NASCAR Cup: Chevrolet needs new identity after 2017
Jimmie Johnson celebrates as the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Nov. 20, 2016 (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR).
By AMANDA VINCENT
Talk of the discontinuation of the Chevrolet SS preceded the 2017 installment of the North American Automobile Show in Detroit, but the news became official during the event’s press day Monday. Discontinuation of the model will result in the need for Chevrolet to utilize a new nameplate for its entries in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series before the start of the 2018 season.
Chevrolet won’t cease sales of its SS until the end of the year, so the manufacturer will be able to label its NASCAR Cup-level entries with SS badging for the upcoming season. Chevy isn’t ready to name the replacement for 2018.
“It was already known that the Chevrolet SS was going to be discontinued in 2017,” Jim Campbell of Chevrolet said, according to a FOX Sports
report. “That information was originally announced last summer. As you know, we don’t talk about future projects. We’ll make any announcement regarding our next Cup entry at the appropriate time.”
Chevrolet began utilizing the SS badge in NASCAR’s top series in 2013, replacing the Impala nameplate in the series. The Impala is a Chevrolet model that is still in production.
Popular speculation has Chevrolet returning either its Impala or Malibu badging to the Cup Series. The Malibu nameplate was used for NASCAR premier-level competition in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
Manufacturers competing at NASCAR’s top level — Chevrolet, Ford and Toyota — race with their large sedan nameplate in the series, Toyota with Camry and Ford with Fusion. The Malibu and Impala are the only remaining large Chevrolet sedans in production. The introduction of a new nameplate may be in the cards, though.
Chevrolet also competes in NASCAR’s other two national series — under the Silverado nameplate in the Camping World Truck Series and the Camaro name in the Xfinity Series.