Chevrolet is getting its zoom back.
General Motors revealed the production version of the all-new Chevy SS today, the brand's first eight-cylinder rear-wheel drive performance sedan in 17 years.
The vehicle's introduction comes a month after GM showed a completely redesigned 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray to much fanfare at the Detroit auto show.
Both performance cars will reach dealerships in the third quarter, injecting a fresh dose of horsepower into Chevy showrooms, where most of the recent new vehicles have been sold on improved fuel economy.
The 2014 Chevy SS, which draws inspiration from the Super Sport vehicles of GM's past, doubles as Chevrolet's new NASCAR Sprint Cup stock car. It will debut this month at the Daytona 500.
The vehicle's 6.2-liter Chevy LS3 V8 engine, the same one used in the 2013 Corvette, boasts 415 horsepower and 415 pound-feet of torque. It can accelerate to 60 m.p.h. in "about 5 seconds," GM said. It has a six-speed automatic transmission with TAPshift paddles mounted on the steering wheel that enable manual shifting. Pricing won't be revealed until later this year.
The five-seat SS shares the same global rear-wheel drive architecture as the Chevrolet Camaro, the Caprice police vehicle and the VF Commodore made by GM's Australian brand Holden.
"The Chevrolet brand was largely built on the strength of rear-drive performance sedans, yet it's been 17 years since we've offered one," Mark Reuss, president of GM North America, said in a statement. "The all-new Chevrolet SS fills that void better than any other vehicle in the brand's rich history. The comfort, convenience, spaciousness and V8 power make the SS a total performance package unlike any other on the road today."
The SS replaces the Impala as GM's NASCAR vehicle. GM recently redesigned the Impala and hopes to reposition it for retail, rather than fleet buyers.
GM designers sought to distinguish the SS from the Caprice, which is only sold to law enforcement agencies. Some fans have questioned whether the two vehicles will be much different.
But GM has said the Chevy SS version sold to the public will be very similar to the vehicle raced on the NASCAR circuit.
It has staggered front and rear wheels that are pushed out to the corners to "enhance the sporting, muscular stance of the SS," GM said. "Up front, the aluminum hood features a subtle 'power bulge' hinting at the power of the engine underneath."
For the first time on a Chevy, GM is offering a feature called automatic parking assist that takes control of parallel or reverse right-angle parking while the driver controls the throttle and brakes.
Standard features on the SS include leather seats, the Chevy MyLink infotainment system, Bose speakers, rear camera, forward collision alert, lane-departure warning and side blind-spot alert.
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More Details: 2014 Chevrolet SS
Body style and driveline: Front-engine with rear-wheel drive
Assembly: Elizabeth, Australia
Engine: 6.2-liter, overhead-valve Chevy LS3 V8
Transmission: Six-speed automatic with TAPshift paddles enabling manual shifting
Wheelbase: 114.8 inches
Length: 195.5 inches
Width: 74.7 inches
Height: 57.9 inches
Seating: Five passengers
Legroom: 42.3 inches in front, 39.7 in back
On sale: Third quarter of 2013
Pricing: To be revealed later this year
Shared architecture: Chevrolet Camaro, Caprice police vehicle and VF Commodore made by GM's Australian brand Holden
Distributed by MCT Information Services
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