General Motors’ OnStar telematics system has revealed a 2013 model called the Chevrolet SS Performance, further stoking rumours that the bow-tie brand will launch a new showroom vehicle based on the Holden Commodore.
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US blogger Christopher Price discovered the model name – along with another new model, the Cadillac ELR – when using the OnStar website to check the maintenance schedule for his Pontiac G6.

The reveal (pictured below) follows GM’s move to trademark the Chevrolet SS name earlier this month, as well as Chevrolet’s announcement that it would compete in the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup with an entirely new nameplate.

Price says he found a 2014 Model Year button when searching for the cars that, unlike his G6, supported OnStar’s RemoteLink that includes security, navigation and safety services.

“When I did [press the button], my jaw dropped,” Price said in his blog. “Because right there, in black and white, was the name of my next car – the 2014 Chevrolet SS Performance sports sedan... GM’s answer to Dodge’s Charger SRT8 and Ford’s Taurus SHO.”

US car makers have a model-naming quirk where vehicles are named with the year after they actually go on sale, meaning 2014 models reach showrooms in 2013.

The Holden VF Commodore, the next-generation large car that’s not expected to be an entirely all-new model, was confirmed recently to go on sale in 2013.

The current Commodore is already badged as a Chevrolet Caprice (pictured above) for sale to police forces in the United States, though Holden has admitted the take-up for its cop car has been slower than hoped.

If the Commodore-based Chevrolet SS is confirmed, it will restore an export program Holden lost when GM axed the Pontiac brand in 2009 – along with the Pontiac G8 (below) that was a rebadged Holden VE Commodore.

The 2013 Holden Commodore will retain the rear-wheel-drive ‘Zeta’ platform that was introduced with the VE Commodore in 2006.

The Cadillac ELR model also listed on GM’s OnStar system will be the production version of the Cadillac Converj concept show at the 2009 Detroit motor show.

The ELR will use the same “range extender” hybrid drivetrain as the upcoming Holden Volt – one that drives the wheels primarily with an electric motor but employs a four-cylinder petrol engine to act as an onboard generator.