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GM North America president Mark Reuss has said of the Chevy SS, "the only reason we brought this car over is to go racing." But the Holden-based muscle sedan will be making the voyage from Australian shores to US showrooms after its NASCAR debut for another reason as well: to sell on Monday after presumably winning on Sunday. But GM isn't exactly looking to flood America's streets with SS's, but rather to keep them more on the exclusive side, as a luxo-performance halo car on par with Corvette and Cadillac's CTSV. GM is quick to emphasize that the SS isn't just going to be a redux of the Pontiac G8 either, but better, the kind of car a customer will order to spec through the dealership. Of course, its appeal and success will be largely predicated on how it performs in NASCAR's Sprint Cup series, where it'll run most an entire season before the civilian version appears in US showrooms much later in 2012. Will the series be sufficient to generate consumer interest around the SS, and motivate the kinds of fat cats who are likely to actually buy one? We're going to start finding out this February at Daytona, where the SS race car will make its big debut. More pics and GM press release after the jump, via Motor Trend.
2013 NASCAR Chevrolet SS Unveiled
Will Debut at the 2013 Daytona SpeedWeeks in February
LAS VEGAS – Chevrolet today opened a new chapter in its storied racing history, unveiling its eagerly anticipated 2013 NASCAR Chevrolet SS race car. Powered by the legendary small block V-8 engine, the rear-wheel drive performance sedan will be Chevrolet's newest entry in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, beginning with the 2013 SpeedWeeks in Daytona, Fla.
The new NASCAR race car closely resembles the all-new rear wheel drive V-8 Chevrolet SS performance sedan that will debut early next year.
"As a passionate race fan, the debut of the SS NASCAR race car is a genuinely exciting moment for me," said GM North America President Mark Reuss. "With the SS, Chevrolet is delivering a true rear-wheel-drive NASCAR race car that is very closely linked to the performance sedan that will be available for sale, ensuring that our most loyal enthusiasts will have the opportunity to experience the same thrill every day on the open road that our race car drivers enjoy on the track on race day.
"The Chevrolet SS also demonstrates how we are able to leverage our global product portfolio to deliver a unique performance experience," Reuss said. "The specialized development and testing work done for the race car will certainly benefit the entire Chevrolet product lineup."
The Chevrolet SS is the next in a long line of famed nameplates that Chevrolet has campaigned in NASCAR. It replaces Impala, which scored 152 wins from 1959-64 and 2007-12.
"We are looking forward to another exciting year of NASCAR competition and expect that the new SS race car, with some of the most skilled drivers on the circuit behind the wheel, will distinguish itself on the track," said Jim Campbell, U.S. vice president of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports.
The Chevrolet SS will be a derivative of the award-winning global rear-wheel-drive architecture that spawns performance vehicles like Chevrolet Camaro and Holden's upcoming VF Commodore. The limited production version of the Chevrolet SS will be a 2014 model and will arrive in dealer showrooms in late 2013. It is the first time in 17 years that Chevrolet will offer a rear-wheel-drive sedan for sale in the United States.
Chevrolet has long used the SS (Super Sport) designation on high-performance models of some of its most enduring nameplates. The SS 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 to be offered with an SS optional package was the 1961 Impala – 453 were built with the performance upgrades, which included a modified chassis and suspension, power brakes, a steering column mounted tachometer and unique wheels and tires. The SS designation returned to the Chevrolet lineup in 2010 with the debut of the fifth-generation Camaro.
Chevrolet has 702 victories in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, more than any other manufacturer. Fonty Flock earned the manufacturer's first win on March 26, 1955, at Columbia, S.C. Five-time series champion Jimmie Johnson achieved Chevrolet's 700th victory earlier this month at Texas Motor Speedway.
Chevrolet was America's best-selling performance car brand in 2011 with Camaro and Corvette accounting for one out of every three sports cars sold in the United States. The addition of the SS to the lineup is expected to further strengthen Chevrolet's position as a leading performance brand.
What they're saying about the Chevrolet SS:
JIM CAMPBELL, U.S. VICE PRESIDENT PERFORMANCE VEHICLES AND MOTORSPORTS:
"It's exciting to finally lift the camouflage off the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Chevrolet SS. It'll be great to be racing a Chevy small block V-8, rear-wheel drive car on the race track and selling a Chevy small block V-8, rear-wheel drive Chevrolet SS in the showroom. The SS has a great history – it stands for Super Sport – and I can't wait to see the Chevrolet SS on the opening lap of the Daytona 500 and for the rest of the 2013 season."
