Chevrolet unveiled its much-anticipated SS sedan late last week and it's an important vehicle for a couple of reasons. First, the SS is the first performance-driven rear-wheel drive sedan for Chevrolet in 17 years. Second, the SS will be the nameplate used by Chevy on NASCAR tracks nationwide starting this year.

The SS is aimed at buyers who want an American performance sedan. On paper, the car looks pretty impressive. The SS employs a 6.2-liter V8 engine to make 415 horsepower and 415 pound-feet of torque. Using a six-speed automatic transmission that can either be left in drive or controlled using paddle shifters on either side of the steering wheel, Chevrolet says the sedan will get from 0-to-60 mph "in about five seconds." That's pretty darn quick.

Inside, leather seating surfaces, eight-way power front seats and a dash made from premium soft-touch materials are standard for a cabin that is said to fit five adults comfortably.

Other high-end features found inside include a nine-speaker Bose sound system, a head-up display that projects important information on the windshield in front of the driver and safety tech like Lane Departure Warning and Side Blind Zone alert. A marquee option will be Automatic Parking Assist that can parallel and right-angle park -- the technology's first appearance on a Chevrolet.

Chevy hasn't released pricing for the SS yet, but it is expected to go on sale before the end of the year.

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