SOMEBODY CALL FOR MORE POWER?: CALLAWAY TURNS THE IMPALA SS INTO A SUPERNATURAL HONKER by John P. Cortez (Autoweek, 8/28/95)




   Callaway Cars, as usual, has its own salvo to fire in the

Horsepower Wars. Its latest creation is the SuperNatural Impala

SS, a 404-hp, 383-cubic-inch version of Chevrolet's lame-duck

sedan.



   A Virginia Chevy dealer who recently bought one told a

Callaway marketing guy that the car could use more power. ''When

it comes to power, some is good, more is better and too much is

just right,'' he said. And so the SuperNatural is merely better.

It certainly does not have too much power for our tastes; either

404 horses aren't enough to hammer this beast all the way home,

or Callaway's number is optimistic. This car is fast, but much

more noticeably so at speed than from a standing start. Callaway

claims 0-60 mph in 5.5 seconds, and 14.2 seconds through the

quarter-mile; compare this to our track numbers for a stock

Impala SS: 7.5 seconds from 0-60 mph, and a 15.8-second quarter. 



   You feel the power more, and forget how big the car is,

cruising the interstate. This car will get you from 70 mph to 95

faster than just about anything else so huge (4218 pounds). Punch

the throttle on your favorite freeway and your posterior gets to

know the back of the seat intimately.



   Power surges through GM's stock four-speed automatic

transmission, which will kick down into second with the least

provocation. But a manual tranny, as in Jon Moss' six-speed

310-hp Impala SS (AW, Oct. 31, 1994), would move the Callaway

closer to dream-car status. Because Chevy doesn't build them as

such, and Callaway can't afford to recertify the car for

emissions standards with a manual, no stick is available.



   Callaway's Impala rides low and looks mean, at least in black.

An add-on tach sits unobtrusively on the dash to the right of the

steering wheel. The stock digital speedometer remains.



   The SuperNatural engine, based on the 5.7-liter LT1 V8, is

also available for Roadmaster, Fleetwood and the rest of GM's

rear-drive sedans. It can be installed by Callaway, or any other

certified shop. The engine operates on the hot rodder's principle

that adding just the right amount of fuel to more air will result

in more power. Callaway's Honker SS intake system brings cooler

air to the manifold. The system's software measures the improved

airflow and provides the optimum air/fuel ratio, getting maximum

performance from cylinders that have been honed .03 inches over

stock to add an extra 33 cubes. As air leaves the free-flow

SuperNatural SS Exhaust system, you hear it in an exhaust

cacophony of NASCAR-like proportions.



   The suspension package includes Koni shocks and Eibach springs

that lower the car a noticeable half-inch. The car handles truer

than the stock version, thanks to a stiffer setup that makes the

big ol' body less anxious to roll.  The ride, on the other hand,

won't beat you up any more than the typical pony car's might. Fat

Goodrich 275/40ZR-17 Comp T/As make this Impala more sure-footed

than the stock version (315/35ZR-17s are optional at the rear). 

When it's time to stop the beast, front 13.1-inch Brembo vented

discs answer your foot's call. Rear brakes are standard 12.1-inch

vented discs (the stock brakes are 12-inch, front and rear).

Callaway claims its Impala will stop from 60 mph in 115 feet, 11

feet better than the stock Impala SS.



   All the improvements are available separately. The engine is

$14,878 installed, and the tires, brakes, suspension and tach

push the tab past $20,000. Add that to the price of a fresh

Impala SS, and the Callaway Impala reaches the mid-$40,000 range.



GRAPHIC: Callaway's SuperNatural system and a bit more

displacement make a whopping 404 hp in chevy's LT1 V8.