More stories related to New York Auto ShowChevrolet will expand its family of SS performance models, including the first SUV, with this week’s introduction of the TrailBlazer SS midsize SUV, Malibu SS midsize sedan and Malibu Maxx SS hatchback at the 2005 New York auto show.

“SS has always stood for attainable performance – vehicles that deliver an exciting driving experience across a variety of products,” says Brent Dewar, General Motors North America vice president-marketing and advertising.

“From V-8 rear-drive vehicles to supercharged front-drivers, the scope of what makes an SS is broader than ever before, yet every vehicle wearing the SS badge signals performance and attitude with strong value.”

The TrailBlazer SS, Malibu SS and Malibu Maxx SS join the SSR roadster, Silverado SS fullsize pickup and Cobalt SS supercharged small car, as well as the ’06 Impala SS large sedan and Monte Carlo SS coupe. It is the largest SS lineup in Chevy history.

2006 Chevrolet Malibu SS

The TrailBlazer SS is powered by the Corvette-derived LS2 6.0L V-8 391-hp engine. The 4-speed automatic transmission is standard, along with rear-wheel drive; all-wheel drive is optional.

The suspension is lowered 1 in. (2.5 cm), and the 4-wheel disc braking system is equipped with larger, 12.8-in. (32.5 cm) front disc brake rotors and new iron twin-piston calipers.

The monochromatic exterior styling includes a blacked-out mesh grille, front and rear fascias unique to the SS model and a bright exhaust outlet. Body side moldings are absent, and there is no the roof rack.

The interior is dark; ebony everywhere – combined with some flat-satin and chrome accents. The front bucket seats have prominent side bolsters.

Other cabin features include optional leather seating, SS embroidery on the seat backs, and a T-shape shifter with aluminum insert.

“Style always has complemented the performance of an SS vehicle,” says Dewar. “It’s an encompassing package that elevates the entire driving experience.”

The pulse for the ’06 Malibu SS and Malibu Maxx SS is GM’s 240-hp 3.9L V-6 VVT (variable valve timing) engine, which is paired with a 4-speed automatic transmission featuring manual shift mode and adaptive shift control.

Many exterior and interior design elements worn by the TrailBlazer SS also appear in the Malibu performance models

2006 Chevrolet TrailBlazer SS

Exterior appointments include 18-in. flangeless aluminum wheels, a blacked-out crosshatch grille pattern, larger grille openings, projector-beam fog lamps, rear spoiler and dual chrome-tipped 3.5-in. (8.9-cm) exhaust outlets and body-coloring matching exterior moldings and trim.

The cabin is outfitted with ebony and gunmetal aluminum accents, sport seats with larger side bolsters and contrasting stitching, a new 3-spoke leather-wrapped sport steering wheel and leather-covered shifter knob.

“Malibu SS and Malibu Maxx SS bring real performance to a broad audience,” says Dewar. “The SS name has always represented performance for mainstream customers, and these new products deliver it with uncompromising sedan versatility and value – in other words, it is guilt-free fun.”

The refined suspension system is equipped with new front and rear springs, specially valved struts and shocks and larger front and rear stabilizer bars.

Production of the Malibu SS and Malibu Maxx SS will take place at GM’s Fairfax, KS, with production scheduled to begin in third-quarter 2005.

bcorbett@primediabusiness.com