When the SS badge returned to Chevrolet, we were pretty excited. But then the double letter #19 made its way onto the last generation Malibu, and we were immediately and nearly permanently turned off. General Motors later turned up the heat with the turbocharged Cobalt SS and HHR SS, and while we liked those models very much, they in no way conjured up thoughts of 1960's and 1970's Impala and Chevelle SS models. And with more stringent fuel economy standards and government-mandated CO2 reductions, it appears that the SS moniker could well be relegated to the new Camaro. Or maybe not.

Mark Reuss, GM vice president of global engineering, recently told AutoWeek that the SS badge is alive and well. But instead of slapping it on anything and everything with elevated horsepower, the General will instead focus on a more selective process. In other words, we're guessing the ill-conceived FWD Impala SS won't happen again any time soon. Or at least we hope. And while Reuss doesn't hold the glitzy profile of a big-time player like Bob Lutz, the global engineering VP does have plenty of street cred. He worked in Australia to build the RWD Zeta platform that currently underpins the Camaro here in the States, and Zeta is one platform we're dying to see more of here.

So if the SS badge is only going to be considered on a case by case basis, our big question is.... what's next? Well, we have no idea which Chevy will next don the SS badge, but we're hoping recent rumors of a Volt SS are just that: rumors. Perhaps Reuss will convince his fellow executives to marry the SS badge, the Chevy Bowtie and his pride and joy Zeta platform to make a four-door counterpart to the Camaro. That's one way to get yourself Lutz-like notoriety.

[Source: Automotive News subs req'd]