Confirming speculation reported preciously in Autofile, Chevrolet has confirmed the return of the SS nameplate – not just as a trim level but as a model of its own.
A performance-oriented four-door sedan, it will be the pattern on which Chevrolet’s next NASCAR Sprint Cup racecar. (There's virtually nothing stock about NASCAR stock cars.)
The racecar will make its debut at the 2013 Daytona 500, next February, and the production car will arrive in dealer showrooms in late 2013, as a 2014 model. It will be the first time in 17 years that Chevrolet will offer a rear-wheel-drive sedan for sale in North America.
The SS (Super Sport) designation first appeared in 1957 on a Corvette prototype race car built under the guidance of Zora Arkus-Duntov with the plan to enter it in the Le Mans 24-hour race.
The first production vehicle offered with an SS option was the 1961 Impala and the label graced various performance-oriented Chevys, on-an-off, through to and including the current fifth-generation Camaro.
The new Chevrolet SS will be a derivative of the same global rear-wheel-drive architecture employed by the Camaro and Holden’s upcoming VF Commodore, which will be released in Australia later this year.
Like the Chevrolet police car now being sold here, which also shares the same architecture, It will be built in Australia and exported to North America. It will benefit from significant technology advances including innovations in light weighting and fuel efficiency, the company says, the company says.
Some subtle changes are expected for the North-American version in the same way that the current VE Commodore was tweaked for its role as the Pontiac G8.
No details have been released concerning powertrains for the SS, beyond the fact that it will have a V-8 engine, but it's a safe bet that there will be one or more high-performance variants of the iconic Chevy small-block V-8.
"As a passionate race fan and performance enthusiast, I am thrilled that Chevrolet will deliver a true rear-wheel-drive NASCAR racecar in the SS that is closely linked to the performance sedan that will be available for sale," said Mark Reuss, president of GM North America (and former head of Holden).