Unofficial 2023 Chevrolet Nova SS Is a Mild Camaro With ZL1 Cues

Born in 1962 as the Chevy II, the Nova was GM's answer to the successful Ford Falcon. It remained highly popular until 1979, when it was replaced by the front-wheel-drive Citation. The Nova returned briefly from 1985 to 1988 as a subcompact based on the Toyota Corolla.
2023 Chevrolet Nova SS rendering 7 photos
Photo: jlord8/Instagram
2023 Chevrolet Nova SS rendering2023 Chevrolet Nova SS rendering2023 Chevrolet Nova SS rendering2023 Chevrolet Nova SS rendering1970 Chevrolet Nova SS 3962012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
Come 2022, and the Nova is one of those iconic Chevrolet nameplates we'd like to see making a comeback. Probably because of the super-awesome and high-power SS version from the muscle car era. But the Nova won't be coming back anytime soon because, like almost every automaker out there, Chevrolet is giving up on cars to focus on the more profitable SUV market.

Yes, the Malibu is still available as of 2023, but it will soon follow the Impala into the history books. All told, Chevrolet will stick to the Camaro and the Corvette in the car business, and that's not going to change, so the Nova is just wishful thinking. But that's not stopping digital artists from rendering modern iterations of the compact. The latest Nova SS rendering comes from Instagram's "jlord8," and it's pretty much a shrunken Camaro with a big butt and ZL1 cues.

Sporting an unusually long rear overhang for a modern car, this two-door hardtop is a tribute to the third-generation Nova (1968-1974). The oversized rear end reminds me a bit of the modern Dodge Challenger, but the smoother rear fenders and the shape of the C-pillars are definitely a Nova thing.

The front clip is obviously sourced from the modern Chevrolet Camaro, but for some reason, the artist went with a more squared look, seemingly based on the fifth-gen muscle car. But it's probably an attempt to keep the modern pony similar to the original Nova, which wasn't particularly angular up front.

On the flip side, the bulged hood also points out to the fifth-gen Camaro ZL1 with its quad-vent layout and somewhat squared-off design. This approach makes the virtual Nova SS seem dated, but it's still a cool take on Chevrolet's compact muscle car. Oh, and make sure you also check out the five-spoke steel wheels that are true to the late 1960s Nova SS but wrapped in modern tires and larger to the rear for increased traction.

The Nova Super Sport, commonly known as the SS, was introduced in 1963 under RPO Z03. Originally a trim level with special features and emblems, the SS came standard with a six-cylinder mill. The trim became a performance package in 1968 when Chevrolet offered the SS with a heavy-duty suspension and a 350-cubic-inch (5.7-liter) V8 rated at 295 horsepower.

The meanest Nova SS was released for the 1970 model year, when it was also available with a 402-cubic-inch (6.6-liter) V8 good for 375 horsepower and 415 pound-feet (563 Nm) of torque. Called the SS 396, it needed less than seven seconds to hit 60 mph (97 kph) and covered the quarter-mile in 14.2 clicks.

Do you think this modern Camaro-based two-door is worthy of the Nova SS badge? Let me know in the comments section below.
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Editor's note: For illustrative purposes, the gallery also includes images of the 1970 Chevrolet Nova SS 396 and the 2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1.

About the author: Ciprian Florea
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Ask Ciprian about cars and he'll reveal an obsession with classics and an annoyance with modern design cues. Read his articles and you'll understand why his ideal SUV is the 1969 Chevrolet K5 Blazer.
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