Calling it "Holden's worst kept secret," a report in Australia's Drive indicates that the General Motors antipodean brand will announce "very soon" that it will be exporting "thousands of Commodores to the U.S. from 2013." Or, put another way, we will be getting thousands of Chevrolet SS Performance sedans – the Pontiac G8 in a previous life – starting next year.
The report says Holden is divulging the news earlier than planned because leaks just about everywhere, including OnStar, as well as trade-publication reports and speculation about GM's 2013 NASCAR entrant, have got everyone looking southward for confirmation of the answer we already (almost) know.
Drive says our rear-wheel drive Chevrolet will get a revised take on the VF-model Commodore that has an aluminum hood to make it lighter and less aggressive wheel arches to make it more slippery. No hard numbers are attached to the export rumors, but it is expected to number "much fewer than the 50,000-odd" units that were predicted for the Pontiac G8 program.
The scintillating line for bitter enthusiasts still chafing over the confirmed-then-cancelled G8 ST Ute corn tease is that the exports "could also expand to involve ute and sportwagon variants." Drive didn't, but we will emphasize the word "could," since we've been here before. However, that does jive with a report in Car and Driver indicating the same thing. Holden's announcement could be made as soon as
*UPDATE: Well that didn't take long. General Motors has officially confirmed that the new Holden-derived sedan sold in the U.S. will be called simply Chevrolet SS. The "limited production" SS will race in NASCAR beginning with the 2013 Daytona 500 and will appear in showrooms in 2014. GM isn't getting into specifics, but says "The much anticipated Australian-built car will benefit from significant technology advances which enhance overall performance." As to additional bodystyles like a wagon or pickup, well, GM isn't saying. See more in the official press release added below, and click on the image above to get a look at GM's newest racer all camo'd up.
Chevrolet Announces New SS Performance Sedan
Will compete in 2013 NASCAR and arrive in showrooms as 2014 model
DETROIT – Chevrolet today announced the return of a V-8 powered, rear-wheel-drive performance sedan to the U.S. lineup, the Chevrolet SS. The SS will also be Chevrolet's next NASCAR Sprint Cup racecar and will debut in its race configuration at the 2013 Daytona 500.
The limited production version of the Chevrolet SS will be a 2014 model and will arrive in dealer showrooms in late 2013. It is the first time in 17 years that Chevrolet will offer a rear-wheel-drive sedan for sale in the United States.
Chevrolet has a long history of using the SS (Super Sport) designation on high-performance models of some of its most enduring nameplates. The SS designation first appeared in 1957 on a Corvette prototype race car built under the guidance of Zora Arkus-Duntov with the plan to enter it in the Le Mans 24-hour race.
The first production vehicle offered with an SS option was the 1961 Impala – 453 were built with the performance upgrades which included a modified chassis and suspension, power brakes, a steering column mounted tachometer and unique wheels and tires. The latest SS model in the Chevrolet lineup is the fifth-generation Camaro, which debuted in 2010.
The Chevrolet SS will be a derivative of the award-winning global rear-wheel-drive architecture that spawns performance vehicles like Chevrolet Camaro and Holden's upcoming VF Commodore. The much anticipated Australian-built car will benefit from significant technology advances which enhance overall performance.
"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.
Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world's largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature spirited performance, expressive design and high quality. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.