Wednesday, July 27, 2016

2017 Chevrolet SS: Lack of Advertising - Lack of Sales?

2017 Chevrolet SS Sedan

In my opinion, one of the coolest four-door sedans that Chevrolet has produced since the Chevy Impalas of the mid-'90s is the 2014-'15-'16 Chevrolet SS sedan. Unfortunately, from what it sounds like, Chevrolet is going to make 2017 the last year for the four-door sedan that packs a punch of 415 horsepower courtesy of an LS3 motor.

The cool thing is that for, what sounds like will be the last year, there could be a supercharged LSA engine shoved in the engine bay that will put out 500+ horsepower. For a four-door sedan that can put down a 13 second flat quarter-mile time before the supercharged upgrade, if the rumors are true, the sports sedan will truly be a fun vehicle to drive. And with even more rumors of the sedan possibly getting a 1LE Camaro suspension, competing with cars like BMW and other European sports sedans will surely be no problem.

But why the reason for discontinuing a good thing [Chevrolet SS]?

No one knows for sure why Chevrolet is planning on discontinuing the SS yet [if they do], but for anyone hoping they don't, the news sounds very grim. Sales for the SS are down and GM already makes pretty good sales with another four-door sedan that emulates the same type of power and performance with a higher profile name, the Cadillac CTS-V.

2017 Chevrolet SS Sedan Interior

Some people may wonder why sales are down on the powerful, good-looking, well-priced sedan. I think one of the reasons could be the lack of advertising for the vehicle.

No one can really know if that is the way Chevrolet wanted it, or if they only planned to make the car for X amount of years. Let's face it, even the slick-looking mid-'90s Chevy Impala that everyone loved only stuck around for 3 years. 

If this was an attempt to make the SS sedan a rare car somewhere down the line, in say maybe a decade or two because of a limited number of sales, then Chevy has done a good job of doing that. In fact, for most people, if they see a new SS on the road, it would probably roll right past them without them even knowing what it really is. Hell, if I wasn't a car guy, and even for the car enthusiast who may not have much interest in GM vehicles, the Chevrolet SS could easily be mistaken for just another average grocery-getting sedan. 

For whatever reason, the SS truly hides in plain sight and advertising and promotions of the very cool car are literally just about non-existent. And that could very well be the reason for the low sales of the Chevy SS sedan. Not only that, but if the rumors are true and Chevy decides to put the LSA supercharged engine in the SS but makes no changes in their promotional strategy, chances are the 2017 Chevrolet SS will not be a big seller either, and that will probably force GM to abandon production of the car, maybe something they wanted in the first place.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

The New Chevy Silverado HD Hood Scoop - Cool And Functional

For many years now, ram air hood scoops were put in place to shovel in more air into the intake system causing an increase of performance by horsepower. This new Chevy Silverado HD hood scoop is also designed to create better performance, but not by forcing more air into the intake system, instead, the hood scoop will help create a cooler engine compartment for the engine which can also help create better performance.

These trucks are designed for towing/hauling, four-wheel driving activities, long drives, withstanding major mileage while still performing well. Whenever an engine can run cooler it will always perform better. So when an engine is under constant stress, like these Chevy Silverado HD trucks spend a lot of their time under, it makes sense to want to keep that engine as cool as possible for all of the time that it is performing any type of activities.

So just how much does this ram air hood scoop actually help? 

The ram air scoop will take in 60 percent of all of the cool air that will enter the engine compartment. The other 40 percent of air will come through the space behind the front bumper which is designed to take on the engine compartment air funneling responsibilities even if the ram air scoop gets blocked up.

The ram air design features a 90-degree angle which is capable of catching large droplets of water (rain) and small debris keeping out as much moisture and crap as it can to ensure that as much clean and cool air gets into the engine compartment as possible.

All and all, the scoop not only looks pretty cool, but it is more functional than a lot of ram air hoods we have seen in the past. Let's face it, some ram air hoods we have seen though the years hardly created noticeable extra horsepower and some of which we've seen weren't even functional.

I have yet to hear any official statement if GMC will have the same ram air scoop on their HD trucks, but one would imagine they will follow suit.

How Much Horsepower is Too Much Horsepower ?

Anyone who has ever had an infatuation with power created by combustion engines will tell you, “you can never make enough horsepower”. But in a day-and-age where technology takes us to astronomical power levels, it seems like that thought process may not be so true anymore. With big cubic-inch LS motors that already can take in mass amounts of air before slapping on twin-turbo or supercharged systems, the amount of power that is popping up on all kinds of average daily cruisers, begs the questions, is there really a need for all that horsepower?

500 Horsepower Before 1990
Sure, 500-hp has been possible since guys started taking apart engines and putting them back together with the whole intent to go faster. But before the 90's, 500-hp in a daily cruiser – in a 1985 Corvette, Camaro, Mustang – please. Not to say that it has never happened, but for the most part, that kind of horsepower was reserved for track use, short drives to the car show, or for trailer queens – not for vehicles that could go back-and-forth to work every day and then hop on the expressway and drive across country at will.

In Today's Time – 500 Horsepower – Just A Drop In The Bucket
Not to mention that finding a sports car right off the showroom floor with over 500-hp is as easy as going to your local dealership, but purchasing one under 500-hp and having a performance shop do some add-ons correctly with a correct tune to get 500-hp is just another day at the shop.

Some of the Corvettes and Camaros, Hellcats from the Plymouth/Mopar divisions and of course the many forms of Mustang that we see today can easily make 500-hp. Even Cadillac and many other unexpected auto divisions have poured more horsepower into their vehicles than one could have ever imaged in the mid-80's – early 90's. If you would have told me back then that there would be a four-cylinder twin-turbo Camaro that would keep up with a 90's LT-1 Camaro, and a six-cylinder Camaro that would leave a LT-1 in its dust, I would have laughed.

Well maybe not. My Dad was a Buick guy and I attended many Buick events in the early 90's where V-6 turbo Buicks were pulling the wheels off the ground and turning in 10-sec time-slips. But try explaining that to a Fox-Body Mustang lover back in those days. A 5.0 Ford Mustang was the fastest vehicle to every grace the pavement – back then – according to them.

How Much Horsepower Is Too Much
Realistically, when you are trying to find out how much an engine or a certain engine setup can put out, then there is never too much. But when you are making a decision of what kind of money you have to spend, what kind of power you are realistically going to need or use, and how complicated you want it to be to tune, drive comfortably and for that matter of fact, understand it, there may be a level of too much.

Sure, it's great to sit at the car show or the drag strip and say “yep, my baby puts out 1,200 ponies”, but when a brand new sports car pulls up next to you at the light – quiet and stock looking – and he takes off like a rocketship, and your loud, monster setup is gasping for mass amounts of air while standing still trying to find just a little bit of traction – that's just embarrassing.

How Much Horsepower Is Just Enough
Just like most things in life – to each is own. The perfect amount of horsepower to me would be being able to use and have fun with every bit of horsepower that I paid for. Sure, have there been times where I have wanted more horsepower for some of my vehicles? Absolutely, but I also like to eat as well. Having an extra boatload of horsepower under my foot that I'll never use while telling my girlfriend that we can't go and grab something to eat because my bank account is empty, doesn't' sound so cool.

Friday, July 1, 2016

2017 Bumblebee Transformer Camaro

After many stories about the 2017 Bumblebee Transformer Camaro, here comes the real news. My friend from GM says that all Camaros in the movie will be an assortments of different trims. Whatever GM will sell them and let them destroy will be the Camaro you see.

Still going to be cool.