PUTC Buyer's Guide: 2003 Chevrolet Silverado SS


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6.0-liter OHV Vortec® V8
345hp @ 5200 rpm
380ft-lbs. @ 4000 rpm

4L80-E, heavy-duty 4-speed automatic

Fuel Economy (city/hwy):

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There has always been a mystique surrounding Chevy's SS (Super Sport) heritage. The SS emblem on the side of a Chevy gave notice to the world that the vehicle had the right stuff.

SS models have been providing on-road enthusiasts with top-end power, sporty ride and handling, and sleek designs since 1961. The 2003 Silverado SS is an expression of contemporary Chevrolet performance that is within reach of many enthusiasts now driving pickups.

The 2003 Silverado SS will be available in all 50 states and Canada, beginning the first quarter of 2003.

A standard full-time, all-wheel-drive (AWD), viscous-coupled transfer case uses the traction of four driving wheels to provide exceptional on-road, wet or dry pavement handling. It requires no driver intervention, and automatically and continuously transfers torque from slipping wheels to those with a firmer grip in a smooth, almost imperceptible manner. Its continuous 38-percent / 62-percent front-to-rear torque split provides optimum handling and control, further enhanced by a standard full locking rear differential.

A unique Z60 High Performance Chassis package, including Silverado's largest-ever, 20-inch tires, provides exceptional road holding and cornering capability and a smooth, comfortable ride. The independent front torsion bar / two-stage multi-spring rear suspension system's shocks have been specially tuned for ride smoothness. The SS is lowered 20mm in front and 50mm in the rear. The track is 18mm wider and P275/55R-20 Goodyear Eagle radials, mounted on wide 8.5-inch rims, provide exceptional stability. The tires' handling characteristics also permit harnessing the full capabilities of the AWD system.

The 2003 Silverado SS wears an aggressive front end similar to the Avalanche.

With its trim, aggressive stance, monochromatic color-scheme that includes the grille, fascias, lower ground effects, and specially styled aluminum wheels, the SS appearance conveys performance from any angle.

It features full front and rear bumper fascias that wrap completely around the body, and extend from the belt line down almost to the frame rails. The front includes a wide center-band air scoop, flanked by two rectangular corner scoops. Their diamond-pattern mesh is harmoniously integrated with that of the grille, which features Chevy's new gold bowtie emblem. "Silverado SS" badges accent the front doors and left rear quarter panel. Bodysides are clean, with understated moldings. Sporty five-spoke polished aluminum 20 x 8.5-inch wheels feature Chevy's emblem in their center cap and the tailgate includes a body color cap.

The custom interior is Dark Pewter and fully equipped with uplevel LT trim. Its full feature leather bucket seats have special SS embroidered headrests and an SS emblem on the redesigned instrument panel. The instrument panel cluster has distinctive white backlighting, with orange pointers. SS customers have a choice of an in-dash six-disc CD changer or a combination single-disc CD / cassette player with their next-generation AM/FM stereos. A premium six-speaker Bose® audio system and GM's next-generation OnStar® system are standard, along with a center console, eight-button steering wheel controls, a dual-zone automatic climate control system and many other new features.

A standard high output LQ9 version of the Vortec 6000 V8, with 345 horsepower and 380 lb-ft of torque, provides Silverado SS with exhilarating off-line acceleration, relaxed cruising and dependable operation. It mates to a 4L65-E four-speed automatic overdrive transmission, with a 3.06 first gear and a 0.70 final gear ratio that contribute to the truck's impressive performance.

The exhaust system, featuring a single, large 3.5-inch outlet pipe, has been specially tuned for a throaty NASCAR-inspired roar.