.2-litre V8 producing 310kW of power and 563Nm of torque.

The adoption of a six-speed manual gearbox as an alternative to the auto transmission is a response to US car fans, who were critical of GM when it introduced the SS in auto-only format when it was launched there in the second half of last year.

The manual gearbox variant will get a shorter 3.70 final drive ratio, while the six-speed automatic remains a taller 3.27.

Chevrolet sold 1662 SS sedans in the US in the first half of this year, putting it on course to hit its target of between 2000 and 3000 units this year.

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