Thursday, November 29, 2012
The 2014 Chevrolet SS recalls the full-sized, rear-wheel-drive Super Sports of the past
There are a few other ways to tell the three years apart. '94s had a plug in the rear quarter window that housed the chrome Impala emblem. This was a somewhat hasty way designers converted the pointed side glass on the Caprice. The feature became so popular that the kink was built into the sheet metal of all Impalas and Caprices for '95 and '96. '94 was also the only year the Impala had the smaller, pod type side mirrors attached to the doors. After that, larger mirrors were fastened to the window area.
’96 was the last year for the rear-wheel-drive Impala SS, because the Arlington, TX plant that built the GM B- and D-Body lines was converted to truck and SUV production.
After 1996, the Impala name went on hiatus, while the Lumina filled Chevrolet’s full-sized needs. But in 2000, the Impala returned, this time as a front-wheel-drive sedan. The newest Impala may not have appealed to enthusiasts, but sales skyrocketed, as the bread-and-butter consumer appreciated the Impala’s simple, reliable platform.
The Impala SS returned in 2004, this time equipped with a supercharged version of GM’s venerable 3800 V6. And some people might think I’m crazy, but I believe the LT1 V8 that came in the ’94-’96 Impalas, and the 3800 that was in many, many GM applications, are two of the best engines ever built.
The current Impala went into production in 2006. Still based on the W-Body platform like the previous generation, Chevrolet went to great lengths to improve fit, finish, materials, and quality throughout the car. The latest Impala takes quite a bit of heat because of its bland appearance, but that doesn’t stop millions of people from buying them. They are a great value, and like the Accords and Camrys of the world, they aren’t so extroverted that people will be scared away.
There was also an SS model during the current generation (now discontinued), that was equipped with a 5.3-liter, 303-hp V8. And if you ever have a chance to drive one of these, I recommend it. Let’s just say, the performance of this car will surprise you.
The latest Chevrolet SS racecar is one of the new-style cars that NASCAR is implementing for the 2013 season. It joins the 2013 Ford Fusion and the 2013 Toyota Camry with a look that is supposed to recall the cars that actually drive on the street. Of course, it is nothing like a street car, as these are purpose-built tube chassis race cars, but at least it helps justify manufacturer involvement in the eyes of NASCAR fans. And in a bit of irony, Dodge was actually the first company to reveal their new 2013 Charger race car, but later announced that they would end their involvement in the racing series.
Check them out for yourself below or at this link.