As many of our readers are probably already aware, Chevrolet is entering next year's NASCAR championship with an entirely new model aptly called the SS, which was previewed in Las Vegas just last month.
The Super Sport racer will be unique to the championship as the production-going road car has yet to be revealed and won't even built in the United States; to find it's country of origin you'll have to get an atlas and turn it upside down; yes that's right, it will be built in the backyard that Crocodile Dundee calls home - Australia.
Based on the Zeta architecture, the new SS won't be entirely new to the market when it goes on sale next year as a 2014 model. In fact, it's GM's second attempt to get the Holden-based Commodore on US shores - with the last try drying up after the Pontiac division was dissolved.
GM realizes that they still have a good product with the Commodore down under, so coinciding with the upcoming Aussie redesign they have given it another chance. This update is expected to bring substantial technological and interior quality advances over the previous G8 / current Commodore.
Under the bonnet, a V8 affair is all but sure, though, GM is being coy about the details. If all this sounds tasty then I'll stir another ingredient into the pot; the Corvette and Camaro have their top tier ZR1 and ZL1 versions, so tweaking the thermostat to extreme on the SS wouldn't appear to be far-fetched - or would it?
To illustrate this concept, I've visualized what a potential SS ZL1-ZR1-call it whatever you want, may look like by taking the basic shape of the SS and giving it some visual hot chili. While the roofline and hard-points remind us of the G8, most of the sheet metal is new.
The aluminum hood and front guards are not only lighter but also more sculptured than the G8 ever was. To help heat escape from the more potent engine, which we assume would be GM's 6.2-liter supercharged LSA V8 rated at around 580hp (or perhaps even more), ZL1-like hood vents have been employed, sitting flush on a more prominent power bulge.
Judging from the new SS NASCAR, the front end initially appears to have a strong Chevrolet Malibu influence. To move away from this and distinguish itself as a top tier sports sedan, the bumper is more aggressively styled, with a larger honeycomb lower grille that extends to the sides of the prominent round fog lights.
Further down and in keeping with the Corvette ZR1 styling, a lip spoiler is employed to help the car at higher speeds and to improve its visual stance by giving it a more 'planted' look. The lines of this spoiler also continue into the side moldings, and down the sides of the car all the way back to the rear diffuser.
Under the bodywork, one would expect further chassis refinements like adaptive damping and beefier Brembo brakes. On the technology front, radar cruise control and active city stop automated braking systems should be expected.
Transmission-wise, one would hope a slick shifting 6-speed manual would be mandatory, with a decent auto with a manual override function (cue: the flappy paddles) offered as an option.
I'm sure there will be a huge hands up for a special performance variant like this, however, do the visuals stack up with the extra mumbo or does the design need to become even more radical? Tell us what you think in the comments below.
By Josh Byrnes
Renderings Copyright: CarScoop / Josh Byrnes