NASCAR and the Holden Commodore
The 2009 Pontiac G8 GXP (pictured) is the last version of the Holden Commodore that was sold in the U.S.

A couple months ago, Chevrolet announced that the Impala was being retired from NASCAR competition. The company also confirmed that the brand would be racing a new nameplate in the 2013 Sprint Cup Series. The twist was that Chevy didn’t reveal the new car’s name. Ever since, the rumor mill has been in high gear trying to figure out the mystery, with a new rear-drive sedan called the SS being the prime suspect.

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Nothing is official yet, but there may be some substance to the rumor. The Herald-Sun, a newspaper in Melbourne, Australia, is reporting that the redesigned Holden Commodore “VF” will be exported to the United States, and it will possibly be called the Chevrolet SS Performance. The car would be a large rear-wheel-drive four-door sedan, and likely be powered by a V8 engine. According to the report, the car will be Chevrolet’s new NASCAR entry.

The new Commodore is expected to go into production during 2013. According to the newspaper, Holden (GM’s Australian subsidiary) has been testing U.S-style left-hand-drive cars, along with Dodge Chargers, on Australian roads. Presumably, the U.S.-bound Chevrolet version would compete with the Charger on and off the track

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This wouldn’t be the first Holden product to be sold in the States. Today’s Chevrolet Caprice PPV police car is based on a long-wheelbase version of the current-generation Commodore. The Commodore itself was sold in the U.S. during the 2008 and 2009 model years as the Pontiac G8. Before that, the Holden Monaro coupe was sold as the 2004-06 Pontiac GTO.

This all seems pretty plausible to me, but the “SS Performance” badge sounds awfully awkward. I think there’s a chance the name is more of an internal designation and that Chevrolet will use a different name for the production version. If I get a vote, I’d suggest Chevelle.

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