Edmunds - 2005 LS2 Chevrolet SSR

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by TriShield, Jan 25, 2005.

  1. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    Chevy's fat-fender pickup has transformed from Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde, thanks to a new 390-horse V8 borrowed from the Corvette.

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    This is the SSR's best angle. Balloon fenders and a grille reminiscent of 1950s Chevy pickups make the retro roadster really stand out from the crowd.

    By Dan Kahn
    Date posted: 01-18-2005

    Featured Specs - New 390-horsepower V8, Retractable hardtop, Standard 20-inch wheels, Unique '50s era style

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    Hot rods built in the '60s always had a serious raked-out stance, and the SSR continues that tradition. Giant alloy wheels measuring 19 inches in front and 20 inches in the rear further accentuate the look.

    Growing up, everyone has a favorite pair of sneakers. Special shoes that were broken in just right, making a kid feel like he can run faster, jump higher and look cooler than anyone else on the playground. For us, those shoes were a well-worn pair of Chuck Taylor All-Stars.

    Invented by Converse Shoes in 1923, All-Stars were the first true high-top sneaker and have remained in production for 80 years. A thin slab of flat rubber shrouded in canvas, "Chucks" are expensive for what you get, don't offer much support and aren't very comfortable when compared to modern footwear. The only thing they're good for is looking cool.

    The same can be said for Chevrolet's latest retro cruiser. Introduced last year as a 2004 model, the Super Sport Roadster (SSR) looks like it just rolled off the auto show floor. Its unique lines are a tribute to the balloon-fendered pickups of the early '50s, revised with modern aerodynamics and safety in mind. From its raked-out stance and aluminum grille to the barking exhaust and gigantic alloy wheels, the SSR simply drips cool, even if it isn't the most practical vehicle on the lot.

    Same Backbone, New Heart

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    This is the SSR's biggest change for 2005, and oh, what a change it is. The wheezy 5.3 has been replaced with the radical 390-horse 6.0 LS2 V8 shared with the Corvette and Pontiac GTO.

    When Chevrolet decided to take the SSR from popular concept car to actual production vehicle, it kept costs under control by using a platform already in production. The roadster's backbone is borrowed from the TrailBlazer/Envoy twins, a pair of SUVs that aren't exactly known for their sporty driving dynamics.

    Bilstein sport shocks and heavy-duty sway bars were added to give the SSR a sportier ride, and they do a pretty good job keeping the big pickup reined in. Responding to complaints that the steering in the '04 model felt a little numb, Chevy also added a new steering system that lends the truck a much more confident feel around corners.

    When we drove an SSR last year, our loudest complaint was that a 300-horsepower, 5.3-liter V8 didn't have enough beans to propel the 4,700-pound SSR. With a price tag a tick under $50 large, we expected the Super Sport to offer some modicum of performance.

    One advantage of GM's corporate parts-sharing policy is that engines like the Corvette's all-aluminum LS2 can make their way into other vehicles. So, in typical hot-rod fashion, the boys in the bow-tie engineering department stuffed the fire-breathing 6.0-liter V8 into the SSR. They also added the Vette's six-speed manual transmission as an option, but those who prefer to let the car handle shifting duties can still get a four-speed automatic.

    To put things simply, bumping the SSR's output up to 390 hp makes all the difference in the world. The '04 model we tested last year ran zero to 60 in 7.9 seconds and the quarter-mile in 15.92 at a meager 69 mph. We didn't get a chance to test our '05 at the track, but our butt-o-meter tells us that the new engine should shave at least a second off both those numbers. More importantly, it's much more fun to drive, and with the traction control turned off, the drop-top roadster can belt out burnouts the way every self-respecting hot rod should.

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    Interior materials have been improved for 2005, including the addition of standard center stack gauges and heavy use of new faux-aluminum trim that looks and feels like the real thing.

    The SSR's biggest crowd-pleaser is its retractable hard top, which folds completely out of sight in a matter of seconds with the push of a single button. With the top up, the pickup is relatively quiet and comfortable. Top-down cruising is a lot noisier, but still not uncomfortable.

