Remember the Chevrolet SSR?

Quick notes

– The Chevrolet SSR was introduced as a concept car to rave reviews at the 2000 Detroit Auto Show.

– These rave reviews did not lead to sales and the SSR ceased production after 3 years, and only 25,000 models.

The Chevrolet SSR could be considered the modern-day El Camino. A car and truck all in one….that no one asked for. The SSR concept was neat, but not being tied to any big production movie prior to its release meant it kind of fell flat.

The SSR stood for Super Sports Roadster and was produced by Chevrolet from 2003 to 2006. Though it looks like it was meant to be a comic book version of the El Camino, it was actually heavily influenced by Chevrolet’s pick up trucks from 1947 to 1955.

Chevrolet SSR specs

The Chevrolet SSR was technically a roadster. So although it was heavily influenced by Chevrolet’s trucks, it was a hardtop convertible with the lower profile of a car. Weird right? It does look kind of cool and likely was introduced as a competitor to the Plymouth Prowler which ended production in 2002. Unfortunately, it did not pick up the same steam.

In essence, the Chevrolet SSR was a convertible truck. It was built on the Chevy Trailblazer EXT frame, which was a minivan. Sounds a bit Frakensteinish right?

Wikimedia Commons

The exterior was highly customizable but came in standard colors of Smoking Ashpalt Black, Smokin’ Asphalt, Slingshot Yellow, Ultra Violet Blue Metallic, Ricochet Silver Metallic, Redline Red, Pacific Blue Metallic, and Aqua Blur Metallic (no, that’s not a typo). All available with standard Ebony leather interior.

The Chevrolet SSR was further customizable with the addition of chrome trim for the interior and exterior, chrome wheels, two-tone paint choices, and color-keyed bed strips.

The SSR was produced in one trim level featuring a leather interior, push-button retractable hardtop, keyless entry, cruise control, and power accessories. It also came with an upgraded audio system. Heated seats and auto-dimming mirrors were optional.

The wheels were a standard 19″ in the front and 20″ in the rear. Traction control and ABS also came standard.

The SSR came equipped with a 5.3L 300hp V8 engine with a 4-speed automatic transmission on an RWD powertrain. The engine was upgraded to a V6 390hp six-speed manual transmission in 2005.

It was quite sturdy coming in at 4,764 pounds. But that didn’t stop the SSR from putting up decent 0-60 numbers. It’s 0-60 time was seven seconds. It made the quarter-mile in 15.4 seconds. Not bad.

This heft didn’t stop it from stopping quickly as it was able to go from 70MPH to a complete stop in 185 feet.

In essence, the Chevrolet SSR was a convertible truck. It was built on the Chevy Trailblazer EXT frame, which was a minivan. Sounds a bit Frakensteinish right?

What happened to the Chevrolet SSR?

A question everyone was dying to know the answer to! Production was stopped due to poor sales. By poor, we mean less than 25,000 produced in total over its three-year run. And at one point, they had almost a year’s worth of built-up stock.

The concept was introduced at the 2000 Detroit auto show to rave reviews, but the average buyer was just not willing to shell out for the SSR with a starting base price of $41,995. The Chevrolet SSR lost momentum and production was ceased in 2006. All in all, not a bad run for a futuristic convertible El Camino. Now, it may well become a sought after classic car. There were only 25,000 of them made after all.

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