Chevrolet has given up the ghost and confirmed its worst-kept secret. The Holden Commodore is going to be re-badged as Chevy’s new rear-wheel drive performance car, and it will be simply called the SS.
Aussies drop the ball
It isn’t exactly a secret that Chevrolet has made cars based on models made by its Australian brand, Holden, slapped on some different exterior trim along with a new badge and name and sold them as Pontiac, Chevrolet and other brand cars. Plenty of car companies do likewise with their global brands.
It also isn’t a secret that Chevrolet is working on a new rear-wheel-drive performance sedan. Immediately, the automotive press suggested that it would be the Caprice PPV, the bespoke police car based on the Holden Commodore, a rear-wheel-drive performance sedan from where the kangaroo roams.
Holden, according to AutoBlog, recently told Drive, an Australian car magazine, that the company was going to announce a large shipment of Commodore sedans to the United States. Tantamount to tipping the hand, General Motors realized that the koala bear was out of the bag, so to speak, and confirmed to the press that the Commodore was indeed coming to the U.S. as the Chevrolet SS.
Like no one knew
Before the death of the brand amid the auto bailouts, The previous generation Holden Commodore had been sold as the Pontiac G8. When Pontiac was killed, according to Automobile magazine, Bob Lutz, then-Vice Chairman of GM, told the press in 2009 that the car was “too good to waste” and a Chevy-badged version of the Commodore was coming.
The idea was quickly shot down, but remained on the table for some time, resulting in the creation of the Caprice PPV, which went on sale in early 2011.
The upcoming Chevrolet SS will be based on the VF Commodore, the sportier model in the line, according to AutoBlog. The SS and VF Commodore are based on GM’s Zeta architecture, according to Car and Driver. Zeta is GM’s rear-wheel-drive platform for non-Corvette and non-Cadillac rear-wheel-drive cars, which have bespoke architectures. However, the SS or SuperSport will move to the upcoming smaller and lighter Zeta II architecture by the 2016 model year, as GM is downsizing a good deal of its cars.
Going to be a while
The SS, according to AutoGuide, isn’t going to arrive in showrooms until 2014 and is going to get a lengthy publicity tour, including being fielded as the new GM NASCAR stock car platform. Its first appearance will be at the 2013 Daytona 500.
The range of engines and transmissions aren’t available yet, but the most powerful is likely to be the next-generation LS V-8, according to Automobile. The next family of LS eight-cylinder engines, which will power the C7 Corvette, will be smaller than six liters. The next ‘Vette is slated to get a 5.5-liter aluminum block engine.