Truck Rewind: 2003 Chevy Silverado SS – Is It Time for a New One?

Chevy Silverado SS Intimidator Edition – Photo: GM

Capable of a 0 to 60 mph time of 6.3-seconds, the 2003 Chevrolet Silverado SS had a 345 horsepower 6.0-liter V8 that made 380 lbs-feet of torque. Chevrolet called this engine the “VortecMAX,” but it was the same high-output V8 used in the Cadillac Escalade. Chevrolet added a 4.10 rear-differential and the only transmision was the 4L65E four speed automatic.

While slower than the Dodge Ram SRT-10 and the Ford SVT Lightning, the Chevrolet Silverado SS came with all-wheel drive (AWD), four-wheel disc brakes and a sports-tuned suspension. It had unique 20-inch aluminum wheels, street-performance tires, unique leather seats and interior trim.

Back in 2003, the Chevrolet Silverado SS sold for a steep (in early 2000’s money) $40,000, and it didn’t sell well. Most people complained about the price and Chevrolet opted to lower the base price by removing components such as the AWD system and rear discs. By 2006, you could only get a Chevrolet Silverado SS with rear-wheel drive and rear drums. You could also get a leather delete to keep the prices lower.

A limited “Intimidator” edition of the Chevrolet Silverado SS was made in honor of the late racing legend, Dale Earnhardt – 933 were made. They had unique trim and badging with all of the Intimidators edition trucks being available only in Black Onyx.

Through its lifetime, the only colors available were Black Onyx, Victory Red, Arrival Blue Metallic and Silver Birch Metallic.

Now that Chevrolet has an all-new Silverado, and we know how beefy their 420 hp 6.2-liter (L86 GM EcoTec3 6200) V8 is, is it possible for them to go back in time and recapture some of their past greatness? Sure, wasn’t that popular and its performance was not that stellar, but it was fast and agile for a pickup truck, AND it looked kind of badass.

Come to think of it, with no truck maker currently offering a beefed-up street truck, maybe this truly IS the time to try again.

Here is a close look at the new 2019 Chevy Silverado 1500.

Easily amused by anything with four wheels, Nathan Adlen reviews vehicles from the cheapest to the most prestigious. Wrecking yards, dealer lots, garages, racetracks, professional automotive testing and automotive journalism - Nathan has experienced a wide range of the automotive spectrum. Brought up in the California car culture and educated in theater, childhood education, film, journalism and history, Nathan now lives with his family in Denver, CO. His words, good humor and video are enjoyed worldwide.