• The SS will be Chevrolet's first large rear-wheel-drive sedan since the 1996 Impala SS
  • Chevrolet says the sedan will offer V8 power and muscular performance
  • The sedan will directly challenge the Dodge Charger and the Chrysler 300

For the first time in more than 15 years, Chevrolet will offer a large rear-wheel-drive sedan to car buyers in the United States. The automaker recently confirmed it will bring the Australia-market Holden Commodore to the U.S. late next year as the 2014 Chevrolet SS, a rear-wheel-drive sedan with available V8 power.

That ought to satisfy car shoppers who coveted the recently released Chevrolet Caprice, which is based on the current Holden Commodore but can only be purchased by police departments and other fleet buyers. It will also give Chevrolet a direct rival to the popular Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300, the only large rear-wheel-drive sedans currently offered by mainstream brands.

But although the 2014 SS will be based on the Commodore, it probably won't resemble today's Chevrolet Caprice or the recently discontinued Pontiac G8, which was also derived from the large Australian sedan. Instead, the SS will share its design with an all-new Holden Commodore, internally dubbed VF, which is expected to arrive in Australian dealerships early next year.

Despite the expected stylistic differences between the upcoming SS and today's Caprice, car enthusiasts who yearn for a large rear-wheel-drive sedan will surely applaud Chevrolet's decision to offer the car stateside. The 2014 SS will be Chevrolet's first rear-wheel-drive large sedan since the demise of its Impala SS in 1996, and it will providesthe first direct competitor to the successful Charger and 300 since Ford pulled its aging Crown Victoria off the market after the 2007 model year.

General Motors has not announced any further details regarding the 2014 SS-but the automaker did say the sedan will serve as the basis for the automaker's entry in the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup series. GM also promised the sedan will feature performance "closely linked" to its NASCAR entry, leading many industry observers to speculate that the SS may feature the 400-horsepower 6.2-liter V8 that currently powers the Camaro SS. That would be a major boost from the Caprice's 355-hp 6.0-liter V8 powerplant.

Keep checking back for more updates regarding the 2014 SS, which will surely garner considerable media attention in the months leading up to its debut.

What it means to you: Car shoppers who need something more practical than a Camaro but yearn for the muscle car's high performance will be wise to wait for the 2014 SS.

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Jeffrey Archer is fortunate to have turned a passion for cars into a career. His wide-ranging automotive experience includes work for automakers and dealers in addition to covering the news. When not writing, he spends his time searching for unique cars on AutoTrader.com.

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