TCC - 2005 LS2 Chevrolet SSR

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by TriShield, Jan 6, 2005.

  1. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    More power makes a welcome addition to the all-American muscletruck.

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    by Eric Peters
    (2004-12-20)

    It's a little weird that one of the best musclecars you can buy happens to be a truck. But there's just no getting around it: Chevy's 390-hp SSR "super sport" retractable hardtop pickup is closest in configuration (beefy full-frame chassis, huge 6.0-liter V-8 engine, rear-wheel drive) road feel (heavy; brutally powerful) and sheer outrageousness to a '60s-era big-block mauler of any new vehicle available today.

    That's not how Chevy markets the '40s-themed, retro-styled SSR, of course, but take a turn behind the wheel and see for yourself. Under the hood lies a blunderbuss of an engine, massive and gleefully overpowered with nearly 400 easy horsepower on tap and so much torque (405 lb-ft) that heroic power slides from the curb and tire-barking 1-2 upshifts as you screech out of the Mickey Dee's parking lot are as easy as stomping on the gas pedal.

    Even with humungous 20-inch rear wheels and 40-Series Goodyear tires - eons removed from an original muscle car's tenuous F60 bias-plys on 14-inch steelies -it's still a simple matter of putting your left foot on the brake for just a moment while simultaneously standing on the accelerator and holding the engine against the converter, letting the revs build. In a moment, the huge V-8 overpowers the brakes, the tires break loose, and off you go in an eye-watering haze of blue-white smoke and smoldering rubber.

    Sizzling acceleration

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    The '05 SSR is capable of sizzling 5.4-second 0-60 times - impressive by any standard but even more so when you reflect on the Pro Bowl linesman 5000-lb curb weight of this vehicle. It's roughly 1500 pounds heavier than a new Corvette yet it's still quicker than just about anything short of one. It will stay hard on the bumper of a Neon SRT-4 and is only 3-4 tenths of a second behind a new Mustang GT. (Maybe Steve McQueen needs to rethink his ride.)

    But once the needle slips past 100, the SSR begins to feel more like the full-frame muscle cars of the past than a billet aluminum and hydroformed 'Vette - a machine that's as smooth as Billy Dee Williams, even at 130-plus. The SSR will also go very fast, if you dare - but it's not really happy in the land of triple digits, at least not beyond quick blasts on straight roads with lots visibility and plenty of time to drop the 'chutes and haul her down. There's a fair amount of drift at speed, and you need a firm hand on the wheel to keep it tracking straight - again very much like a classic-era muscle car.

    All that weight, the body-on-frame construction, and a profile that's not exactly wind-cheating render the SSR better suited to furious blasts from stoplight to stoplight than top-end hauling. But the big lug stops with confidence thanks to high-capacity disc brakes all around and actually handles reasonably well unless you get mental and forget you are driving a truck - heavily modified for sure, but still, essentially, a truck - with as much dead weight to lop around the corners as a full-size SUV.

    Still, the SSR's passing gear prowess is not to be missed and it's hard to surpass. Kick it down to second, then wind the LS2 V-8 to the edge of the electronic fuel cutoff just past 6500 rpm. You'll slingshot forward like an old Biscayne with a JATO rocket bolted to the roof. Also amusing: The "torque-o-meter" in the secondary gauge cluster mounted on the console just ahead of the shifter. It reads from zero to 400 lb-ft to let you know just exactly how much twist is being put to the pavement at any given moment. It's handy in terms of letting you rev the engine to its precise torque peak of 4400 rpm before dumping the clutch (six-speed models) or holeshotting the converter (automatics) for the quickest 0-60 and 1/4-mile ETs.

    Not cheap, but what power is?

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    At $42,430 the SSR is not cheap fun like most of the old muscle cars were back in the day. But on the upside, there is absolutely nothing like it on the road at any price. It has a show-car body that draws more stares than a jackknifed semi and the retractable hardtop is both cool just to open and close in front of a crowd as well as snug and tight in the winter time in a way that no soft-top convertible can ever hope to be.

    In addition, the SSR has a surprisingly useable 23-cubic-foot bed that will accommodate a full load of luggage, stuff you might pick up at a swap meet, several bags of groceries, whatever. In this respect the SSR is vastly superior to other radical, limited-production factory customs like the old Plymouth Prowler, which had next to no storage space and was about as viable on a long trip as a black-lung coal miner in the New York Marathon. Though not available with four-wheel drive, the SSR will also pull up to 2500 lb, so a mini-trailer and a couple of motorcycles is not out of the question.

    Pretty much everything is already included in the SSR's base price. And this year you can choose either the four-speed automatic or the newly available heavy-duty Tremec six-speed manual at no extra charge either way. If you pick the manual, you'll also get a heavier-duty 9.5-inch axle (automatic-equipped SSRs use an 8.6-inch Zexel-Torsen axle). Both are fitted with 3.73 gears and limited slip.

