It wasn't coincidentally that Chevrolet chose this weekend and the Daytona International Speedway for the public debut of its new V-8-powered SS rear-wheel-drive performance sedan, the brand's first since 1996.
Danica Patrick claimed pole position for that race in a Chevrolet SS silhouette racer, with fellow Chevy driver Jeff Gordon beside her.
"The Chevrolet brand was largely built on the strength of rear-drive performance sedans, yet it's been 17 years since we've offered one," said Mark Reuss, president of General Motors North America.
The all-new SS is intended to fill that void. It's not expected to be a high-volume seller but something of a halo car for the rest of the Chevrolet sedan lineup.
It will be built, in Australia, using the same GM global rear-wheel drive architecture on which the Camaro, Caprice Police Patrol Vehicle and Holden VF Commodore are based.
It will be mated to a six-speed automatic transmission that can be shifted manually using TAPshift paddles mounted on the steering wheel.
Based on GM's preliminary numbers, it is expected to accelerate from 0-to-100 km/h in the mid-five-second range.
Its sport-tuned chassis features: MacPherson strut front and multilink independent rear suspension geometry; electronic power steering; Brembo brakes, with ventilated, 355-mm rotors and two-piece, four-piston front calipers; forged 19-1nch aluminum wheels; and ultra-high-performance Bridgestone tires –245/40ZR19 in front and 275/35ZR19 on the rear.
Handling is enhance by a near 50/50 weight distribution, and a low centre of gravity, enabled in part by an aluminum hood and rear deck lid that are 30% lighter than traditional steel.
Those factors enabled the SS development team to tune the car for a more comfortable highway ride without sacrificing handling or driver confidence while cornering at the limits, said David Leone, executive chief engineer GM global programs.
Other standard equipment includes; a colour touch screen that supports Chevrolet MyLink and next- generation navigation system; Bose nine-speaker premium sound system; and a colour heads-up display.
Standard safety features include; Forward Collision Alert; Lane Departure Warning; Side Blind Zone Alert; Rear-vision camera[ and Rear Cross Traffic Alert.
The SS is also the first Chevrolet to offer Automatic Parking Assist, which provides hands-free parking help, using an ultrasonic sensing system to detect the width and depth of either parallel or reverse right-angle parking spaces.
While the driver controls the throttle, transmission, and brake, the Automatic Parking Assist controls the steering inputs necessary to neatly park the Chevrolet SS.
The 2014 Chevrolet SS will be available in the fourth quarter of 2013, with prices released closer to the on-sale date.