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Magnetic ride for Chevy SS

American dream: The Chevrolet SS gains some of the same styling tweaks as the Holden Commodore VF Series II, but keeps its original headlights.

Aussie-built Chevrolet SS gets magnetically controlled dampers in update

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Chevrolet logo17 Sep 2015

By STUART MARTIN

HOT on the heels of Holden unveiling the final Australian-made Commodore, Chevrolet has revealed a tweaked version of its Adelaide-built Chevrolet SS twin in the United States this week.

The 2016 Chevrolet model update gets the same nose job as the Holden VF Series II – complete with vertical ducts, functional hood vents and 19-inch cast-alloy wheels – but the export models has kept the pre-facelift VF tail-lights.

The Chev SS has kept the 6.2-litre V8 producing 310kW and 563Nm, channelling it to the road via either a six-speed auto or manual and a limited slip diff rear end.

The V8 now disposes of its waste product through a dual-mode exhaust for quieter cruising and a punchy note at full tilt, but it does not appear to get the mechanical sound enhancer that adorns the SS, SS-V and Redline models.

Also arriving on the Chevrolet version of the SS – but yet to be confirmed for the Australian example – is the Magnetic Ride Control system, a system that (like the bigger V8) was once the sole domain of HSV.

Dampers filled with fluid full of particles that respond to magnetic fields to change damping characteristics depending on driving behaviour are slotted into the MacPherson strut front and multi-link rear suspension.

Brembo brakes with four-piston front callipers are also fitted to the US version as standard (as they are on the SS-V Redline in Australia), which are handy when a 100km/h sprint time of around five seconds is on offer.

Among the Chev’s standard fare is the colour touchscreen with sat-nav and MyLink infotainment, a Bose 220-watt, nine-speaker premium sound system, a head-up display, dual-zone climate control, alloy pedals, heated and ventilated front seats, a leather-wrapped gearshift and steering wheel, keyless entry and ignition and remote start when fitted with an automatic transmission.

Chevrolet claims a near 50/50 weight distribution and a low centre of gravity thanks to the aluminium hood and rear deck-lid that are 30 per cent lighter than conventional steel panels.

The safety features list includes eight airbags (front, side, curtain and front knee bags), stability and traction control, forward collision alert (a camera-based system to detect potential crashes), lane-departure and blind-spot warning, rear cross traffic warning and a reversing camera.

Chevrolet Performance Car marketing manager Todd Christensen said the new-look Chevrolet SS sedan reflects its driving prowess.

“The 2016 SS design changes more fully express the true driving character of the sedan while further enhancing the car’s overall performance,” he said.

Holden lifted the covers off its final Commodore – the VF Series II – last weekend at its Port Melbourne headquarters. It will roll into showrooms in October from $35,490 plus on-road costs, the same starting price as the VF.

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