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Chevrolet SS NASCAR entry foreshadows the real deal

November 29, 2012

Among the more intriguing cars coming from General Motors next year, the Chevrolet SS rear-wheel-drive performance sedan represents a throwback to the good old days of Chevy. So it's only appropriate that the first idea of how the Chevy SS will look comes from the NASCAR versions unveiled in Las Vegas today.

While the NASCAR cars use a stock body shape, the race overseers have allowed/been forced into letting the cars on the track resemble the cars on the road, rather than relying on stickers that only emphasized the ugliness of the "stock" cars. Chevy showed off the SS in several team liveries, including those for Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart and Jeff Gordon -- all looking far sharper than the aging Impala they replace, and give a good idea how Chevy will adopt its new corporate look to the Holden-sourced, V-8-powered sedan.

Better-looking cars alone won't solve the problems facing NASCAR -- namely a declining, and aging, fan base --  and the lack of any mechanical connection between the yestertech race cars and the sedans automakers sell to the public remains the fatal counter to the old saw of "race on Sunday, sell on Monday." NASCAR's formula of putting its racers first and keeping competition close also minimizes what automakers get back from their investment; even Brad Keselowski's championship will only help Dodge around the margins, especially after it was pushed from the series. But progress has to start somewhere.