Impala SS is back, highly in demand by Tom Keane
(Washington Times 7/22/94)
First, the good news: Chevrolet's all-new Impala SS is
everything you could want in a car. The bad news is waiting in
line to place an order.
It is understandable why this car is attracting so much
attention. The 1994 Impala SS - a name associated with
performance cars of old - is stylish, attractive and a pleasure
to drive. Chevrolet people say that it is derived from the
Caprice, but there is no comparison. This Impala SS is a thing
of beauty; the Caprice reminds me of an overgrown armadillo.
Besides, this car can move like a rabbit.
Under the hood is a 5.7-liter, 260-horsepower engine that is
linked to an electronic four-speed automatic transmission. Chevy
refers to this engine as the LT1, which is the same one they have
in the Corvette. With all this power it is understandable why
this big, full-size car can accelerate so quickly. Getting up
speed when entering a freeway would be easy - even with 5,000
pounds in tow. Incidentally, it uses regular unleaded gasoline.
This is not to infer that the Impala SS is an economy car.
It has a price tag in the $22,000 range, but when you consider
all the equipment that comes is included, it is understandable
why the car is in demand.
Chevrolet has built a special suspension that has 17-inch
tires as a foundation. The car has specially tuned shock
absorbers and coil springs, plus front and rear stabilizer bars.
This keeps the 4,200-pound beauty in check when pushing it over
About the only thing "old" on this newest Chevy is the choice
of paint. It goes back to the days of Henry Ford when all Model
T's were black. But on the Impala SS, black is exotic. With the
exception of the aluminum wheels and the Impala SS emblem,
everything is solid black. The clear coat finish provides a high
gloss shine, which really catches the eye.
Inside is another one-color choice: gray leather. The seats,
door panels, armrest and steering wheel are all covered with a
soft leather that gives the car a luxurious appearance. This
appearance is not misleading, the car comes loaded with all the
things anyone would want in a car - all standard equipment.
The Impala SS uses the PASS-Key II, a theft-deterrent system.
Unless the special coding on the key matches the code inside the
lock, there is no way the car can be started.
The SS has dual air bags. The controls for all the systems
feature large,soft, rounded knobs that are easy to grasp and
turn. The air conditioner uses the CFC-free refrigerant. The
car has four-wheel anti-lock disk brakes, power door locks, power
seat on the driver's side, power windows and mirrors. Passengers
in the rear seat have their own reading lamps, and magazines or
maps can be stored in a leather pouch on the backrest of the
The front seats are large and deeply contoured, which make it
seem like a more expensive car. About the only thing I didn't
like was opening the front doors. They didn't open as wide as
most other cars. I suppose the restricted opening makes it
easier after getting in the car to reach out and grab the handle
to pull the door shut. Nevertheless, it seemed a bit awkward
getting in and out without having a fully-opened door. It would
probably seem like a moot point after getting used to it.
This sedan has a large trunk. It also features the net to
hold shopping bags, which might slide well into the deep trunk
and be difficult to reach.
Speaking of difficulties, if you're interested in this car,
you may have difficulty getting one. It is a limited edition
Chevrolet that will no doubt have a lot of takers.
***** MODEL: Chevrolet Impala SS
VEHICLE TYPE: Four-door sedan
MILEAGE: 17 city, 25 highway
GRAPHIC: Photos (A, color), A) The all new Impala SS needs the
wide tires mounted on 17-inch wheels to handle the 260
horsepower.; B & C) Some "luxury cars" could learn about comfort
and convenience from the interior of the Impala SS. The gas cap
is hidden behind the license plate.; D) A 5.7-liter,
260-horsepower engine, linked to an electronic four-speed
automatic transmission, moves the big car with great rapidity.,
All By Bert V. Goulait/The Washington Times