This vehicle was a better-performing version of the Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck. The only Silverado SS launched in 2003 and it took inspiration from the GMT-800 generation Silverado 1500 model but with some upgrades like the drivetrain and design in the interior and exterior.
It had a standard Vortec 6.0L V-8 engine with RPO code L76 that packed 345 horsepower at 5200 RPM and 380 pound-feet of torque (515 Nm) at 4000 RPM. This is the exact engine that was used in the second-generation Cadillac Escalade and it was called “HO 6000” there but Chevrolet called the engine Vortec High Output and VortecMAX.
As far as the exterior design goes you could get it in several colors like Black Onyx, Victory Red, Arrival Blue Metallic only from 2003 to 2004 and Silver Birch Metallic from 2005 to 2006.
In 2005 the Silverado got a sun roof and in 2006 the interior started being equipped with cloth and a bench seat.
Silverado Intimidator SS
In 2006 Chevrolet decided to release a special edition Silverado SS and named it “Intimidator SS”. The name was licensed by Dale Earnhardt Inc. so that it could honor the late Dale Earnhardt.
The Intimidator had some small appearance upgrades from the standard SS like a rear spoiler, embroidered headrests and Intimidator branding. In the beginning they were planning on making 1033 units of the vehicle but in the end they made 933. The 100 that were left were sold as 2007 Silverado SS “classic” body style just before the 2007.5 model year change for the second-generation Silverado on the GMT900 basis.
You could get the Intimidator in a Black Onyx that came with either cloth or leather interior.
Silverado SS of the future
After the Silverado from the 2003-2006 period there wasn’t a high performance Silverado SS for the next generations of the Silverado which includes the GMT900 and the GMT-K2 generations. But Chevrolet was giving us hints about a high-performance Silverado at the 2017 SEMA show by introducing a Silverado Performance Concept.
The show truck showed us what a high-performance street truck would mean and what kind of features it would have compared to a standard Silverado, which included a 5.3L V-8 engine making 450 horsepower (based on the same the 6.2-liter LT4 supercharged V-8 engine in the Corvette Z06, Camaro ZL1 and Cadillac CTS-V). Some other components were a performance exhaust system and a performance brake kit.
As far as the exterior goes it had some unique features like a much more menacing hood and front bumper with air ducts for the supercharged engine. Another difference is that the truck is a lot lower than the standard model and has custom wheels with 22-inch performance tires. Even though this concept was introduced it never came to fruition.
But we still have hope in a Chevrolet Silverado SS. In a January 2018 interview with GM Authority, some working with Chevrolet said that the brand is testing a performance model of the fourth-generation Silverado which was introduced as the 2019 model. But it looks like we might be getting an off-road performance model instead of a street truck one.
“When we surveyed (7,000 truck owners), off-road performance was definitely the strongest (compared to street performance),” explained Chevrolet truck director Sandor Piszar in an interview with GM Authority. “Right now we’re focusing on off-road performance. That’s why you see the Trailboss Custom and LT… certainly street performance is an opportunity in the pickup truck space, and we’re constantly assessing. Stay tuned.”
Al in all, it’s very possible that a performance version of the Silverado could see the light of day very soon. But whether it will be a street truck or off-road one is still unknown.