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Chevy-badged Commodore arrives in the US

Stars and cripes: Cars from Holden’s Chevrolet SS export program has started to roll into US dealerships ahead of their November 11 sale date.

Commodore-based Chevrolet SS lands to glowing reception

7 Nov 2013

HOLDEN’S first passenger vehicle export program to the US since the 2008 global credit crunch killed off the previous one has finally kicked off, with glowing reviews from potential customers.

The Melbourne-based car-maker shipped the first batch of Adelaide-built Chevrolet SS-badged versions of the Commodore to the US last month, with the first cars starting to trickle into showrooms in late October.

GM’s inventory of US deliveries for October show only one SS was sold in October.

Chevrolet communications spokesman Afaf Farah told GoAuto the Chevrolet SS had only been delivered to "a handful of dealers", with very few customers having taken delivery of their car.

Chevrolet has an official November 11 on-sale date for the Aussie-built car, although some potential customers have jumped behind the wheel for a test-drive.

“The car exceeded all my expectations,” a contributor said on the www.ssforums.com website after test-driving one.

“It’s a special package and really worth the wait. The interior is very impressive. Especially liked the leather, dash layout, seats and the great-feeling steering wheel.”

GM Holden senior manager of public relations Andrea Matthews said that while the car-maker would not disclose the number of Chev-badged Commodores sent to the US, the car was always going to be a niche model.

She said if interest in the SS grew above expectations, it would be up to Holden’s sister brand, Chevrolet, to order more cars for the US market.

The version of the Commodore sold in the US features a 6.2-litre LS3 V8 engine borrowed from HSV’s product line-up, producing 310kW of power and 563Nm of torque.

Mated to a six-speed automatic transmission that includes paddle shifters on the steering wheel – a glaring omission from both Holden and HSV’s Australian line-up – it can dispatch the sprint from 0-100km/h in about five seconds.

It also gets HSV-style rubber, which includes 19 x 8.5-inch wheels with 245/40ZR19 tyres up front, and 19 x 9.0-inch wheels with 275/35ZR19 tyres at the rear.

Priced from $US43,475 ($A45,500) – including $1500 in ‘gaz guzzler’ tax – the Chevrolet-badged quasi-HSV is almost $16,000 cheaper than its Australian counterpart, although very differently equipped and producing slightly less performance.

On the safety front, the Chev-badged Commodore has eight airbags – including knee-protecting airbags for both front seats – compared with the Australian Commodore’s standard count of only six.

The Chev SS also gets much of the technology included on the Commodore, such as a collision alert system, lane diversion and blind-spot warning, and a reversing sensor that can detect cross-traffic when backing out of a parking spot.

The car also includes Holden’s self-parking system adapted from the tiny Opel Adam city car, and the MyLink entertainment system introduced with the VF Commodore.

Like Australia, the Chevrolet SS has a tyre inflation kit as standard equipment, with the option of a spare wheel.

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