The SSR (Super Sport Roadster) was a daring experiment made by Chevrolet in 2003. The main idea was to create a factory-built hot rod with a retro style and superior driving dynamics.
Though, the result was a bit south to the initial plan and the SSR proved to be a major fail from Chevrolet, as it went out of production only after three years.
The Chevrolet SSR offered an odd mix between a classical customized hot rod and a rear wheel drive sports car. One of the main mistakes made by Chevy was to build its sport pickup on GM’s midsize SUV platform, which made it too heavy.
At the launch, the vehicle was powered by General Motors’ Vortec 5300 V8 engine, while the 2005 generation received a stronger unit borrowed from the C6 Corvette.
The bond between Isuzu and GM continues to be pretty strong and the companies still share rebadged trucks and pickups between them. Even is the success of this business isn’t brilliant and Isuzu’s rebadged i-Series pickup didn’t managed to conquer a lot of hearts, the companies are ready to move one.
Unfortunately, the Chevrolet W-Series medium seems to share the same bad karma with the Chevrolet T-Series whose unsuccessful lead to its premature death in 2009.
With only two months after the N Series was launched in Japan, Chevrolet introduced the W Series in US but shortly after, in January 2009 the American company decided to wind-down its medium-duty truck operations.
The Chevrolet W Series was offered with both single and crew cab configurations in Class 3 (W3500), Class 4 (W4500), Class 5 (W5500), and class 5 (W5500) versions.
The previous generation Chevrolet Montana (also known as the Tornado) was sold between 2004 and 2001 and was especially developed for the emergent markets, being mostly sold in the South America.
The small Montana offered the utility of a full-sized pickup and the comfort and maneuverability of regular a passenger car.
Given its utilitarian nature the 2004 Chevrolet Montana was also very efficient and its 30mpg on the highway attracted the interest of many buyers. The truck was also pretty practical and had a maximum payload capacity of 1600 pounds.
Under the 2004 Montana’s hood there is a 1.8-liter, inline-four-cylinder engine rated at 104 horsepower and 118 pounds-feet of torque.
General Motors has started to sell its T-Series trucks in 1998. The vehicles were based on the Isuzu’s F-Series medium duty range of trucks and shared the same design and technologies with their siblings.
The Chevrolet T-Series range consisted of three models namely the T6500, T7500 and T8500, all powered by a 7.8 liter Isuzu diesel engine. All Chevrolet T-Series trucks had a cab over engine configurations and were equipped with various Allison transmissions.
The Chevrolet T Series was sold until 2009 and came with GVM (gross vehicle mass) ratings between 24,350 lbs. to 39,000 lbs. and 4x4, 6x2 and 6x4 axle configurations.
With every year that passes, the big, gas eating North American Pickups are starting to fade due to their high costs of ownership. A more efficient alternative to these vehicles, could be the compact pickup trucks which are usually based on small passenger cars.
The Montana (also known as the Tornado) is part of this class and is sold by Chevrolet on the South American and other emergent markets. The vehicle is basically a two door ute which is built on the same platform as the Chevrolet Agile hatchback.
It’s clearly not as capable as its full sized siblings, but it has the same hard worker character as any other utility vehicle. The latest generation was launched in 2011 and the vehicle can deal with a maximum load of up to 734 kg.
Power comes from a 1.8L MPFI, 4-cilynder engine and pricing starts at $18,720 for the entry-level version.
The Chevrolet Kodiak shared the same designed and technologies with the GMC Topkick and Isuzu H-Series and was commercialized between 1980 and 2009. The vehicle was designed as a medium duty truck used for utilitarian and commercial purposes.
The last generation was launched in 2003 and it was built on the new platform G-Platform.
The new model came with a bigger cab and was offered with both 4x2 and 4x4 configurations. Power comes from a 6.6-liter, 300-horsepower Duramax diesel V-8 and the base two wheel drive Kodiak starts at about $55,000.
The Chevrolet Kodiak has a maximum towing capacity of 16.000 pounds, plus the additional 5,500 lb. it can carry at the back.
The Chevrolet Express has been around since 1996, when it came as a replacement for the old Chevrolet Van. The second generation was launched in 2003 and featured a series of style and technical upgrades which helped the van remain competitive. However despite the constant struggles made by Chevrolet’s marketing team, the Express was always a half step behind the Ford E Series when it comes to sales charts.
For the second generation Express, the year 2003 brought four wheel disc brakes with ABS, new driver 60/40 access doors, larger stabilizer bars and a stronger frame. The 2003 Express was also offered for the first time with an all wheel drive system. The entire range of V8 units was replaced and th eold 6.0 liter turbo diesel was ditched.
Te first generation of the highly utilitarian Chevrolet Express was launched in 1996 and came as a replacement for the old Chevrolet Van.
The vehicle shared the same underpinnings with the GMC Savana and both models were hot sellers on the US market. However, despite the fact that these two vans were basically identical, the Express outsells the Savana by more than 3 to 1.
The Chevrolet Express is a fairly versatile utility vehicle that can be used for towing heavy loads or as an ambulance, shuttle bus, or school bus. For increased versatility Chevrolet also offered cutaway versions for its Express.
The year 2003 brought only minor style and comfort upgrades for the Silverado. The most significant exterior changes were made to the front fascia. The interior was also slightly redesigned and the most striking modification is the new steering wheel which looks much better than the old one and gives the cabin a modern look.
There was also introduced the innovative Quadrasteer four-wheel steering system that was available on 1500 Extended Cab models and 1500 Heavy-Duty Crew Cab models. Other new optional features include an XM satellite radio and a more performant audio system. The engines lineup is the same as the previous one and consists of both V6 and V8 units.
The year 1999 was a major one for Chevrolet. In this year, the company has launched on the market its completely redesigned C/K pickup and gave it a true identity.
The first generation Silverado was born from Chevrolet’s desire to come up with a better pickup, but the main problem was that the old truck was already a hot seller, so the new one needed to be at least as good as its processor.
In the end, Chevrolet’s gamble with the Silverado paid off and the new truck was a huge success. It had stronger engines, a better ride and also superior handling abilities. For its time, the Silverado was among the most luxurious trucks from the streets, yet its exterior design was still a half step behind the main rivals from Ford or Dodge.
Between the 1999 Chevrolet Silverado and the GMC Sierra was a strong bound as Chevrolet and GM offered parallel lineups and except for a few exterior details and some unique features, the two models were basically the same.