Impala SS show car becomes a reality; And other '94 Caprices are blessed with more horsepower (Autoweek 9/6/93)




   Good news: The 1994 Caprice sports a new 4300 cc (that's 265

cid for you small-block historians) version of the LT1 that

generates 200 hp, 30 more than the 5.0-liter it replaces.



   Better news: A 260-hp version of the 5.7-liter LT1 V8 is

available in Caprice Classics.



   Best news: The Impala SS show car (''Of Interest,'' AW, Nov.

16, 1992) has been turned into a new 260-hp addition to the model

range that Jon Moss and his Chevy specialty vehicles department

are developing for introduction next spring.



   Let's do best first. The target for the Impala SS is 40-to

55-year-old males, which sounds much like the same guys who were

tapped for mid-'60s Impalas, when it was considered a ''young

man's car.''



   Like Henry Ford's first Model T's, the '94 Impala SS will come

in any color so long as it's black, though other colors are on

for subsequent model years. The standard drivetrain will be a

260-hp 5.7-liter LT1 hooked to a 4L60E four-speed automatic. The

suspension is basically heavy duty police-package/FE3 stuff while

the four-wheel disc brakes and ABS are new offerings shared with

the police cars.



   There's a new grille, a rear deck spoiler, slick body-color

Impala SS fender emblems and a subtly reshaped rear quarter

window. The prototype car in our photos may differ in detail from

the final iteration. When last we heard, Chevy GM Jim Perkins and

Moss were still refining the details.



   The 17-inch alloy wheels and the Goodyear P255/50-ZR tires are

part of the package, and though they don't fill the wheel wells

as nicely as they did on the lowered show car, they still look

sharp.



   The car supplants the LTZ option, and is due in March or

April.



   The Impala SS we drove at Road America had been flogged

heartily, but we left with the impression of a mildly softened

but mighty luxurious police car.



   Those who favor full-size, old-style American iron should be

pleased, while others will be surprised at how far the basic

concept can be refined when turned over to those with a mind to

do the job.



   The '94 run of Impala SS models will number in the hundreds,

so limited supply means dealers are likely to have a hot ticket

(read sticker-plus) on their hands.



   Meanwhile, other Caprices are re-powered with the new 4300 V8

as the base motor. The sequential fuel injection and wide power

band that is a hallmark of LT1 small-blocks yield more power from

less displacement. And now power-mad Caprice buyers can get

5.7-liter LT1 motivation to propel their road-whales, getting a

full 80 hp more than last year.