The Chevrolet Silverado SS Concept Truck

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Chevrolet Silverado SS Concept Truck

Chevrolet calls the Silverado SS the 'Corvette of Trucks' and since its coming out party last year at the SEMA show in Las Vegas we have been wondering about when this truck might reach production. Well, it appears we may have to wonder no longer.

Though there is no formal production date yet announced, according to multiple sources it seems that the Silverado SS is destined to return for the 2003 model year - just in time for the Corvette's 50th anniversary and the 10th anniversary of the last 454SS.

There are some major differences though between the Silverado SS we drove at Milan and the SS we expect will be showing up in the driveway of every Chevy enthusiast from Gnome to Miami.

The Silverado SS driven at Milan Raceway cuts an impressive figure with its brilliant Poppy red color and huge aluminum wheels and absolutely shatters the traditional sport truck performance mold by arriving in an extended cab configuration. While some might argue that an extended cab takes away from the pure sporting nature of past SS vehicles, others would argue this allows the entire family to partake in the fun. The Silverado SS's bed seamlessly joins the cab in a unibody design somewhat similar to the Chevy Avalanche.

The Silverado SS's extended cab interior is covered in leather

The production SS will still keep the extended cab configuration but, according to one engineer on hand at the driving event, it will lose the unibody design going with the traditional two-piece bed and cab. We also expect the 20" aluminum wheels to stay.

In keeping with the Corvette theme (and sharing of parts), the Silverado SS concept is powered by a modified 5.7-liter LS1 Corvette powerplant bored out to 6.6-liters and mated to a six-speed manual tranny. This engine is capable of 480 horsepower and 475 ft-lbs. of torque.

Obviously impractical and too expensive for widescale production we expect the 2003 Silverado SS to go with the current engine of choice for GM's high-end trucks, the small block Vortec 6000 6.0-liter V8 and not the modified LS1. Based on our interview with Jon Moss from SEMA last year, it will most likely be supercharged.

Inside the SS are seats very similar to the Coolside II's. Again we thought, and other journalists agreed, that both trucks had the most comfortable seats around. Four point racing style seat belts only added to the feeling that this is a truck made to explore the very pinnacles of the performance envelope.

The IP is quite similar to that of production Silverados with the exception of an added air ride suspension indicator.

We put our foot down on the extremely stiff clutch and the Silverado SS started up with an engine growl worthy of its Corvette genealogy.

LED taillight assemblies look like they were freshly cut from steel

We only had the chance to take the Silverado SS on the surface streets but were witness later to some track runs down the 1/4-mile tarmac.

The six speed manual tranny is the only way to go on a truck like this. It's gearing was excellent though we never came close to testing 6th gear.

The air ride suspension was quite harsh and only added to the Silverado SS's performance mystique. Again, like 6th gear, we never came close to fully exploring this aspect either.

Back at Milan on the track we didn't find the Silverado SS burning rubber at greenlights. Like the Coolside twins it's all wheel drive. A feature we also expect to find its way into production.

In line with its larger size and smaller engine, the Silverado SS trailed slightly behind the Coolside II in its times and top speeds.

Though GM has been absent from the performance truck arena for close to ten years now, it's good to see, and play with, some of the vehicles that might possibly come to your driveway very soon.

They sure do have a nice toybox up there in Michigan.

Thanks again Mrs. Moss!

Specifications:

Chevrolet Silverado SS
Four-passenger, four-door extended cab pickup truck
Front-engine, All-Wheel Drive

Engine Type and Size:
6.6-liter OHV aluminum LS1 V8 engine

Horsepower (hp):
480 @ 6000 rpm

Torque (ft./ lbs.):
475 @ 4800 rpm

Engine and Drivetrain Mods:
- 2000 C5 T-56 six-speed manual transaxle

Transmission:
Six-speed manual rear mounted transmission

Induction system:
- Fabricated dual 4" inlet ducting
- Dual 12" conical air filters (K&N)
- 2000 Silverado 6.0l throttle body
- New composite intake manifold with revised tuning

Suspension:
- 2000 C5 aluminum rear suspension cradle
- Four-wheel independent SLA suspension
- Adjustable front and rear air ride suspension

Exhaust system:
- Fabricated, ceramic coated, stainless steel, tubular, four into one headers with 1¾" primaries and 3" collectors (Wheel to Wheel)
- Fabricated stainless steel dual 3" exhaust system

Wheels and Tires:
Front:
Chip Foose polished aluminum 20"x9" wheels with P255/40R20 F1-GS custom cut Goodyear tires

Rear:
Chip Foose polished aluminum 22"x11" wheels with P305/35R22 F1-GS custom cut Goodyear tires

Wheelbase and Width:
- 133.0 in wheelbase
- 62.2 in front track, 62.0 in rear track

Weight:
5000 lbs total weight
2600 lbs front weight
(52.0%) / 2400 lbs rear weight (48.0%)

Body / Interior:
- Extended Cab
- Fleetside box
- Poppy red paint
- Composide hood, front fascia and rear fascia
- 2000 Silverado graphite, black and carbon fiber leather interior

0 - 60 mph:
7.08 seconds

1/4-mile time:
14.12 seconds

1/4-mile speed:
100.22mph

The GM full size truck Specialty Vehicle family portrait
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