The bad boy sedan of the Bow Tie division finally surfaced this weekend in Daytona, where the 2014 Chevrolet SS made its official debut. The automaker's first rear-drive, full-size performance 4-door since 1996 will arrive in showrooms during the fourth quarter, although a racing version of the car has already hit the track in NASCAR guise and will contest the entire Sprint Cup season starting with the 55th running of the Daytona 500 next Sunday.

To be built in Elizabeth, Australia, along side of its Holden VF Commodore cousin, the new Chevrolet SS also is based on GM's "Zeta" platform and shares all of the Commodore's sheetmetal and interior design. The greatest differences between the two cars is found up front, where the Chevy gets a unique fascia treatment with the division's signature dual port grille, standard HID headlamps and LED running lamps.

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Beneath its lightweight aluminum hood, the new Chevrolet SS packs a 6.2-liter LS3 V8. Same sequentially fuel-injected engine used in the 2013 Corvette, it will make 415 horsepower and 415 lb-ft of peak torque in this application and send power to the rear wheels via a 6-speed automatic transmission that includes TapShift buttons on the steering wheel. Chevy says that combo should send the SS streaking from 0-60 mph in about 5.0 seconds.

Measuring 195.5 inches nose to tail with a 114.8-inch wheelbase, Chevy's new road warrior rides on fully independent sport-tuned underpinnings that match MacPherson struts with a rear multilink setup complemented by electrically-boosted power steering, StabiliTrak Electronic Stability Control and big Brembo vented-disc ABS brakes. The staggered wheel/tire fitment sees the 19-inch polished forged alloy rims wrapped in 245/40 rubber up front and 275/35 tires out back. It also boasts a near 50/50 weight distribution to further improve overall handling and balance.

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High-performance character is equally evident inside the spacious 5-seat cabin of the new Chevrolet SS. Complementing a bounty of soft-touch surfaces with satin- and bright-chrome accent bits are standard features that include leather upholstery, deeply bolstered 8-way power front seats, a central color touchscreen display that controls Chevrolet MyLink infotainment and navigation, 9-speaker Bose premium audio package, dual-zone auto climate control, full-color head-up display, push-button start and ice-blue ambient lighting. The car's long list of safety standards is highlighted by Forward Collision Alert, Side Blind Zone Alert, Lane Departure Warning and a rear-vision camera with Rear Cross Traffic Alert. It also will be the first Chevrolet to offer Automatic Parking Assist, which uses an ultrasonic sensing system to provide hands-free parking help.

"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. "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 V8 power make the SS a total performance package unlike any other on the road today."

Pricing for the 2014 Chevrolet SS will be announced closer to its on-sale date.


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