Chevrolet has released a teaser photo and initial details of a new retro-styled rear-wheel-drive coupe that it says is right for today’s style- and economy-conscious market.
“In the conceptualization of this new car, we looked at the most successful aspects of current in-market products,” said Chevrolet spokesman Michael Vincent “Captain Lou” Albano. “Consumers are excited by rear-wheel-drive cars like the Subaru BRZ, retro cars like the MINI and Beetle, and economy-minded sporty cars like the Hyundai Veloster. We believe that by drawing on GM’s traditional strengths, we can blend all of those elements in one vehicle.”
Albano says the car features several retro details as illustrated in the teaser shot, including round sealed-beam headlights, stamped-metal wheel covers, and what Albano describes as “an available wood-trim applique”. The styling, he says, will look “strikingly familiar to Americans old enough to remember Paul Simon before he ruined his career with that stupid Graceland album.”
GM has not released technical specifications, and Albano would only say that the car is based on “an existing platform” and “makes extensive use of proven components.” Insiders tell Autoblopnik that in order to keep costs down, the 1.6 liter engine will be carbureted, and transmission choices will include a 4-speed manual and a non-computerized 3-speed automatic. Albano would neither confirm nor deny, but did acknowledge the application of what he calls “heritage technology,” adding that the new car will achieve 43 MPG on the highway.
Chevrolet has not announced the new car’s name, only saying that it is a portmanteau that means “small Chevrolet” and “reflects the car’s relationship to powerful performance icons like the Corvette.” Alleged automotive supersite Edmitts.com speculates that the car will be called “Minicorvchevy” and used their proprietary high-end computer imaging software to extrapolate a composite image based on the teaser photo.
“The new car will go on sale in the first quarter of 1975,” said Albano. “Um, sorry, I mean 2015.”
Chevrolet’s announcement of the new Australian-built rear-drive V8-powered SS sedan, which comes hot on the heels of weeks of speculation, a low-volume police model, and an identical model line terminated solely because the division that sold them was shut down, nevertheless met with gleeful shock and awe from automotive journalists, who fell all over each other to report the story.
“In all my months in the industry, I never imagined GM would build a car like this,” said John Fajyna, automotive blogger and Best Buy cashier from Torrance, California. “I heard a rumor that they made something similar back in the ’00s before my career began. But a modern car? In this modern age? Fackin’ nails!”
BestCarSite92.com, which would have been first to report on the SS had the webmaster not forgotten his WordPress password, duly and obediently reported from the press release that the Chevy SS will be “a four-door sedan based on the Australian-market Holden Commodore with rear-wheel-drive and V-8 power, most likely offering both 5.7 liter and 6.2 liter engines, and will probably look almost exactly like the Commodore but with a different grille and badges,” then added, “God, why does that sound so familiar?”
Self-described automotive supersite Edmitts.com immediately had General Motors fly a half-dozen correspondants to Italy to review two matching Opel Corsa OPCs, which they say “were designed by GM in another country and taken as a pair have eight cylinders, and so should give us some idea of how the new Chevrolet SS will drive.” They also had a team of captive artists use their proprietary software to generate a composite image, speculating what the new SS might look like.
Asked by Autoblopnik if the SS wouldn’t just be a civilian version of the Caprice Police Pursuit Vehicle, itself a stretched Pontiac G8, a GM spokesindividual said, “Absolutely not. The two cars share no common parts, except for the frame, hood, deck lid, fenders, front suspension and its attachment hardware, brakes, doors, door handles, seats, climate control system, most of the wiring, roof, windows, rear suspension, body trim, ashtray, wheels, dashboard, gauges, mufflers and shift lever. They are completely different vehicles.”
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