The Chevrolet SS is getting the ax after this year, so to give it a proper sendoff General Motors built a hard-core version with a Corvette LS9 V-8. One thing it doesn’t have, however, is a Chevy badge.
You read that right, the last and arguably the best SS that GM makes won’t actually be a Chevy, or even sold in the U.S. Instead, the 636-horsepower rear-wheel-drive sedan will be sold in Australia as a Holden Special Vehicles GTSR W1, and for good reason.
While some might think the SS is a true American V-8 sports sedan, it’s actually built in Australia by GM’s Holden brand as a Commodore, rebadged and sold in the U.S. as a Chevy. In fact, there’s a small subset of SS owners who’ve embraced this and created a new form of domestic market culture.
We would’ve loved it if GM let Chevy get its hands on the GTSR W1, but the truth is we don’t deserve it.
What most Americans don’t realize is, as much as we love a screaming V-8, the Aussies might love them even more. The SS wasn’t exactly flying off showroom floors, partly due to a lack of marketing, but also some Americans didn’t recognize how good of a car it was.
So while a supercharged monster would have been a great final chapter for the SS, it’s more fitting GM gave it to the country that for years put its blood, sweat and tears into making a great blue-collar sports sedan.
All photos via HSV