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by Daniel DeGasperi

The Chevrolet SS, the Australian-made US-export of the new Holden VF Commodore, has been revealed at the Daytona 500 today, less than 48 hours after its Holden Commodore SS near-twin was shown to the public.

Compared with the Holden VF Commodore SS, the Chevrolet SS gets split-twin exhausts in lieu of quad exhausts, a unique grille, and paddleshifters for all automatic models. Unique gloss-silver alloy wheels and orange side repeaters – mandatory in the US – mounted on the sides of the front bumper round out the changes.

Inside, more aggressively-contoured seats and different ‘SS’ stitching separates the American export model from the model Australians can buy.

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Holden has so far declined to comment on powertrain choices, however its American Chevrolet counterparts afforded no such restraint. The Chevrolet SS (and the Commodore SS) will be powered by an LS3 6.2-litre V8 producing “an expected” 309kW of power and 563Nm of torque, according to General Motors.

An “aggressive” final drive ratio of 3.27 inside the six-speed automatic transmission is cited, with a zero to 60mph (0-100km/h) time of “about five seconds” quoted.

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The Chevrolet SS/Commodore SS move to a 6.2-litre capacity – up from 6.0-litres and 270kW/530Nm – leaves the door open for HSV to use a supercharged V8 engine in its higher-performance VF range.

Machined finish 19-inch alloy wheels with Brembo brakes are standard. The suspension is claimed to have been tuned specifically for the American market, indicating that the Chevrolet SS will drive differently to the Australian market VF Commodore SS, possibly due to a softer suspension tune. A near 50:50 weight distribution is also claimed for the Chevrolet SS.

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Holden will export the VF Commodore as a single-spec Chevrolet SS only, fully equipped with Bose audio, MyLink touchscreen entertainment system, automatic parking technology, forward collision alert, lane departure warning, side blind zone alert, and rear vision camera.

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“The Chevrolet brand was largely built on the strength of rear-drive performance sedans, yet it’s been 17 years since we’ve offered one,” said Mark Reuss, president of General Motors North America, and ex-Holden managing director.

“The all-new Chevrolet SS fills that void and fills it better than any other vehicle in the brand’s rich history. The comfort, convenience, spaciousness and V-8 power make the SS a total performance package unlike any other on the road today.”

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The Chevrolet SS will be available in the North American market from the third quarter 2013.

Click here to see the full Chevrolet SS image gallery.




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