Calls for more power and manual transmissions from Chevrolet SS customers in the US may encourage the American brand to discuss an expansion of its partnership with Holden and sister company HSV.
Chevrolet performance cars marketing manager John Fitzpatrick told US enthusiast blog Automotive that the brand would definitely be interested in looking into offering Chevy SS customers a manual transmission option and more powerful variants, potentially from HSV, if the program achieves its modest sales goals of 2000-3000 vehicles per year.
The first Holden VF Commodore-based Chevrolet SS performance sedans arrived in US showrooms earlier this month.
The Chevy SS shipped to the States is fitted with a larger and more powerful 310kW/563Nm 6.2-litre V8 than our Commodore SS, though unlike Australians who can purchase manual models and higher-performance HSVs, US customers are offered a single engine and six-speed automatic transmission combination.
A rebadged, left-hand-drive version of the HSV GTS, which produces 430kW and 740Nm from its supercharged 6.2-litre V8, would undoubtedly satisfy calls for more power.
HSV marketing communications manager Damon Paull said he was not aware of any discussions with Chevrolet about a potential US export program, and admitted the company would be unlikely to talk publically about such conversations if they were happening.
As well as New Zealand, HSV exports the GTS to the UK, where Paull says it has received “tremendous reviews” badged as the Vauxhall VXR8.
He would not be drawn on whether the go-fast division was working on any additional export programs, but confirmed producing its vehicles in left-hand drive – while costly – was a possibility from an engineering perspective.
Holden public relations senior manager Andrea Matthews said the local car maker intended to “keep the conversation flowing” with Chevrolet in relation to its export program and any potential expansion of that.
“We’re aware that the first deliveries have taken place and we’ve certainly seen some of the feedback that’s come in from customers, so that’s very exciting, it’s good to see that people are getting behind the wheel of their cars,” Matthews said.
“I can’t comment on what we might be able to develop for the US market. We’ll continue to have conversations with the team over in the US in terms of what their needs are moving forward.”
Chevrolet showed a modified SS at last week’s SEMA show (pictured above), testing the waters for sportier versions of the car with US customers.