    Chrome wheels will cost you another $1500; the auxiliary console-mounted gauge package (with the "torque-o-meter") is another $400. You can also order a cosmetic engine cover for the 6.0-liter V-8 as part of an equipment group that also includes heated driver and passenger seats, Bose premium audio, Homelink electronic transmsitter, and electrochromic auto-dimming mirrors for another $1900.

    Even with all that, it's still less than a 'Vette - and draws far more attention. The right kind, too. People like the SSR and think it's neat. Corvettes are wonderful cars but they suffer from "male enhancement" stigma that dates back to the '70s and still, unfortunately, exists today. That's not an issue with the SSR. Men love it and women don't hate it, which is important to any married guy thinking about buying one.

    Chevy may have created the perfect latter-day muscle car - even if it happens to be a truck.


    2005 Chevy SSR

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    Base price: $42,430; price as tested, $46,685
    Engine: 6.0-liter V-8, 390 hp/405 lb-ft
    Transmission: Four-speed automatic or six-speed Tremec manual, rear-wheel drive

    Length x width x height: 191.4 x 78.6 x 64.2 in
    Wheelbase: 116 in
    Curb Weight: 4706 lb
    Fuel economy (EPA city/hwy): 13/20 mpg (manual)
    Safety equipment: Dual front airbags, anti-lock brakes
    Major standard features: Air conditioning, OnStar concierge service, power windows and locks, electric rear defroster, 19-inch wheels (front) 20-inch wheels (rear), four-wheel disc brakes with ABS, power retractable hardtop, traction control
    Warranty: Three years/36,000 miles

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  2. NolanTA

    NolanTA You talkin' to me? OT Supporter

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    a machine that's as smooth as Billy Dee Williams :eek4:
     
  3. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    I think it's awesome now. A friend of mine just ordered a red one. :cool:
     
  4. SirLumina

    SirLumina New Member

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    Finally it got some punch to it to justify the price a bit more. I don't like it, but it is unique and it has balls now.
     
  5. Chadder007

    Chadder007 OG Diamond Member

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    I just read a story somewhere about them cutting production of the SSR due to very low sales... Also, What the hell is up with the weight of this thing???
     
  6. SirLumina

    SirLumina New Member

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    BTW, the torque-o-meter is funny as hell. :rofl:
     
  7. lowfat

    lowfat 24/Mac/SciFi/PC Crew OT Supporter

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    i think they are sexy, and more power is always a bonus.
     
  8. SirLumina

    SirLumina New Member

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    Truck platform, solid retractable hardtop, v8 rwd, obviously, etc.
     
  9. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    Structure had to be heavily reinforced and re-engineered to make it rigid for topless use.
     
  10. spyder007

    spyder007 Bаnned bу Ѕuреr Μоdеrаtоrs

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    I'd drive it, wouldn't have to force me
     
  11. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    Packs of SSRs cruised together at the Woodward Dream Cruise too, it was cool to see one of each color motoring together.
     
  12. [paradox]

    [paradox] No replacement for displacement. 6.0L Crew.

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    Its got nothing on our SS / Maloo utes

    I almost died laughing after seeing the first 2 photos.... i mean seriously.
    The photo of the yellow one saved it.
     
  13. Steve Kerr

    Steve Kerr 6 Time NBA Champion OT Supporter

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    They finally put the correct motor in that "thing".

    The current model with the weak motor is just sitting on dealer lots... like the curremt weak motor GTO.
     
  14. Coconut

    Coconut Guest

    too bad that thing is fucking ugly
     
  15. John Cameron

    John Cameron OT Supporter

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    i just dont understand who buys it?
    who looks at that and says "WHOA THAT CAR IS ALL ME, i GOTTA HAEV IT!!"
     
  16. SirLumina

    SirLumina New Member

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    I like the power of the utes but they look like freaking Subaru Bajas, which are complete jokes.
     
  17. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    The same who bought Plymouth Prowlers and Ford Thunderbirds, guys with lots of money who want a stylish toy to cruise in.
     
  18. Read more...

    Read more... SPQR

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    When all else fails, put a bigger engine in it.

    [/gmdesigncreed]
     
  19. John Cameron

    John Cameron OT Supporter

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    Nah, they're not even rich people I bet. Not like the cars are expensive.

    Those 3 cars arent even stylish (of course thats subjective)

    people who buy them: lame dudes


    :mamoru:
     
  20. Y2kAccord

    Y2kAccord Everything happens for reasons I just dont know

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    I drove one.. still wasnt impressed
     
  21. jestre

    jestre New Member

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    still very unimpressed by the ssr
     
  22. MAD PUNK inDC

    MAD PUNK inDC Sic Semper Tyrannis

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    not really my style, but I will say after seeing them in person, the SSR is put together really well. body gaps are small and even, interior is solid, nice fit and finish. It's one of the nicest vehicles GM has put out, and if it's not your style, fine, but don't bitch about it simply because it's not something you would drive. I wouldn't be caught dead driving an Acura TL, but I'll never bad mouth it.
     
  23. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    :werd:
     
  24. jonny_ringo74

    jonny_ringo74 New Member

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    Still looks like shit
     

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