Built off the Trailblazer chassis and motivated by a 300hp all-aluminum Vortec V-8 powerplant, the limited-production SSR transfers power to the rear wheels via an electronically controlled four-speed automatic transmission. To get our own impression of the truck, we spent a few hundred hours road-testing the SSR in real-world situations.

During our road test, we were able to admire the passing ability of the SSR on the freeways and feel its prowess in the long twists and turns of the mountain roads. Almost everywhere we took this truck, we were the center of attention. Cameras - both still and video - accompanied by fingers were constantly pointed at the SSR, solidifying our notion that this could very well be the ultimate weekend-cruise-night truck.

The cockpit of the SSR fits the truck with its sweeping console, which carries the body color through the interior, and pod-style gauges; however, we found that the interior doesn't appear to fit the driver. Many of the controls, such as the heater adjustments, are just out of reach, and the trip odometer, which is angled below the instrument cluster, is virtually impossible to read. Powered seat controls, located on the side of each bucket seat, were not accessible unless the doors were open, and due to the lack of armrests, we were constantly searching for a place to relax our arms.

A set of 19-inch wheels fills the front fenders and 20-inch rolling stock was chosen for the rear. The suspension is tuned from the factory with a slight rake, which unfortunately reduced rear visibility when backing up. With the hard top up, that visibility decreased even more and a sufficient amount of road noise was present. However, the point remains that it's a convertible truck, so we got over it.

The six-disc in-dash CD player ensured that we weren't searching for road tunes as we carved our way through city traffic, and the sound system, although not equipped with a separate subwoofer, provided full sound regardless of whether the top was up or down. It's safe to say that if you're looking to get noticed and have a pocket book that supports a $40,000 price tag, this is the toy you've been waiting for.

Sport Truck of the Year Score
Acceleration: 17.2 of 24 possible
Ride and Handling: 14.15 of 18 possible
Ergonomics/Style/Build Quality: 12.05 of 18 possible
Total: 43.41 of 60 possible

The Chevy SSR was the second-quickest truck we tested, was third in braking performance, and was second only to the SRT-10 in the slalom. The only negative aspect of its performance in this portion of the test was a meager 2,500-pound tow rating. In the powertrain ride and handling evaluation it placed third behind the Titan, SRT-10 and Toyota; not bad for a roadster with the structural weakness that comes with full access to the sky. In terms of ergonomics, style, and fit and finish, its reliance on style over substance hurt it some, putting it in fifth slot in this evaluation category.

Likes:
* The SSR definitely leads the pack in the "wow" category
* Great packaging of the aluminum V-8 and rear-wheel-drive power
* It possesses one of the best factory exhaust growls we've heard

Dislikes:
* Emphasis in the interior of form over function
* The stance of the SSR needs to be lower and with less rake
* The need for crowd control when driving or parking

'04 Dodge SRT-10
Baddest Sport Truck On the Planet
When asked why Dodge built the SRT-10, Dodge PVO Director, Dan Knott, replied, "because we can." That's as good a reason as any, and we're completely up on the cam that the company did, because the '04 Dodge Ram SRT-10 is so good that we created a special award for it.