Chevrolet has officially that the upcoming 2014 SS, a V-8 powered, rear-wheel-drive performance sedan, will be based on the next-generation Holden VF Commodore. IN addition to being Chevy’s marquee passenger car, the SS will also be basis for Chevrolet’s next NASCAR Sprint Cup contender, scheduled to debut at the 2013 Daytona 500.
The SS, the first RWD sedan from Chevy in 17 years, will be a limited-production vehicle arriving in U.S. dealer showrooms in late next year.
Though it actually just registered the “SS” logo with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office last month, Chevy has used the SS, or Super Sport, designation for more than fifty years. The first use was on a 1957 Corvette prototype race car created by Zora Arkus-Duntov for the Le Mans 24-hour race. The first production use was for an option package on the 1961 Impala. A total of 453 1961 Chevrolet Impalas got the SS modified chassis and suspension, power brakes, a steering-column-mounted tachometer and special wheels and tires. The most recent application is the Camaro SS, which debuted in 2010.
Like the Camaro, Caprice police pursuit vehicle, and the late, lamented Pontiac G8, the SS will be a based on the Zeta platform that Holden created for the VE Commodore. Like the Caprice, the SS will be built in Australia.
“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. “The Chevrolet SS is a great example of how GM is able to leverage its global product portfolio to deliver a unique performance experience that extends beyond the track. I am personally looking forward to driving it.”
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 should strengthen Chevrolet’s position as a leading performance brand.
According to Greg Tyus, GM Holden’s Executive Director of Engineering, Chevrolet customers will benefit from Holden’s proven expertise in developing and manufacturing RWD vehicles.
“Holden has a great track record of producing performance cars for GM and the world,” Tyus said. “We were responsible for the design and engineering of the Chevrolet Camaro, VE Commodore was sold as the Pontiac G8 and we are currently exporting the Chevrolet Caprice Police Patrol Vehicle – so we understand the needs of the North American market.”
Tyus noted that although exporting in the current economic environment was difficult, Holden exports were up 54 per cent last year compared to 2010.
“We continue to export our engineering and design capability around the GM world and we have significant vehicle export programs to the Middle East, New Zealand and North America,” Tyus said. “Our expertise in this arena is second to none and highlights the flexibility of Holden’s Elizabeth manufacturing operations.”
Greg Combet, Australia’s Minister for Industry and Innovation said Holden had again demonstrated to the world the quality of Australian technological innovation, and the design and engineering skills of its manufacturing workforce.
“In what are challenging times for many manufacturing businesses, Holden is designing and making products wanted in markets across the world,” Combet said.
Although GM hasn’t commented on the possibility, the Commodore platform could also be used as the basis for new Buick and Cadillac models.