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Chevrolet’s Aussie SS teased

Super sport: The Chevrolet SS will return both the SS badge and rear-wheel drive to Chevrolet showrooms for the first time since 1996.

Countdown to Daytona debut of Holden-made Chev SS steps up with badge teaser

Chevrolet logo16 Feb 2013

By RON HAMMERTON

CHEVROLET has teased the new Holden-made, Commodore-based Chevrolet SS ahead of its debut at Daytona International Raceway in Florida at 1.05pm Saturday (US east coast time) or about 5.05am Sunday (Australian eastern).

Former Holden chairman and managing director Mark Reuss – now General Motors North America president – will lift the lid on the first showroom-available rear-drive Chev sedan since 1996 at the race track where it will make its debut in race form as a NASCAR stock car next weekend.

Keeping it all in the family, Mr Reuss’s father – former GM president Lloyd Reuss – is a director and part-owner of the International Speedway Corporation which owns Daytona speedway and at least a dozen other such tracks.

GM yesterday released an image of the SS badge on the boot of the new model that will closely resemble the Holden Commodore SS-V that was unveiled on Friday in Australia ahead of its June showroom debut.

Both cars have been designed and engineered in Australia on the Zeta rear-drive platform that made its debut under the VE Commodore that is now in run-out.

American journalists speculate that the Chevrolet version will get a 6.2-litre V8, but it is unclear if the engine will be the current Gen IV LS3 – as employed by Holden Special Vehicles – or, as some predict, the new Gen V Ecotec3 that will debut in Chevrolet’s 2014 Silverado pick-up and GMC Sierra.

137 center imageLeft: Holden Commodore SS V.

Both produce about 318kW of power, but the new Ecotec3 gains direct injection, variable valve timing and other modern elements, although it remains a push-rod, two-valve engine.

Just to confuse things, another 6.2-litre GM V8 is on the horizon, the 335kW LT1, which is scheduled to go into the new Chev Corvette Stingray later this year.

The LT1 is also part of the new Gen V engine family, but designed for high-revving power.

No powertrain details or performance figures have been supplied by GM for either the Holden SS-V or Chev SS, and it is possible that the two cars will have different powertrains, with the Australian version possibly carrying over the current Gen IV 6.0-litre V8 that produces 270kW of power and 530Nm of torque.

The SS (super sports) name plate in America is closely associated with the Chevrolet brand, with the 1961 Impala introducing the badge on a high-performance model.

The last Chev Impala SS went out of production in 1996, thus killing off rear-wheel drive in the Chevrolet range.

Technically, the Holden-made Caprice PPV (Police Patrol Vehicle) restored rear-wheel drive to the Chevrolet range in 2011, but that car is not available to general punters as the SS will be.

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