The Chevrolet SS is not your everyday car. In fact, it’s not even your everyday performance sedan. Given its array of “premium gear” — a 6.2 liters LS3 V8, for instance — we here at AutoTribute have long speculated a starting price of around $40,000. It’s not surprising, then, that we’re left scratching our heads at a report from Automotive News (AN) indicating that the SS might start at just $27,535.
“Chevrolet hopes the 2014 SS, which will have a base price of $27,535, including shipping, can build excitement around the brand,” the report stated.
Now, AN didn’t directly claim that the sedan will cost that much, but it’s the possibility that it might that is bewildering. I just find it hard to believe that any car with the SS’ performance credentials would start out at such a low price. Yes, it’s true that the Pontiac G8 started out at around $25K, but the SS is in substance more than a base G8. In fact, it packs more performance than the range-topping G8 GXP, in addition to offering superior overall refinement and more luxury / tech amenities. The GXP was priced at around $40K.
Also discrediting that possibility is the fact that the SS will be sold in very limited numbers — no more than 5,000 units a year — and will be subject to high import costs as a result of being the product of Australia. Now factor in the hype and anticipation surrounding the car and I wouldn’t put it past General Motors to charge enthusiasts as much as it can for one.
While it is reasonable to believe that a $40K price-point is too high, $27K is too low and just plain wrong. After all, that’s the starting price of the 2014 Chevrolet Impala! And while there is very little wrong with that car, it’s far from being the high-powered, rear-wheel drive and feature-full sports sedan that the SS is. No, Chevy’s performance sedan will command a higher price.
Using the new Impala and the departed G8 GXP as a frame of reference, my take is that the SS will have a starting price of at least $35K. Based on the arguments above, a starting price of $27,535 would be ludicrous, seeing that the SS will come out of the gate with a lot more performance and likely the same features as the Impala. A 40K price-point is bit more reasonable but possibly too high. The GXP came fully-loaded; if assuming the SS wouldn’t, then a starting price of anywhere between $35k and $40k would be sensible, leaving enough room for a large selection of optional features. And if a fully-loaded SS ends up costing more than $40K? That’ll be understandable, considering that it will offer more performance, more luxury and more refinement than the GXP. Inflation will also be a contributing factor in a higher overall price.
Before someone calls me out on it, it hasn’t escaped me that the Pontiac G8 was an abysmal failure, despite its bargain basement pricing strategy. At $40K (to be conservative), the SS sedan will likely not meet the same fate because 1) the economy, and especially the automotive industry, is a lot healthier, 2) it’s a better overall vehicle than the G8 and 3) it will be sold in very limited numbers.
Do you agree or disagree with this assessment? Let us know in the comment section.