2003 Chevrolet Silverado SS
Lou Ann Hammond
2003 Chevrolet Silverado Raises the Bar - Again
The Chevrolet Silverado full-size pickup - GM’s
best-selling vehicle - continues to set new standards for performance and capability
in 2003. Bold new exterior design only hints at Silverado’s more than 40 new
features/enhancements, ranging from expanded availability of the Quadrasteer
four-wheel steering system and a hot new Silverado SS to the segment’s first-ever
Bose audio systems.
"Silverado already has a reputation as the most
dependable, longest-lasting full-size pickup," said Marketing Director Rick
Scheidt. "But we’re not resting on our laurels. New features that speak directly
to customer needs and wants enhance Silverado’s ability to get the job done."
Dramatic new styling
The 2003 Silverado receives an expressive new front-end design. The look shares
a strong family resemblance with other Chevy trucks such as TrailBlazer and
Avalanche, yet strongly differentiates Silverado from anything else on the road.
The hood evokes Chevy power and strength, and the grille is smoothly integrated
into the front end. The bumper offers larger, recessed fog lamps, while the
front and rear fenders feature crisp lines and angular wheel openings. New body-side
moldings add protection, and restyled taillamps complete the design. Two new
exterior colors - Dark Gray Metallic and Arrival Blue - are also available.
The Quadrasteer four-wheel-steering system - which offers low-speed maneuverability
and high-speed stability, handling and control that are ideal for pulling a
trailer - was introduced on 2002 Silverado extended-cab short-box pickups. For
2003, the 1500HD short-box pickups become the industry’s first full-size crew
cabs to offer this revolutionary system.
At low speeds, Quadrasteer enables the rear wheels
to turn in the opposite direction of the front wheels. That helps the vehicle
make tighter turns, such as when cornering or getting into a tight parking space.
The turning diameter of 1500HD models is reduced 21 percent, from 49.6 feet
to 37.4 feet.
Silverado SS highlights performance
Extending its rich "Super Sport" heritage, Chevy
is introducing a 2003 Silverado SS, which will be available in all 50 states
and Canada beginning in the first quarter of 2003.
Dating back to the 1961 Impala, Chevy SS vehicles
have provided on-road enthusiasts with outstanding performance, great handling
and sleek, muscular designs. The Silverado SS is a contemporary expression of
Chevy muscle that responds to enthusiasts who have migrated to full-size pickups.
The Silverado SS, created from a 1500 extended-cab short bed, adds fun and excitement
without forfeiting Silverado’s proven strengths and capabilities.
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 and relaxed cruising. It mates to a
Hydra-Matic 4L85-E four-speed automatic overdrive transmission, whose 3.06 first
gear and 0.70 final gear contribute to the truck’s impressive performance.
A standard full-time, all-wheel-drive (AWD) viscous-coupled
transfer case provides exceptional on-road, wet or dry pavement handling. It
requires no driver intervention, automatically and continuously transferring
torque from slipping wheels to those with a firmer grip.
A unique Z60 high-performance chassis package,
including Silverado’s largest-ever 20-inch wheel and tire combination, provides
exceptional road holding and cornering capability. A 2-inch lower ride height,
18mm wider track and P275/55R20 Goodyear Eagle radials provide exceptional stability.
The exterior of the SS shows it is no ordinary
Silverado. With its trim, aggressive stance, monochromatic color scheme and
specially styled aluminum wheels, Silverado SS conveys performance from any
angle. The custom interior is Dark Charcoal and equipped with uplevel LT trim
and leather bucket seats with special "SS" embroidered headrests. The Silverado
SS will be offered in Black, Arrival Blue Metallic or Victory Red. The SS appearance
is refined and dramatic - an instant classic. (More information is available
New entertainment systems
Impressive new entertainment systems on all models - from available Bose sound
systems to a Panasonic DVD Passenger Entertainment System that includes a DVD
player with a flip-down screen for Crew Cab models - add to Silverado’s creature
comforts. These systems (except the base fleet radio) feature the next-generation
Radio Data System, and can interface with services such as the new optional
XM Satellite Radio. On Crew Cab models, available rear-seat audio controls allow
second-row passengers to enjoy a separate audio source from front-seat occupants.
The 2003 Silverado also offers XM Satellite Radio
as an option. XM Radio features 100 coast-to-coast digital channels, including
71 music channels (more than 30 of them commercial free) from hip hop to opera,
classical to country, bluegrass to blues and 29 channels of sports, talk, children’s
and entertainment programming. XM also brings to the car, for the first time
on radio, a diverse selection of 24-hour news sources previously available only
in the home. XM’s next-generation sound-quality technology provides superior
sound remarkably close to compact disc.
A safe & secure environment
Additional new safety enhancements for 2003 include a passenger-sensing system
and dual-level air bags. The passenger-sensing air-bag system automatically
deactivates the passenger-side air bag under certain conditions to protect children.
The system assesses whether the occupant in the seat is an adult or child, based
on the measured weight in the seat cushion and tension in the belt system, if
any. If these measurements are typical for a child, the air bag is disabled.
If they are typical for an adult, the air bag is enabled.
