Thursday, July 20, 2017

Chevrolet's Uncluttered 2003 SS Concept Car

Nowadays concept and production cars seem to be collections of planes and angles intended to somehow make wind tunnel tested body shapes distinctive for the target marque.  I think that is simply a fad -- well, I hope it is a fad.

Back around the year 2000 there was generally a lot less ornamentation and shapes were cleaner.  There also was a minor fad for so-called Retro designs, where features of cars from decades earlier were hinted at.

A somewhat obscure concept car from that era is the Chevrolet SS, first shown at the Detroit auto show early in 2003.  It displays some of the characteristics just noted.  However, its design features didn't appear on future Chevrolet sedans.


The wheels on the SS are huge, so reducing their diameter slightly would have improved the design.  The front fenders are nicely shaped Retro element recalling sports car fenders from around 1950.

The rear is uncluttered, in part because concept cars don't require bumpers.  I can glimpse a trunk lid cut line that suggests an inconveniently small opening.  These details would have been altered for a production version.

An almost-side view showing the simple, nicely done shaping.  The problem of the too-large wheels is clearly shown here.

Here is a 2003 vintage Chevrolet SSR, an odd production pickup truck.  Beginning in the early 2000s, Chevrolet stylists began playing with a frontal theme based on a single, thick bar that was sometimes chromed, sometimes not.  Chromed versions are seen on the both the SSR and the SS concept.  The shallow V grille opening shape also is seen on both vehicles.

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