Guilty pleasures, I admit -- but Scientific testing should make up for it, right?
There wasn't much to choose from the lot -- a bunch of SUVs, Vans, and the Monte. The SS badge (I'll get into that later) didn't really click with me that it had the LS4 under the hood -- I rented a Cobalt SS that was just a decal and bigger tires. It was apparent after startup and that rumble from the dual exhaust that this had some accelerating potential (and yes, some guzzle-ness).
Where the testing lies, is in the Cylinder Deactivation system, or "Active Fuel Management". This operates much better in the V-8 version than in the V-6 in the Impala earlier this year. Even with the same gear ratio as the last Monte (barely turning over at highway speeds), "4-Cylinder Mode" hangs-on longer, and offers more usable torque and better FE.
It's a fun car, but a lot of power, weight, and struggles for traction up front make it a big question mark (?). If you keep your foot out of it, a decent power-to-FE ratio can be achieved. But that's the problem -- the temptation is too great to feel that 300-some HP and 340-ish lb-ft of torque up to the 6000 RPM redline. Hopefully the Prius rental at 49.8 MPG over 500 miles earlier this week will make up for it . I'm going to try pumping up the tires to over 40 and see if that helps highway cruising. Right now it's sitting at ~24 MPG over 250-some miles.
Maybe in a later post I'll elaborate, but the "SS" badge has a rich history in automobiling, which has detracted from its roots with such things as the Silverado SS