You have got to love the Lumina SS. It has been the South African muscle car poster boy for the last decade or so. Nothing else locally available screams “muscle car” quite like the SS and the newly refreshed version is even better than that it replaced.
In 2008 we received the facelift Lumina SS with the huge wheel arches. It had the typical bad ass attitude and it was no wonder that your gym-bound muscle boys would run off to the showroom and pick it up. After all, it did shout ‘look at me’. The new car still shouts look at me, but in a different kind of way. Somehow things have shifted from all out muscle car to a bit of a better package. Not saying the others were bad, I’m just saying that the new car is just so much better, especially in the driving department.
The biggest change on this new car, are the brakes and the suspension. The brakes, which have been swopped out for a two piece Brembo caliper and 355mm disks up front, feel far more responsive than that found on last year’s model which didn’t feature them at all. The suspension has also been changed to sport new and stiffer sway bars, as well as a completely new set of dampers. Ride quality has been maintained and high speed stability has been increased. The SS just feels so much more confident approaching any bend. The 18inch wheels have also been replaced by a set of 19inchers, which are chrome plated; maybe a little too chrome for my liking.
While the Lumina is still a big and heavy car, the 6.0l V8 has been left unchanged. Power is down 10kw on this automatic model, but the manual model remains at 270kw. While claimed fuel consumption is 12.3l/100km, we did manage to shatter that by sticking to the speed limit and recording a 10l/100km dead. The proof is there that this brute can be economical – if your right foot is in sync with your wallet.
The interior has been left unchanged and, quite frankly, why mess with a good thing? I’m still a little unsure about the hard plastic around the gearshift, however. The audio setup still features Bluetooth streaming and calling with a USB jack in the center console. There is also a rear view camera, which helps when parking as this is a pretty long car at nearly 4.9 meters. The SS still has ABS, EBD, ESC and Traction Control as standard. You’ll also find 6 airbags which fill the cabin and keep all occupants safe.
The Lumina shatters nearly everything in this segment in terms of bang for buck. Priced at R 506 900, there is very little out there that offers this sort of performance and interior space. Our car had the optional tilt and slide roof, which ups the price by another R12 000; still a mighty fine deal.
For more information, check out Chevrolet.co.za