The SSR was an experiment mixing the retro styling, V-8 sports car performance and custom truck attributes into a single vehicle. Introduced during the second half of 2003, the radical Chevrolet SSR was created to capitalize on the crossover vehicle movement with an incomparable product. Built on the same platform as the Chevrolet Trailblazer and GMC Envoy, the 2003 SSR featured 1930s inspired styling cues such as flared fenders. The Chevrolet SSR was also a convertible thanks to a retractable hardtop that could be deployed in 25 seconds.
At the rear, a 23.7 cubic-foot capacity truck bed provides a resourceful method for transporting cargo typically not possible with a sports car. Early versions of the SSR were propelled through a 5.3-liter V-8 small-block engine generating 300 horsepower and 331 pound-feet of torque. A four-speed automatic transmission with overdrive furnished power to the rear wheels of the Chevrolet vehicle. Configured with a two-seat cabin, the 2003 SSR interior featured hidden audio controls and billet aluminum used on the door trim.
For 2005, responding from calls from performance enthusiasts, the SSR received a more potent powerplant borrowed from the Chevrolet Corvette. A 6.0-liter LS2 V-8 engine found in the 2005 SSR provided extended muscle with 390 horsepower and 405 pound-feet of torque. The 2005 Chevrolet SSR’s engine power could be channeled through either the automatic gearbox or an optional six-speed manual transmission. In addition to a powertrain change, the 2005 Chevrolet SSR received extensive improvements including a retuned steering system and a new exhaust system.
For its final year of production in 2006, the Chevrolet SSR received a mild power boost with up to 400 horsepower available from the V-8 engine. After a mixed reception, the Chevrolet discontinued what could be their most extreme production car after the 2006 model year