The 2014 Chevrolet SS will look slightly different than its NASCAR counterpart.

Circle February 16 on your calendar, even if you’re not a Chevy fan. The bow-tie brand has confirmed that’s the day the wraps come off the production Chevrolet SS, the day the rear-drive, big-motor Chevy sedan returns. Automotive News broke the story and Chevrolet has confirmed that to Car and Driver. This would be during SpeedWeeks at Daytona, which culminates with the Daytona 500 on Sunday, February 24. It’s rare that Chevrolet would have a launch at a race track, but the NASCAR version of the SS is Chevy’s big weapon against the Ford Fusions and Toyota Camrys on the 2.5-mile banked oval.

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While its rivals are based on four- or six-cylinder front-drive sedans, the SS is true to the stock-car racing layout, with a V-8 up front and drive through the rear wheels. The sheetmetal will be undeniably bow-tie in nature, while underneath is GM’s global Zeta platform. Shared with the Camaro and Holden VF Commodore, Zeta will be the basis for the SS, the first rear-drive Chevrolet sedan sold in the U.S. in 17 years. We’ll have to wait a bit for specifics, for while the SS racer will take to the track in February, the production SS will go on sale later in 2013 as a 2014 model. Given how much we liked the last variation on this engineering theme, the 0-to-60-in-4.7-seconds Pontiac G8, we’re just counting the days.

By John Lamm