- The 2013 NASCAR Chevrolet SS, which GM says was designed to forge a stronger connection with fans, debuted on Thursday.
- The 2013 NASCAR Chevrolet SS is based on the new rear-wheel-drive 2014 Chevrolet SS performance sedan scheduled to debut next year.
- It is the first time in 17 years that Chevrolet will offer a rear-wheel-drive sedan for sale in the U.S., the automaker noted.
LAS VEGAS — The 2013 NASCAR Chevrolet SS, which GM says was designed to forge a stronger connection with fans, debuted on Thursday.
The 2013 NASCAR Chevrolet SS is based on the new rear-wheel-drive 2014 Chevrolet SS performance sedan.
It is the first time in 17 years that Chevrolet will offer a rear-wheel-drive sedan for sale in the U.S., the automaker noted.
Chevrolet's 2013 NASCAR racecar was formally introduced Thursday in Las Vegas, where the Sprint Cup Series championship banquet is being held at The Wynn Friday night.
Mark Reuss, president of GM North America, presided over the reveal of a blue, white and gold No. 13 racecar that rolled onto the stage of the Encore Theater with four-time Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon behind the wheel.
Other cars on display were those to be driven by Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart and Jamie McMurray.
Reuss commented on the cooperative effort between NASCAR and the participating manufacturers to replace the most recent generation of cars with machines that were more true to their production-model cousins.
"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 to help our fans make the link between what they see on the track, on the streets and in Chevy showrooms," Reuss said.
The new NASCAR Chevy is based on a model that will not go on sale until the fall of 2013 as a 2014 model. Called the SS, it is based on the Holden Commodore, a General Motors model sold in Australia and prominent in the V8 Supercars racing series.
The cars on stage Thursday definitely have styling cues that distinguish them from the other 2013 NASCAR machines that have been displayed. Features such as the hood, fender flares and side sculpting, according to Chevrolet, are integrated from the design of the production model SS.
Reuss talked about the importance of "putting stock back in stock car racing" and talked about how new technology such as ethanol and fuel injection has been incorporated into NASCAR racing in recent years and how the manufacturers' car-creation process has been used to develop the 2013 racecar.
The new SS will be based on a V8-powered, rear-wheel-drive production car. That will be a first for Chevrolet since the 1989 Monte Carlo. Ford's last NASCAR racecar based on a V8 model with rear-wheel drive was the 1996 Thunderbird. Dodge re-entered NASCAR after a long absence in 2001 with a car based on the front-drive Intrepid, but beginning in 2005, the new street Charger had a V8 and rear-wheel drive.
Ford was first to unveil its 2013 NASCAR Fusion in January. The new Toyota Camry was introduced in May. Eight months ago in Las Vegas, Dodge revealed next year's Charger, but just five months later, the company announced it would withdraw from NASCAR after 2012.
All the new models will make their competition debut in 2013 Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway, a series of races culminating in the Daytona 500.
Edmunds says: It would appear that the mission to create more differentiated models that are more faithful replicas of production passenger cars has been accomplished. Next will be to see how the new cars compete with each other, and how well fans respond to this overture to what the automakers and NASCAR believe their audience wants.