MARK KENT, DIRECTOR CHEVROLET RACING:
"It's going to be exciting to see the new Chevrolet SS on track, continuing our quest for more product relevance. We have bio fuels, fuel injection and now we have a car that is closely tied to its production counterpart. So, it's going to be exciting to see these cars on track. We think the fans are really going to enjoy seeing the new car, and we think it is going to be great for the racing. The new car is an example of how the manufacturers working hand-in-hand with NASCAR resulted in a product that we are very proud of. It's going to be not only product relevant, but also very exciting on the track."
PAT SUHY, NASCAR GROUP MANAGER CHEVROLET RACING:
"It was a great opportunity to have my group work on a race car design, and use the same tools and methodologies that we use on production cars. We used math to develop it, built the prototype, tested it in the wind tunnel, got feedback from our leadership on the styling, and got feedback from our teams on the aero performance. We had a really good time working with all of the people from our teams and NASCAR really pushing the envelope much further than we ever thought we could."
JIMMIE JOHNSON – NO. 48 HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS:
"It's been a huge effort, and the times that I have driven the 2013 Chevrolet SS race car, I've been very impressed. I'm excited for Chevrolet, and really for all the manufacturers to have such a cool looking race car. The cars look sharp; they look good; I think the fans are going to be excited to go to the showrooms and buy these vehicles. We have been able to work on them from an aero balance. I know that my friends at GM are awfully smart, and are going to give me a great car to go race with."
KASEY KAHNE – NO. 5 HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS:
"I think the car is going to be great. They just have to figure out the final touches are that they put on it for everybody. When I tested it at Homestead at the start of the year, and then the Talladega test, both times I was really happy with what we had. When I was in the car I felt like it was really nice and it drove really good."
KEVIN HARVICK – NO. 29 RICHARD CHILDRESS RACING:
"I think it's one of the most important moves that NASCAR and the manufacturers have made in a very long time. Just for the fact that the cars on the race track will be very significant in looking like the cars on the showroom floor. I think from a manufacturer's standpoint it's probably the most important move that has happened in I don't even know how long, but a really long time. For the fans to have that relevance from the race track to the showroom is important."
TONY STEWART – NO. 14 STEWART-HAAS RACING:
"The new SS looks awesome. That's the great thing – it's back to looking like a production car again. It's a design that I really like. It's got the perfect blend of having a race car look, but a street car look at the same time; and that's hard to do. No matter what you're a fan of, you're going to be able to pick out your favorite brand of car and see it from the stands."
JEFF GORDON – NO. 24 HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS:
"I'm really excited about the new Chevy SS. It looks great and drives great. There is still some development work to do to fine-tune everything, but I can't wait to get in that car for next year."
DALE EARNHARDT, JR. – NO. 88 HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS:
"I've had the opportunity to see the Chevy SS and it's really an incredibly good-looking race car. It looks like it's ready to go fast; it looks like it's going to be competitive, and it looks like it's going to be a lot of fun to drive. It looks like something Chevrolet should be proud of."
JEFF BURTON, NO. 31 RICHARD CHILDRESS RACING:
"First of all the car is beautiful. I think the new design of really making a race car look like a street car is a huge step in the right direction, especially when the street car looks good. It really is a good-looking race car. It gets us more to where we need to be from an aesthetics standpoint. From a competition stand point NASCAR is really working hard to not just make this about aesthetics, but to make 2013 about better racing, closer racing, more fun to watch, more fun to do by the way. I'm real excited about that. In the testing that I have done with them we have done things that didn't work and we've done things that did work. They have a lot of information to go on now and really that is what I'm most excited about. I think our fans want us racing closer. They want better action. We have to work really hard at it because we run a lot of 1.5-mile race tracks and it's hard to have good close racing on 1.5-mile tracks. The concept of making the car so that we can race better together I'm a big proponent of, and I think that is going to be hugely positive."
JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO 1 EARNHARDT GANASSI RACING:
"We've done a lot of testing with the 2013 Chevy and it seems to have a lot of speed. It handles really well and I'm looking forward to getting to all the rest of our testing and then getting to Daytona and actually getting to see all the cars painted up for the first time."
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 42 EARNHARDT GANASSI RACING:
"I think it looks amazing. From what I've seen, I did the photo shoot already with the car, the race car looks amazing. It looks great. I think it has a lot of personality. It looks like a proper Chevy that I think is great. Knowing that the street car is going to be close to that, I can't even wait for it."
KURT BUSCH, NO. 78 FURNITURE ROW RACING:
"I am excited about the new look of the Chevrolet SS -- the SS name symbolizes sportiness and speed, and to wrap that into a 4-door rear-wheel drive sedan will be exciting to see the final product. Overall, the way the identity of the brand, the Chevrolet and SS, will now be promoted in NASCAR is the look that we've been needing."
