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Auto blogSat, 16 Feb 2013 00:01:00 EST
Think you've waited long enough for this? If so, then you'll want to savor the high-res photos we've so far been given of the 2014 Chevrolet SS, the first rear-wheel-drive performance sedan from The Bowtie in 17 years.
We all know its our version of the brand new VF-model Holden Commodore, but what's under the hood that earns the appellation "performance?" A 6.2-liter LS3 V8 engine producing 415 horsepower and 415 pound-feet of torque. That's 35 hp and lb-ft less than the same engine is expected to produce in the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette. Chevrolet says the sedan will get from 0-to-60 miles per hour "in about five seconds."
Shifting comes courtesy of a six-speed automatic with paddles on the steering wheel, while stopping arrive via four-piston Brembo calipers up front, a single sliding piston in back. The forged aluminum wheels are 19-inchers all around, each set supporting right around 50 percent of the sedan's weight, and the aluminum hood and trunk are meant to keep the center of gravity low.
We've talked about Pure Vision Design before, a California-based company that made waves at last year's SEMA show with its Martini-liveried, Indy-car-powered Ford Mustang. That same car later starred in a Petrolicious video we showed you just a few weeks back. The company's latest creation is a menacing car it calls the Pure Vision Design TT Camaro. Based on a 1972 model, this car shares the Martini Mustang's clean styling and obsession with details.
Unlike the Mustang, which draws its power from a mid-60s Lotus-Ford Indycar engine, the "TT" in this Camaro's name implies something far more potent. The Nelson Racing Engines 427-cubic-inch V8 has been fitted with a pair of turbochargers, with a claimed output of 1,400 horsepower. That's almost 1,000 more than the Martini Mustang.
A six-speed Magnum transmission dispatches that power to the ground, while Pirelli PZero tires are tasked with (somehow) trying to grip the road. Baer brakes hide behind those HRE rims, while JRI coilovers and HyperTech springs bless the Camaro with some degree of competency in the bends.
What's in a name? This cliched phrase probably gets tossed out at every marketing meeting that happens when a new car gets its nomenclature. We know the answer, though: everything. The name of a car has all the potential to make or break it with fickle customers that are more conscious than ever about what their purchases say about them.
That's giving headaches to marketing folks across the automotive industry. "It's tough. In 1985 there were about 75,000 names trademarked in the automotive space. Today there are 800,000," Chevrolet's head of marketing, Russ Clark, told Automotive News. Infiniti's president, Johan de Nysschen, echoed Clark's sentiment, saying, "The truth of the matter is, across the world, there is hardly a name or a letter that hasn't already been claimed by one car manufacturer or another. You can go through the alphabet - A, B, C and so forth - and you will quickly see that almost all available letters are taken."
What has that left automakers to do? Get creative. In the case of Infiniti, it made the controversial move to bring all of its cars' names into a new scheme, classifying them as Q#0 for cars and QX#0 for SUVs and crossovers. So the Infiniti G, which was available as the G25 and G37, is now the Q50. The FX37 and FX50 are now the QX70.