Chevrolet confirms that it will begin selling a big, rear-drive V-8 sedan called SS late in 2013 as a 2014 model.
There has been talk of such a development, and a beefed-up rear-drive Chevy unlike anything available in showrooms is being offered to police fleets, but it was unclear whether ordinary buyers could get their hands on something of the sort.
The SS car will be the basis for the Chevy NASCAR entry that makes its debut at the 2013 Daytona 500 race next February.
NASCAR race cars, it’s no secret, share only their model names with the cars they purport to represent on the track. For instance, Toyota’s Camry and Ford’s Fusion NASCAR entries are race-standard rear-wheel-drive models, though the production cars are front-drive. Decals, not sheet metal, provide whatever likeness to a production model is possible.
GM suggested, though, that the SS might be closer to the NASCAR model than has been customary. “As a passionate race fan and performance enthusiast, I am thrilled that Chevrolet will deliver a true rear-wheel-drive NASCAR race car 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.
Chevy said the SS — for Super Sport, a venerable Chevy designation first used in 1957 on a Corvette prototype racer — will be a low-volume model.
Underneath, it will be an Americanized version of the yet-to-be-launched Holden Commodore VF, built in Australia by GM’s Holden subsidiary there.
GM previously sold a Holden rear-drive sedan, the Commodore VE, in the U.S. as the Pontiac G8. That one bit the dust in mid-2009, when GM decided to discontinue the entire Pontiac brand as part of GM’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization.
The G8, while popular among auto reviewers and, literally, a few driving enthusiasts, never sold well and seemed unlikely to survive even had Pontiac been continued.
Holden also takes credit for the design and engineering of the Chevy Camaro, which has been a sales hit.