CHAD KNAUS, CREW CHIEF, NO. 48 CHEVROLET SS:
"We are very excited about the new '13 Chevy SS race car, and can't wait to get it on-track full-time next year. At Hendrick Motorsports, we have been involved in the development process and have worked closely with the Chevy engineers. There will be some challenges, but I enjoy a good challenge. I do think it will create good racing on the track. In typical Chevrolet fashion, it has high-qualify parts and is definitely a great looking car!"
KENNY FRANCIS, CREW CHIEF, NO. 5 HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS:
"I think the new race car will be an interesting new challenge. The rules are quite a bit different than what we have been working with lately. The aerodynamics are going to be a lot different. It's a lot cooler looking car compared to what we have now. Everybody is excited about that. It's going to present a unique opportunity and some challenges for everyone. We are just looking forward to it."
GIL MARTIN, CREW CHIEF, NO. 29 RICHARD CHILDRESS RACING:
"I'm just excited about it because it's a completely different look than what we have had in the past. I think it's going to offer us a lot more opportunities for aerodynamic changes on the car. I think the fans are going to be able to relate to it because it looks like something they can get in the showroom. The car seems like it's going to be a lot more stable in race traffic. The handling characteristics of the car is that it has a lot more grip, so the cars are going to handle a lot better. I think that is going to promote a lot better racing than what we have had in the past. I'm looking forward to it and it's going to be fun."
SLUGGAR LABBE, CREW CHIEF, NO. 27 CHEVROLET SS:
"I've been part of four of the '13 tests. My first one was at Texas. To see where they started to where they are today is a huge improvement. You've got to give NASCAR credit for working with the manufacturers and the teams to make it better. Obviously, if we didn't do all that testing we might have started the season off not as good as what we had hoped. It took a lot of effort from a lot of people to get to that point. They are still tweaking on the rules a little bit, but I think for the most part they feel confident that we have a really good package. The rules that they are going to make are really small. I'm really excited about it. They seem to race better now, more so than what we have today. With what we have done at the tracks, but we went to Charlotte Motor Speedway two weeks ago and we ran 740 miles. Jeff Burton was worn out. He did a lot for us. We definitely learned a lot. Again, you just have to compliment NASCAR for really reaching out and saying 'hey look guys let's make this the best we can be.' They really haven't done that in the past."
TODD BERRIER, CREW CHIEF, NO. 78 FURNITURE ROW RACING:
"Obviously the '13 race car has a lot of style and a lot of things the current race car doesn't have. It's nice to have a car that has some character built in it instead of something that looks the way the current car we have does. That part of it is really encouraging. I think the car is appealing to look at compared to what we had before. That part makes it a lot of fun. There are a lot of shapes and things that maybe will allow us to work in areas that we have not worked in the past. There are now at least some differences in the brands and difference in things like that, which will maybe cause some disparity across the field that will enable us to pass and have good racing."
JIM POHLMAN, EARNHARDT GANASSI TEST TEAM COORDINATOR:
"I think having a new style car is what we have needed for a while here in NASCAR. I think it gives a little brand identity back, which is going to be huge for our fans. So that we can get them back in touch with the race cars; it's going to be a big deal for us. I like a lot of things about the car. I really love the clear shark fin. I think that really helps with the brand identity. I like the shape of the car, the slope of the front windshield, and the rear glass. I love how they have put all the character back into the car with the wheel flares, and the body character in the nose and tail. I really think that those details are the kind of thing that fans are looking for to reconnect with the car."
Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world's largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature spirited performance, expressive design and high quality. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.
12/6/2012 2:52 PM
Nice! But a little worried when Chevy says they want it to be upscale exclusive for a few buyers to "spec out at the dealer". In my book that means this is going to be rather expensive. I can see maybe 45k for a fully loaded or near fully loaded version of this car but more than 50k; im pretty sure it's not going to be worth it...The G8 was a hit, it was attainable(price wise), rear drive V-8 platform, with an optional manual! Those Aussie's got it right!
12/6/2012 3:43 PM
Welcome to America, Mr. Commodore, hope you enjoy your stay.
12/6/2012 4:04 PM
^ seriously. and i wish it WOULD just be the G8. that car was awesome. of course the chevy version will be duller looking...
12/6/2012 4:44 PM
I think as long as it's cost isn't too bad that it should be a great seller. About the cost comment, if you look up the price of a fully loaded Camaro SS, it's around the $45 -50,000 range. It looks to be the car that someone would want for performance while also being very practical for daily use and driving. It's basically what the recent Impala SSs (not sold anymore, just V6s) should have been, not FWD, but RWD.
12/6/2012 4:49 PM
It sure looks...blah. Maybe they will make a stop over in Germany on the way here to spruce up the interior and while they are over there, stop in Italy for a decent engine and then send it over here to look just like every other commuter pod on the road, but with a fun engine and nice interior.
