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General Motors: Chevrolet SSR

Chevrolet Celebrates its Heritage with All-New SSR

DETROIT - Chevrolet is adding an innovative, head-turning vehicle to its lineup as General Motors announced today the Chevy SSR pickup, first shown as a concept vehicle only seven months ago at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, has been approved for production.

While production plans are still being finalized, SSRs should begin arriving in Chevrolet dealerships in 2002.

"No other manufacturer has a vehicle like SSR," said Kurt Ritter, Chevrolet general manager. "No one has this much fun and function in one package. The SSR is an attention grabber that will act like a halo for Chevrolet by attracting further consumer attention to our impressive vehicle lineup."

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Earlier this year Chevrolet announced Avalanche to create a kind of vehicle that's never been seen before. Avalanche is part pickup and part sport utility vehicle, and can be reconfigured to haul cargo in a five- to eight-foot pickup box or transport from two to five persons. Avalanche will begin arriving in Chevrolet showrooms early next year.

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The production Chevy SSR -- Super Sport Roadster -- will be unique by combining the rear-drive, open-air excitement of a sports roadster with the function and utility of a pickup. In the spirit of Chevy heritage, SSR will be a contemporary thoroughbred -- a V8-powered, rear-drive street machine with a retractable hardtop. The two-piece top is neatly stowed, vertically between the seat and the rear storage bed.

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The strong fender forms are part of Chevrolet's rich heritage, but are executed in a very contemporary way. Other SSR exterior design features include the full-width grille bar and prominent Chevy bowtie logo that currently appear on other Chevrolets. Five-spoke alloy sport wheels and performance tires (19-inch front, 20-inch rear) promote the sports car look.

"SSR will appeal to enthusiasts of all ages because the design draws you in, and the performance keeps you there," Welburn said. "The Chevrolet bowtie has long stood for spirited, functional cars and trucks. SSR brings the best of both worlds to the extreme -- a spirited rear-drive roadster with a functional pickup box."

The more practical side of the Chevy SSR includes a 5'3" x 4'7" covered, lockable pickup box for hauling and comfortable leather bucket seats. A button on the key fob of the SSR concept can operate the tailgate remotely; a latch on the inside of the tailgate can operate the gate manually.

"We have been overwhelmed by the positive public and dealer response to the SSR concept," Ritter said. "The collective response from auto shows in Detroit, Chicago, New York and Geneva was beyond our wildest expectations. Chevrolet will fan the flames of that excitement because our production SSR won't be watered down; it will look strikingly similar to the concept SSR that played to rave reviews."

The production version of Chevy's SSR, to be based off of an upcoming GM truck platform, will conceal behind a dashboard-mounted panel door all controls for temperature, sound and navigation, as well as GM's OnStar system. OnStar is an innovative mobile communications system that combines a unique blend of cutting-edge technology and attentive personal service to provide an unparalleled level of safety, security and information services.

all photos: General Motors


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