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

winding roads.



    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

front seat.



    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.



    MOTOR MATTERS



    ***** MODEL: Chevrolet Impala SS



    VEHICLE TYPE: Four-door sedan



    PRICE-AS-TESTED: $23,631



    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