12/6/2012 7:03 PM
because the LS motor isnt decent? lol
12/6/2012 8:30 PM
1lowscort - Well I never cared much for interiors as long as it's comfortable. Also since when is the LS family of engines only decent? In my opinion (and a lot can probably agree), but if you look at V8s in domestics the LS family of GM engines are the best V8s. Tons of aftermarket available and reliable. That's just some of the reasons why GM has LS engines in all of their V8 cars even in the Vettes including the ZR1 and the Cadillac CTS-V. But ya, they're only decent, even the ones in the ZR1s.....
12/6/2012 8:33 PM
And by the way, even though I agree that it looks like any other GM sedan family car, I actually like that in a way. That happened a lot back in the muscle car era, companies and consumers would take regular family cars and then do a few things to them so make them run with the Camaros and Mustangs. You think it's just a grocery getter and next thing you know all you see is taillights and thing think "what the hell?"."
12/6/2012 8:58 PM
Love the side sculpting and the gills. I understand the need for a Chevy performance sedan as the civilian version of the Impala has be severely watered down in recent years, but I don't know if someone is willing to put down a whole lotta cash on a bowtie. I know the Vette is one thing, but a sedan??
By: MSU Dawg
12/7/2012 6:34 AM
I think its a nice looking car but as some have already mentioned, as far as this being luxury, I don't see it. I don't think it should be considered on the level as other luxury sedans in my opinion. It just doesn't have the look. But besides that, if the price is right, I think it will sell. It's not bad looking at all.
12/7/2012 6:50 AM
The back half looks very much like a Subaru legacy
12/7/2012 10:40 AM
The car just looks boring. So yea it has a grate engine but the exterior of the car dos not look exiting. The g8 had looks and a grate engine. Y don't they make the car look more like a Holden?
12/8/2012 10:10 AM
Lol no, the GM LS V8s are not the best. Not the worst either though.
12/8/2012 10:19 PM
M45 - I said the LS V8s are the best of domestic V8s, not of all V8s.
12/11/2012 11:17 AM
I like DOHC so I like the Coyote and older Cobra engines for domestic V8s. The best by far is the LT5 though.
12/13/2012 1:13 AM
Um - author(s)..? "The SS designation returned to the Chevrolet lineup in 2010 with the debut of the fifth-generation Camaro." Yeeaahh... Tell that to all the owners of Cobalt, Monte Carlo, Impala, and other "SS" designated nameplates that have been around plenty since the "SS" designation left with the old Camaro. A small oops, perhaps - but still...
12/13/2012 6:31 AM
This is a RWD SS. It isn't wrong wheel drive like every other SS that the General has tried to pawn off on us. I would still wait for a used Caprice PPV. I'm a cheap bastiage, what can I say. Or a used Pontiac G8 and make some badging and trim swaps.
12/13/2012 8:11 AM
Great article. I believe this is a sound marketing approach for this car. If it is built to the same standards as the GTO and G8, it is a great car and deserves appropriate marketing and attention, which, with its NASCAR connection, I believe it will get. Too bad it is not brought back as a Pontiac, with a Pontiac return to NASCAR. That would be awesome marketing.
12/13/2012 8:16 AM
IS GM ON DRUGS!? First off, "SS" (Super Sports) is supposed to be a trim designation (Impala SS, Camaro SS, El Camino SS...), not a model name. Second, importing crap from Australia, as opposed to designing new products Stateside is what doomed Pontiac! If NASCAR wants a new Chevy, design it in Detroit and roll it out in America. This is the worst blight on the "domestic" auto market since NASCAR allowed Toyotas to race.
12/13/2012 1:39 PM
Cybertronian, the SS isn't "crap from australia". would you believe almost all american cars are disliked by australians due to the terrible build quality. America lost its ability to design and build good cars many years ago which is how your market has been flooded with bland front drive sedans for the last 10 or more years. I own the current flagship Police PPV (HSV Grange here in australia) and have a 2011 Camaro SS RS import and the HSV is by far the better car to drive. Although built on the same platform and while having the same LS3 platform, the heavier Grange (PPV) is faster, handles better, is more comfortable and better built. What doomed pontiac was the global financial crisis, the G8 most likely prolonged almost certain death. Don't like the aussie designed, engineered and built V8 RWD sedans? go back to buying front drive impalas...
12/13/2012 2:08 PM
Why why why why why GM why, if ugly had a brother, that car would be the guy he stood next to to make him look better.
12/13/2012 4:34 PM
with as little a 1-3k made , and price tag north of 45k , GM can kiss my arse !!!!!!!!!!!! dodge here i come !!