A dual-level air-bag system (not available on
1500HD Crew Cab and 2500HD and 3500 Series models) is a supplemental restraint
system designed to detect vehicle deceleration and, based on the deceleration
data, provides an appropriate amount of air-bag inflation. Sensors located in
the front of the vehicle work with the sensing diagnostic module (SDM) to measure
the severity of the impact. The SDM uses the data to determine the type of air-bag
deployment (first stage or second stage) or non-deploy. Dual-stage air bags
are designed to help reduce the occurrence of inflation-induced injuries by
deploying the air bag less forcefully in lower-speed crashes.
Engine improvements across the board
Electronic Throttle Control (ETC) now provides more precise, consistent throttle
operation on all Silverado small-block V8 engines. New oxygen sensors provide
enhanced durability and reduced emissions during engine warmup. All Silverado
models with the Vortec 4300 4.3L V6 and those sold in California with the Vortec
4800 4.8L or Vortec 5300 5.3L V8 engines feature a more robust catalytic converter
system that meets Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle (ULEV) standards.
The Vortec 4300 V6 with multi-port fuel injection
(previously available in California) is expanded to all 50 states. A central
fuel injector delivers a separate flow of fuel to six individual hybrid injectors
for better performance and improved emissions.
Getting a grip
The Autotrac electric shift, part-time 4WD transfer case, available in 1500/2500
light-duty Silverado models, gets improved fuel economy when operating in 2WD,
as well as improved customer feel when in the "Auto" mode during parking lot
and other low-speed maneuvers. Two-wheel-drive Silverados offer electronic traction
control to enhance surefootedness on models with a V8 engine, automatic transmission
and locking rear differential.
All light-duty 2003 Silverado models feature improved
brake performance, "pedal feel" and quieter operation.
More alternative fuel models
Alternative fuel systems are now available on more Silverado models and GVW
ratings (see Silverado HD section below). Equipped with a Vortec 6000 V8, these
models come with a dedicated compressed natural gas (CNG) or a bi-fuel system
that can run on CNG or gasoline. Light-duty Silverado models with the Vortec
5300 V8 offer an option that allows them to run on varying blends of ethanol
and gasoline, to a maximum of 85% ethanol.
Smarter electrical systems
An advanced new multiplexed electrical architecture makes Silverado even "smarter"
so it can provide more functions for 2003. A communication network transfers
data throughout the vehicle. It enables the driver information center to monitor
and to report on as many as 34 system functions, including new service indicators
for "Ice Possible" and "Door Ajar." Silverado’s instrument panel and cluster
have been redesigned to accommodate these new features. The new architecture
reduces materials for improved quality and less weight. Available redundant
steering wheel controls allow owners to personalize several functions and safely
access new infotainment systems.
A new 145-amp generator is standard on Silverado
models equipped with Quadrasteer and on models featuring V8 engines with the
Snowplow Prep Package. The more powerful generator provides a quicker battery
charge, and slows battery discharge during vehicle operation. A memory subsystem
can remember preferences for seat and mirror positions. "Smart" also means the
battery-rundown protection feature now automatically turns off the headlamps,
park lamps and interior lights after 10 minutes if left on inadvertently.
More cabin comforts
A new dual-zone heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system, available
with both manual and automatic climate control, provides outstanding comfort.
Dual-zone controls allow the driver and front passenger to adjust the temperature
to their own comfort levels - as much as a 30-degree Fahrenheit difference between
the two front zones. The optional automatic system automatically controls air
delivery, fan speed, temperature and recirculating/outside air to provide faster
warmups and cooldowns.
Redesigned seats and center console enhance Silverado’s
interior look. Dark Charcoal Gray is a new interior color.
Uplevel Silverado models feature exterior mirrors with power-tilt glass/power
folding, heating elements, left-side electrochromatic glass, puddle lights,
turn signal indicators and an optional memory feature. An available new power-adjustable
camper mirror can be extended to a vehicle width of as much as 106 inches.
Silverado 1500 Extended Cab Short Box models (except
those with Quadrasteer) feature an available PRO-TEC pickup box and tailgate.
The injection-molded composite material resists scratches and dents, and never
As always, Silverado offers a variety of configurations to fit customers’ specific
needs - with half-ton and three-quarter-ton offerings in fleetside or sportside
trim and in 2WD/4WD regular, extended and crew cabs. Customers can also choose
a short or long box. Silverado features an impressive Vortec gasoline engine
lineup - Vortec 4300 V6, Vortec 4800 V8, Vortec 5300 V8 and Vortec 6000 V8 -
ranging from 200 hp to 300 hp. Payload capacities range from 1,593 to 3,224
pounds, and Gross Vehicle Weight Ratings extend from 6,100 to 8,600 pounds.
The Silverado 1500HD has the strength of a three-quarter-ton
model frame, plus a crew cab’s four full doors. The 1500HD has a standard 300
hp Vortec 6000 V8 engine with a gross combination weight rating of 16,000 pounds,
and a payload of as much as 3,143 pounds. Maximum trailer weight is 10,300 pounds.
Silverado offers the ultimate in four-wheeling
fun and capability with a Z71 Off-Road Package on half-ton 4x4 models. The Z71
package includes 46mm gas-charged shock absorbers, off-road jounce bumpers,
specific stabilizer bars, a skid-plate package, a high-capacity air cleaner
and distinctive Z71 decals for the pickup box