What's not to like about this car? Sure, it's not for everyone but if it's not for you, you have problems. Every time the 6.2-litre LS3 V8 roars to life (especially with the new exhaust in the Walkinshaw W375 kit) I can't help but grin.
This car is more than just the sum of its parts. It is an icon, the pinnacle of Australian engineering and design, and now it's gone. Australia, no, the world will never see a car like this again. One with a stonking naturally aspirated V8, handling, comfort and good looks all packaged into a family car, and an attainable one at that.
Yes, part of the reason I got this car was because of what it represents rather than what it is, but take all that away and I still can't think of a car for under $60k I'd rather drive. The engine is a ripper, pulling like a freight train as it roars towards the redline, the tyres protesting as they fight to maintain traction - thankfully the Brembo’s haul it up in a jiffy time after time without complaint. The front end is as sharp as a knife and turns in accurately and with plenty of grip, the car staying flat as it corners while the back fights to break free on exit. There is nothing to fault with the performance of this car.
People think their all-wheel drive hatches are pretty cool because they are safe, but one of the things I love about the SS is knowing I could end up around a telegraph pole on any corner. Actually, nah. The SS is one of the most predictable cars I've ever driven but there is a certain satisfaction in nailing a slide and knowing that I actually need to know how to drive (unlike Golf owners).
The car is solid, does what it says on the box and impresses me more through every corner I take sideways. I've never had a problem with reliability and I honestly couldn't think of any improvements that could have been made without increasing the price of the car. For sure, making it front-wheel drive and taking away the V8 was not one of them.
RIP Commodore (the real one).