IMPALA SS PACKS MUSCLE, COMFORT AND STYLE by Richard Truett (Orlando Sentinel 7/16/95)




   For auto makers, there is danger in resurrecting a hallowed

nameplate from the past.



   Do it wrong and you could tarnish the reputation of a

time-honored classic and alienate the nostalgia buffs. 



   But get it right - as Chevrolet has done with the head-turning

Impala SS - and you'll get orders for more cars than you can

build.



   The Impala name first appeared on a Chevy Bel Air in 1958. It

became a separate model in 1961. Throughout the '60s, the Impala

SS (for Super Sport) came with large V-8 engines, offered

tire-smoking performance and boasted conservative but attractive

styling. The car was designed to appeal to middle-aged,

performance-oriented drivers.



   The model was discontinued after the 1969 model year.



   For the new Impala, Chevy's mechanics stuffed a Corvette

engine under the hood. Then they engineered a radical suspension

system and created a sporty interior. And finally, they designed

a unique exterior styling treatment with huge wheels, a special

grille and other cosmetic touches.



   The heart of the Impala SS is a Corvette LT1 V-8 engine and a

computerized four-speed automatic transmission. No other

drivetrain is available.



   Chevrolet rates the Impala's 350-cubic-inch V-8 at

260-horsepower, making it the most powerful four-door sedan on

the road for less than $25,000. The 1995 model is virtually the

same as the 1994 I tested.



   The car idles very smoothly and runs very quietly. And the

performance is civilized too.



   It is only when you step hard on the accelerator at a low

speed that you can hear the engine sucking in air as it winds up.



   When it comes to performance, the Impala SS delivers. Motor

Trend magazine says the Impala SS will make the trip from 0-to-60

mph in just 7.1 seconds.



   Incredible is the only word that can describe the way the

Impala SS slices through curves. No big car that I've ever driven

handles as competently as the Impala SS.



   The secret? A very firm and stiff suspension system that keeps

the body straight.



   Four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes are capable of hauling the

Impala SS to an effortless stop from high speeds.



   The test car was fully loaded. It came with power seats,

mirrors, windows and door locks, plus a CD player, air

conditioning and cruise control.



GRAPHIC: PHOTO: 1995 Chevrolet Impala SS.  CHEVROLET; PL: Not

returned; BOX: 1995 Chevrolet Impala SS; Base price: $23,210.;

Price as tested: $24,970.; Safety features: Dual air bags,

anti-lock brakes.; Engine: 260-horsepower, 350-cubic-inch

(5.7-liter), fuel-injected V-8 with two valves per cylinder.;

Transmission: Computer-controlled 4-speed automatic.; EPA rating:

17 mpg city/25 mpg highway.; Warranty: 3-year, 36,000-mile

bumper-to-bumper with no deductible.; Incentives: None.