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2004 Chevrolet SSR - Road Test

Driving Chevy's SSR

Photography by Terry McGean

Overall, the SSR seems to do what it was intended for: Providing a fun driving experience while not going unnoticed. It gets attention like few vehicles on the road; in fact, the only other car we can recall driving that drew as many looks or inquiries was another radically retro cruiser, Chrysler's Prowler. This is the type of vehicle that gets non-enthusiasts interested. We had to field numerous questions regarding the truck's origins, like what it was, whether or not it was custom, and if it could be purchased as is. From the responses, it would seem that we'd sold a handful of SSRs for Chevy, though the price tag probably repelled any casual interest from average consumers. At just shy of $44,000, it's not a purchase most of us are likely to make on a whim.

But then, Chevrolet doesn't intend the SSR to set sales records; it's a high-concept, high-profile image vehicle, at least partially intended to put some excitement back into the Chevy brand. And if the reaction we received in from typically jaded Angelenos is any indication, the plan is working.

The Details
'04 Chevrolet SSR
Engine: 5.3L OHV 90-degree aluminum V-8, 3.78-inch bore and 3.622-inch stroke, 300 hp @ 5,200 rpm, 331 lb-ft torque @ 4,000, 9.5:1 compression ratio, 75mm throttle-body, hydraulic roller camshaft, 1.7:1 roller rockers,

Transmission: GM Hydra-Matic 4L60-E four-speed automaticGear ratios:
First: 3.059
Second: 1.625
Third: 1.000
Fourth: 0.696
Reverse: 2.294

Rearend: Solid-axle-type, Torsen Traction Differential, 3.73:1 ring-and-pinion

Front suspension: Double A-arm

Steering: Hydraulically assisted rack-and-pinion, 16:1 ratio

Rear suspension: Five-link solid axle

Brakes: Four-wheel power-assisted, antilock discs, 12.0-inch front, 12.8-inch rear

Wheels and tires: Aluminum wheels, 19x8-inch front, 20x10-inch rear; GoodyearP255/45R19 front, P295/40R20 rear

Wheelbase: 116 inches

Curb weight: 4,760 pounds

Vehicle height: 64.2 inches

Track width: 64.1-inch front, 64.9-inch rear

Performance: 15.9-second e.t., quarter-mile @ 90 mph; 7.6 seconds 0-60 mph

Base price: $41,370

Price as tested: $43,910

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