- The Washington Times - Friday, May 9, 2003

Pickup trucks have taken many turns in the last few years, in design and in market placement. The street truck realm was one area that had remained a place where private owners customized their own trucks.

This isn’t a place for truck manufacturers. After all, a street truck is aimed more at performance than cargo-carrying abilities. With the incredible popularity of street trucks, Chevrolet has resurrected the Super Sport (SS) heritage and introduced the Silverado SS pickup.

The performance of Chevy SS vehicles dates back in the early 1960s when street performance was in the dawning ages of the muscle-car era. Today, that performance is translated into a street truck that makes no apologies.

Chevrolet has the history and the equipment to put a truck together that will dazzle. The Silverado SS is more than a pretty face, even though it is good-looking, too.

Set on an extended-cab frame, with a short cargo bed, the Silverado SS is an attractive package. The test truck was pure black. I am not one who would like to own a black vehicle, mainly because I do not relish cleaning my vehicle. And, with black you must be fastidious; that is, if you want your ride to look cool all of the time. But, this truck would nearly bring me to the buying point, it looks that nice. For those who just cannot bring your self to buy black, the SS is offered in Arrival Blue Metallic or Victory Red.

Subtle but noticeable interior highlights add a certain limited-edition touch as the custom leather upholstery features SS logos embroidered into the headrests of each bucket seat. Black numerals on white-faced gauges in the instrument panel add another special touch.

Make no mistake; this truck performs. Under the hood sets a more than adequate V-8 engine that could spin the tread right off the tires; that is, if it were a normal truck. The high output Vortec 6.0-liter V-8 engine generates 345 horsepower and 380 foot-pounds of torque. You can see why the SS has incredibly enjoyable acceleration. Like I said, this isn’t just another pretty face.

The engine is coupled to a four-speed overdrive automatic transmission that gets the power to all four wheels through a viscous-coupled all-wheel-drive system. That’s right, all four wheels. Remember, I said earlier that this Chevrolet could spin the tread right off your rear tires if it were a normal truck. Well, this isn’t a normal truck. The Silverado SS is more sure-footed than any rear-wheel-drive truck out there.

The great thing about this all-wheel-drive system is that there is nothing to fiddle with. The system is automatic. If it senses one wheel is losing traction, it automatically transfers power to the wheels that have grip.

Whopping large tires accompany Chevrolet’s Z60 high-performance chassis package. Along with sitting 2 inches closer to the pavement, the Silverado SS is equipped with 20-inch wheels fitted with 275/55R20 Goodyear Eagle tires.

There is a certain incongruity to having a pickup truck that is more performance than workhorse. However, with the Silverado SS the two aspects come into form with a flair that says “Hey I can work just as enthusiastically as I can have fun.”

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