    Interior ergonomics are unchanged and totally uncomfortable, from the out-of-reach window switches to cupholders that look like they were tacked on at the last second. The leather bucket seats, on the other hand, are supportive and the truck offers a surprising amount of legroom, but storage space is at a minimum. Also on the plus side, the Bose stereo pumps out clear tunes even with the top folded down.

    If the poor cupholder design or the lack of a proper glovebox sounds like a major inconvenience, the SSR is clearly not for you. This is a pure vanity car. It looks cool, sounds cooler and, thanks to a new motor, offers grin-inducing performance with a throaty exhaust note to match. The $46K price tag is pretty steep, but if you crave hot-rod style without the inconvenience of driving an old car, the SSR is a solid choice.

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    Bottom Line:
    Unique street rod styling and a fire-breathing engine make the SSR a blast to drive. We only wish GM would do something about the awkward interior and pie-in-the-sky price tag.

    What Works:
    Powerful new motor, killer stance, gets more stares than a supermodel at a Star Trek convention.

    What Needs Work:
    Interior is an ergonomic nightmare, drives like a pickup truck, price is about $10 grand too high.

    MSRP of Test Vehicle: $46700


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  2. hypermonkey

    hypermonkey Tastes just like raisins.

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    corvette > that thing
     
  3. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    I love it.
     
  4. CHOWBOX

    CHOWBOX OT Supporter

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    still wouldn't get one
     
  5. Poe

    Poe What Would Johnny Cash Do? OT Supporter

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    [​IMG]
     
  6. ace3

    ace3 mouthify my wang.

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    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHHAHAHAHAH
     
  7. ace3

    ace3 mouthify my wang.

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    those things blow ass.
     
  8. grooves12

    grooves12 New Member

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    Those things are ugly as all hell... worst Chevy EVER!
     
  9. jrmcm

    jrmcm Actriz Porno

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    An absolutely necessary change, and a big improvement.
    Still ugly and overpriced though. With that pricetag, I'll be surprised if this things makes it 2 more years.
     
  10. StealthMode

    StealthMode Active Member

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    It's certainly unique :hs:
     
  11. hypermonkey

    hypermonkey Tastes just like raisins.

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    :rofl:
     
  12. jrmcm

    jrmcm Actriz Porno

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    :rofl: hahahahah
     
  13. Nijra

    Nijra Chopper Dave we have uh oh, this is not a drill ov

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    Where's the link? Shouldn't you link articles and images you ripped from other sites?
     
  14. darkda

    darkda New Member

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    :bowdown:
     
  15. easeupoffmynuts

    easeupoffmynuts MVP OF SUCK

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    i would buy it for a weekend car
     
  16. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    Maybe you should look at it again, carefully.
     
  17. Spanky

    Spanky I has a Orb

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    They've had them at the dealer by me for 4 or 5 months now. They still have about 6 or 7 left over 04's too. :mamoru: there never gonna sell them.
     
  18. mucky

    mucky .

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    Why?

    Buy a C6 for almost the same price, or a GTO for more power and less $$$.
     
  19. Nijra

    Nijra Chopper Dave we have uh oh, this is not a drill ov

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    I did, and I didn't see it.
     
  20. zatar

    zatar New Member

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    I looked at a 6 speed version at the local dealer, while I was waiting for my wifes car to get finished. I will say that up close, It is a pretty nice looking truck. The interior seemed nice and the truck just seemed to flow from front to back. The LS2 is nice feature as well. With all of that being said, I don't think that I could buy one. It is pricey.
     
  21. PurpleSplat

    PurpleSplat Guest

    They need to get rid of that bowtie.
     
  22. mucky

    mucky .

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    :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:
     
  23. 93CivicEX

    93CivicEX Charming, Dashing, Rental car bashing

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    :bowrofl: at Captain Obvious :rofl:

    I feel sorry for the suckers who paid OVER MSRP for the 300 hp one...

    but still wouldnt consider the newer one...

    its a doofy looking turd brick.
     
  24. jrmcm

    jrmcm Actriz Porno

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    :uh:
     
  25. matrix243

    matrix243 My body, is ready.

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    Still too heavy.
     

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