At the heart of the rear-drive SS is a Corvette-sourced 6.2-liter V8 that scares up 415 horsepower and 415 pound-feet of torque. A performance-tuned six-speed automatic transmission remains standard, but you can order up a six-speed manual at no cost. That makes the SS the first full-size American car in decades available with a manual transmission. It's also one of the fastest, capable of hauling from zero to 60 mph in a mere 4.7 seconds.
The sophisticated Magnetic Ride Control system enhances both ride and handling, and is shared with costlier GM products like the Corvette and Escalade. The suspension itself is of course tuned for aggressive performance, but the SS still manages to provide a rather serene cruising experience. You also get racing-spec Brembo brakes and 19-inch forged aluminum wheels with performance tires.
The SS comes in a single, lavishly equipped trim level with luxuries such as leather upholstery with faux suede trim, heated and ventilated front seats with driver memory, a nine-speaker Bose sound system with satellite radio, a navigation system and remote start.
Safety technology is present in a big way with a head-up display, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning, frontal collision alert and a rearview camera. You even get an automated parallel parking system. The exterior is finished off with xenon headlamps, heated power mirrors, foglamps and rain-sensing wipers.
All of this leaves room for just two factory options: a sunroof and a full-size mounted spare tire.
The SS is an exclusive car, made all the more so with the new manual transmission, which we never expected to see available on this model. Combine that with one of the more adventurous exterior colors -- Jungle Green Metallic, anyone? -- and you'll have a standout machine without spending a dime extra.
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