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Mark Reuss To Save the SS . . . es . . .

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On: Mon, Nov 23, 2009 at 10:50AM | By: John Welch

Mark Reuss To Save the SS . . . es . . .

Any company suffering from economic malaise will want to streamline its product offerings in order to maximize gain from expenditure. In the past GM has done this by axing low-volume performance models, eliminating the cost of expensive go-fast bits. It's a new day in Detroit, and the new GM vice president of global engineering, Mark Reuss, is not going to stand for euthanizing Chevrolet's high-profile "SS" cars . . .

Not only is Reuss determined to push the SS line into the future, he would like to develop a comprehensive approach to designing and executing the cars, ala BMW "M", Mercedes "AMG", and even Ford's "SVT" line. Reuss would like to design SS branded cars on a case-by-case basis, accentuating each individual model's unique attributes instead of just adding a dollop of vanilla horsepower and sprinkling on some fancy-badge/seat-stitching chocolate chips.

“(We are) not trying to peanut-butter SS for everything,” said Reuss. “If you look at Chevrolet's heritage, it's important to remember where SS was.” Gotcha. SS was heavily featured in every Ford/Mopar Racer's nightmares for a long while. Now it is a mostly forgettable sideshow, save for the Camaro SS. Does anyone know just how awesome a Cobalt SS really is? Just how easily it will smoke Japanese competition head-to-head? Nope; because it's a Cobalt, it has zero marketing behind it, and the limited-slip and taunt suspension cost GM so much they'd prefer it if you just gave up on embarrassing Civic Sis from behind the wheel of anything Dearborn-derived.

Where did this "Mark Reuss" come from? Thankfully, Australia. Reuss was the VP of Operations at Holden, and is responsible for the Zeta platform that underpins the Chevy Camaro and (sic) Pontiac G8 (GXPs are sold out, by the way). Reuss and his team did their best to make the Zeta a proper "World" platform, and Reuss had a specific future in mind for the chassis. Currently under constant development Down Under, the Zeta is getting lighter and more fuel efficient. “We strove to make Zeta, rear-wheel drive in Australia, relevant to the rest of the world,” Reuss said.

This is the kind of guy GM has needed for twenty-five years. As serious as he sounds, Ruess might be the sort to drag a shot-gun up to the Accountant floor of the Millennium center, and just lay waste to all of the Bean-Counters who have destroyed our beloved Chevrolet . . .

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