May 17, 2012 / 6:49 PM / 6 years ago

GM to make first sports car with SS nameplate

DETROIT (Reuters) - General Motors Co, the largest U.S. automaker, will begin selling its first rear-wheel-drive performance sedan under the Chevrolet brand in the United States in 17 years, it said Thursday.

A Chevrolet logo is seen on the front of a Volt electric vehicle during the press days for the North American International Auto show in Detroit, Michigan, January 11, 2011. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

The Chevrolet SS will be equipped with a V8 engine and built as a 2014 model. It will arrive in showrooms in late 2013.

The production car will also double as GM’s NASCAR race car and will debut in the 2013 Daytona 500 next year. The NASCAR version and the one to be sold in showrooms look so much alike that GM plans to camouflage the NASCAR model while testing, spokesman Monte Doran said.

The new sedan represents the first time GM has used the “SS” as its own nameplate.

The SS moniker typically denoted a performance version of a particular vehicle. In 2010, GM built an super sport version of the fifth-generation Camaro.

The SS designation, which stands for super sport, was first created in 1957 on a Corvette that was built to race in the prestigious Le Mans 24-hour race in France.

“”We really liked that connection to the history of Corvette racing,” Doran said. “We thought it was a nice connection to the past and the situation we’re currently in.”

Reporting by Deepa Seetharaman; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe

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