At NASCAR's Champion's Week in Las Vegas on Thursday, Chevrolet became the final manufacturer to reveal its 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup model – the SS. Powered by the legendary small block V8 engine, the rear-wheel drive performance sedan will be Chevrolet's newest entry in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, beginning with the 2013 SpeedWeeks in Daytona.
The new NASCAR race car closely resembles the all-new rear wheel drive V-8 Chevrolet SS performance sedan that will debut early next year.
“As a passionate race fan, the debut of the SS NASCAR race car is a genuinely exciting moment for me,” said GM North America President Mark Reuss. “With the SS, Chevrolet is delivering a true rear-wheel-drive NASCAR race car that is very closely linked to the performance sedan that will be available for sale, ensuring that our most loyal enthusiasts will have the opportunity to experience the same thrill every day on the open road that our racecar drivers enjoy on the track on race day.
“The Chevrolet SS also demonstrates how we are able to leverage our global product portfolio to deliver a unique performance experience,” Reuss said. “The specialized development and testing work done for the racecar will certainly benefit the entire Chevrolet product lineup.
"We've both been focusing on a number of important initiatives to build a stronger connection with our fans by incorporating relevant technologies that we're using on today's high-performance Chevrolets, while also creating designs that help our fans make the link between what they see on the track, on the streets and in Chevy showrooms, Reuss added. "It's been an ongoing process. Ethanol-based fuels came online here in 2011; fuel injection was implemented this last year; and we're all focused on putting the stock back in stock car racing during 2013.
"We approached the development of the 2013 Chevrolet SS racecar with the same processes and technologies that we use on all of our production vehicles. We developed the race car's body surfaces and math, using the latest computer modeling tools. We then used CFD, or computational fluid dynamics, to model the aerodynamic performance without having to build an initial prototype, saving a lot of time and money. Then we built a 40 percent scale model for the next stage of aerodynamic development and ran it in a state of the art rolling road wind tunnel to prove that we were on the right track with our computational analysis.
"John Cafaro, the designer of Chevrolet passenger cars, worked with the racecar development team to ensure the design characteristics of the Chevrolet SS production car were seamlessly integrated into the car. After making refinements on the scale model, we then built a full-sized version of the car for additional wind tunnel testing."
The Chevrolet SS is the next in a long line of famed nameplates that Chevrolet has campaigned in NASCAR. It replaces Impala, which scored 152 wins from 1959-64 and 2007-12.
“We are looking forward to another exciting year of NASCAR competition and expect that the new SS racecar, with some of the most skilled drivers on the circuit behind the wheel, will distinguish itself on the track,” said Jim Campbell, U.S. vp of performance vehicles and motorsports.
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 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 long used 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 racecar 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 to be offered with an SS optional package 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 SS designation returned to the Chevrolet lineup in 2010 with the debut of the fifth-generation Camaro.