DETROIT -- In an attempt to build on the brand appeal of its performance vehicles, Chevrolet is nearly doubling its lineup of SS-badged vehicles - including the addition of an SUV.
Chevrolet will unveil SS versions of the 2006 TrailBlazer, Malibu and Malibu Maxx at this week's New York auto show.
The TrailBlazer will be the first General Motors SUV to wear the SS badge and will offer the Corvette-derived LS2 6.0-liter V-8, giving it 391 hp and a 0 to 60 mph time of 5.7 seconds.
The TrailBlazer also gets a performance suspension, 20-inch wheels and specific interior appointments.
The Malibu SS and Malibu Maxx SS will offer a 240-hp, 3.9-liter V-6 with variable valve timing, 18-inch wheels and a sport-tuned suspension. The V-6 is an upgrade of 40 hp over the 3.5-liter V-6 offered on the up-level Malibu and Malibu Maxx.
The 2006 Chevrolet Malibu Maxx SS has a 240-hp V-6 engine.
Brent Dewar, GM's newly appointed North America vice president of marketing and advertising, says that by extending the SS package to the Malibu and Malibu Maxx, Chevrolet is reaching out to customers who might not have experienced the SS trim level. Dewar had been Chevrolet marketing general manager.
Both vehicles "bring real performance to a broad audience," Dewar says.
Production of the new SS vehicles begins this fall.
You may e-mail Jason Stein at [email protected]