Chevy SSR Highlights
The Retractable Hardtop
The most distinguishing feature of the SSR is probably its power-retractable hardtop system, which offers open-air driving without compromising the truck's cargo carrying capacity. Pushing a button on the console transforms the SSR from a hardtop to a convertible in 25 seconds.
Also called a "top stack," the retractable hardtop on the SSR is the first to be used on a pickup-styled vehicle. The roof panels move independently to stack vertically behind the passenger compartment, a design that provides quick operation and minimal stowage requirements.
Chevy designers refer to the SSR's interior as a twin cockpit approach, with a horizontal cross-car bar and body-colored accents that bring much of the vehicle's exterior theme to the inside.
The billet aluminum look used on elements of the exterior continues on the interior door trim and instrument panel bezels. The SSR's instrument panel features gauges with bold graphics, audio controls hidden behind a moveable panel and a simple three dial design for all climate controls.
Chassis and Frame
The SSR's flared fender concept was borrowed from the 1947-1953 Advanced Design Chevy trucks. The new fenders are made using a process that combines contemporary forming technology with the method used to produce their vintage counterparts.
The SSR incorporates a body-on-frame construction consisting of a unibody mounted on a hydroformed steel side rails. With seven cross members adding strength, the frame offers a better ride quality and provides better handling with less noise and vibration.
Because of its combined unibody/frame design, the vehicle does not have the flex that is normally associated with a convertible. That provides additional safety and allows the truck to handle better.
The SSR carries the latest version of Chevy's legendary small block V-8 engine. Since its inception in 1955, the engine has gone through many changes. This latest version is an all-aluminum engine weighing approximately 100 pounds less than its cast iron predecessors. Benefits of the aluminum substitution include:
- Cleaner emissions from faster catalytic converter heat-up
- Faster heater core warm-up
- Cooler piston and oil temperatures enhance durability
Polymer coated pistons reduce engine noise and wear and contribute to better performance and fuel economy.
The SSR uses an electronically controlled, 4-speed overdrive automatic transmission.
Overall, the combination of engine, transmission and suspension makes the SSR a smooth boulevard cruiser that is also capable of tackling the curviest roads you can find.