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Chevrolet Adds Avalanche Without Body Hardware for 2003

New Safety, Comfort, Convenience and Performance Features

Chevrolet Motor Division introduces an Avalanche for the first time in 2003 without body hardware, and has significantly improved all Avalanche models for the new model year.

Expanding Avalanche Appeal The composite lower body panels -- called "cladding" or "body hardware" -- will be removed to create a new appearance package that will expand the appeal of Avalanche with a more traditional full-size pickup look that still provides Chevy's unique Convert-a-Cab System and Midgate for flexibility and function. Avalanche sales have already topped 100,000 units. Production of Avalanches with the new appearance package begins in the first quarter of 2003. The other Avalanche models will have darker color body hardware for 2003.

First Public Showing The first public showing of the new Avalanche Without Body Hardware will be at the Texas State Fair in September 2002.

Optional Soft Top The Avalanche Without Body Hardware will offer the same equipment packages and options as the original versions except for an optional soft top for the cargo area. The North Face edition and three-quarter-ton versions of the Avalanche, however, will not be offered without body hardware.

Improvements for 2003 Avalanche has also made safety, comfort, convenience and performance improvements for 2003.

Safety Enhancements Safety enhancements for 2003 include a passenger-sensing system and dual-level air bags. The automatic passenger-sensing air-bag system automatically deactivates the passenger-side air bag under certain conditions to protect children. The dual-level air-bag system is a supplemental restraint system designed to detect vehicle deceleration and, based on the deceleration data, provide an appropriate amount of air-bag inflation. Dual-stage air bags are designed to help reduce the occurrence of inflation-induced injuries by deploying the air bag less forcefully in lower-speed crashes.

The 2003 Avalanche already complies with 2005 federal seat standards for child restraint anchorages. The LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) system for child seats is provided in the front-passenger side seat and second-row center and passenger side seats.

Creature Comforts New creature comforts for the 2003 Avalanche include rear-seat entertainment systems with a DVD player and flip-down screen. These systems feature the next-generation Radio Data System, and can interface with services such as XM Satellite Radio, a new option for 2003. A custom-designed Bose audio system is also available with a new, high-powered, six-channel amplifier and six speakers.

XM Satellite Radio The XM Satellite Radio is optional on all models. It offers 100 coast-to-coast digital channels with various music programming including several commercial-free channels, 24-hour news sources and sports, talk, children's and entertainment programming -- all with sound quality close to compact disc.

New Driver Convenience Package

Adjustable Pedals Avalanche defines convenience in 2003 with a new driver convenience package. Optional brake and accelerator pedals can be adjusted rearward in unison by nearly three inches for better positioning and comfort, and they are available with a memory feature. An eight-button steering wheel control is available to personalize several functions (trip calculator, fuel data, etc.), and provides safe access to all entertainment systems. New power outside rear view mirrors fold against the vehicle for easier vehicle passage through narrow spaces; the power mirrors also tilt for easier curb viewing when parallel parking.

A new multi-zone manual-control heating, ventilation and air conditioning system (standard) allows the driver and front passenger to adjust the temperature to their own comfort. The battery-rundown protection now automatically turns off the headlamps and park lamps in addition to the interior lights after 10 minutes if left on inadvertently.

Improved Performance Improved performance for the 2003 Avalanche includes better brake performance, better "pedal feel" and quieter operation. Avalanche's sure-footed Autotrac 4WD system gets improved fuel economy when in 2WD, as well as improved "driver feel" during parking-lot and other low-speed maneuvers. A new electrical architecture enables the driver information center to monitor and report as many as 34 vehicle system functions. New service indicators include "Ice Possible" and "Door Ajar." The standard engine continues to be a powerful 5.3L V8 with 285 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque.

Convert-a-Cab and Midgate The Avalanche hallmark is its revolutionary Convert-a-Cab System and Midgate for great flexibility and function. When the rear passenger seat and Midgate are folded, the standard bed length converts from 5'3" to 8'1". A three-piece rigid cargo cover can be used to cover and protect the cargo box and its contents. Two Top-Box Storage compartments on either side of the cargo box provide a combined 3.5 cubic feet of lockable storage space. The compartments have drains, so they can be filled with ice and used as coolers.

New Colors Avalanche for 2003 offers three new exterior colors: Charcoal Gray Metallic, Arrival Blue Metallic and Yellow (interim availability). The North Face Edition has a new medium gray interior.