General Motors has trademarked the model designation 'SS' in the US, fuelling speculation the legendary nameplate will be applied to a new sports model from its Chevrolet brand.
The trademark – filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office on April 13 – was discovered by GM Inside News Forum member EJD1984.
Based on the revelation, it is now widely believed the SS is the new model promised by Chevrolet to compete in the 2013 NASCAR season and join the brand’s production car showroom.
Last month, Chevrolet performance vehicles and motorsports vice president Jim Campbell confirmed the new racecar and production car would be “based on a new nameplate to the brand’s line-up” and would be revealed in the coming year.
The news led many to speculate the new Chevrolet would be based on the Australian-made Holden Commodore or Caprice, given the vehicles’ size, rear-wheel-drive layout, and the fact that the Caprice is already produced in left-hand-drive – albeit exclusively for law-enforcement agencies.
The export deal would be a massive boost for Holden’s local manufacturing operations, but seems unlikely given tough economic conditions created by the high Australian dollar.
Earlier this year, GM Holden chairman and managing director Mike Devereux said the South Australia-based manufacturer would not reach its export targets for the Chevrolet Caprice police car program in 2012, and admitted substantial export growth was likely to be difficult to achieve for at least the next 12 to 24 months.
Chevrolet first used the ‘SS’ nameplate for a sports-focused option package on the Impala in 1961, and later expanded it to a series of other rear-wheel-drive models, including the Camaro, Chevelle, El Camino, Monte Carlo and Nova.
The official patent filing suggests the manufacturer is serious about introducing a standalone SS model to the US market, rather than using the SS badge simply for variants and option packs.
The Chevrolet SS name was used for a V8-powered rear-wheel-drive sedan concept that debuted at the 2003 Detroit motor show, although the car was never approved for production.