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ASC SSR Diamondback Review

March 2005
Filed under: ASC Car News | ASC Headlines
There’s a new snake in town. ASC Incorporated, a full-service specialty-vehicle design and development partner for automotive manufacturers, here today unveiled a new, specially modified Chevrolet SSR concept vehicle dubbed the ASC Chevy SSR Diamondback, for its super-light, carbon-fiber fixed roof and upper body, and for its supercharged 6.0-liter, 500-h.p. engine. The vehicle is significantly lighter—and two inches lower to the pavement—than a stock SSR.
The unveiling was made during an ASC press conference immediately following the second annual AutoWeek/Automotive News Specialty Vehicle Forum, leading up to the annual Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show beginning here tomorrow. ASC was the host sponsor of the Specialty Vehicle Forum for the second straight year.

“The SSR Diamondback concept is yet another example of ASC’s proven capabilities for designing and building exciting derivative vehicles and performance packages while leveraging the existing investments of automakers,” said Jeff Steiner, ASC’s executive vice president and chief marketing officer. “As part of that, the Diamondback is a ‘four-fer’: a four-in-one rolling showcase for ASC’s capabilities. That includes our capability in low-cost carbon-fiber applications for low-volume vehicles, under our brand name OMNICarbon™ our capability for designing and building accessories that are a logical extension of the original vehicle’s character, such as the Diamondback’s dual-side-exhaust rocker panels, functional cowl-induction hood and chin spoiler; our long-time capabilities in open-air engineering, in this case turning a convertible into a hardtop coupe derivative; and our capability in designing and engineering high-performance derivatives of existing models.”

The entire “top hat” of the otherwise silver Diamondback features carbon fiber, including the all-new fixed roof, hood, rear bed-cover, front air-dam, lower rear-fascia trim, tailgate spoiler, upper quarter-panels, upper door-panels; and side mirrors. Continuing the theme inside, the vehicle features a carbon-fiber-look instrument panel face and interior-trim accents; Corbeau race seats with custom trim; a custom roll-cage with 5-point seatbelt harness; a custom Alpine sound system; and custom “Diamondback” badging and floor mats.

In order to integrate a fixed roof into the convertible SSR package, ASC designers and engineers moved the B-pillar touch-down point back six inches. The result was two-fold: a very aggressive roof line and, in the place of the retractable-hardtop system, an all-new storage space behind the front seats—into which ASC installed an extended center console, new pocket-style storage bins and a 12” subwoofer. The outside mirrors also were repositioned three inches forward, to complement the new look of the vehicle. The racy exterior was finished with an ITW cap-less fuel-filler door.

Besides its Magnuson supercharger, other performance-enhancing features on the Diamondback include high-flow, chambered dual-side exhaust, with custom tips; a unique, water-to-air intercooler; an integrated forced-air intake; a 6-speed Tremec M10 (3.01:1 low) manual transmission with short-throw shifter; a 9.5” rear axle with Eaton plate-type 3.73:1 limited-slip differential; custom-valved Bilstein struts with Ground Force lowering springs; 14"-diameter Brembo brakes front and rear; and 22”x10" rear and 20”x8” front polished 5-spoke Budnik wheels with low-profile B.F. Goodrich g-Force T/A tires.

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