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1996 Impala SS

When the original Chevrolet Super Sport debuted in the mid-'60s, "four on the floor" and a chrome-plated tachometer were the hallmarks of a "cool" car. Both of these features were found on the 1996 Impala SS, but with a high-tech twist. The Impala SS had a new floor-mounted shifter to control its sophisticated four-speed automatic transmission. A new analog tachometer kept tabs on its powerful LT1 V-8.

The heart of the Impala SS was again the Corvette-derived 5.7-liter LT1 V-8 with sequential fuel injection (SFI) recalibrated to deliver 260 hp at 5000 rpm and 330 lbs.-ft of torque at 2400 rpm. It came mated to the GM electronically controlled 4L60-E four-speed automatic transmission, which harnessd the LT1's potent performance with smooth and precise shift points. A 3.08:1 final-drive ratio and a limited-slip differential helped provide quick acceleration.

The 1996 Impala SS was more than just a one-dimensional stoplight sensation. A special ride and handling suspension derived from the Chevrolet law enforcement package, coupled with quick-ratio power steering (12.7:1 vs. the standard 15.3:1 ratio), added an impressive level of agility for such a spacious sedan. Specially tuned de Carbon gas-pressure shocks--a luxury normally found only on Europe's finest cars--provided impressive dampening to maintain critical road feel. Tuned front and rear stabilizer bars were also fitted to help flatten cornering.

The Impala SS again wore aggressive P255/50ZR-17 speed-rated tires, along with lightweight 17 x 8.5-inch, five-spoke cast-alloy wheels. Standard four-wheel, ventilated disc brakes (12-inch diameter front and rear) and a four-wheel anti-lock brake system (ABS) allowed the Impala SS to stop as confidently as it went.

The 1996 Impala SS continued with the three monochromatic paint schemes of 1995 and production included 19,085 Black cars, 12,180 Dark Cherry cars, and 10,676 Dark Gray Green cars. Body-color front and rear fascias, rocker moldings, door handles, key locks, tail lamp moldings and an antenna base were used. To add to its svelte style, body-side moldings, read deck-lid moldings and external ornamentation were deleted. The Impala SS also sported a body-color grille, body-color 3-D Impala SS scripts along its flanks, a unique rear deck-lid spoiler and "stylish" Impala emblems on the sail panels and rear deck lid.

The interior was designed for driving enthusiasts. Deeply contoured front bucket seats were outfitted with gray leather seating surfaces, as was the full-width rear seat. The 1996 Impala SS incorporated a rugged steel safety cage that surrounded the entire passenger compartment, along with front and rear crush zones.

Impala SS filled a unique market niche for an affordable, full-size, highly styled performance sedan. Unfortunately, although the 1996 model enjoyed a nice sales boost, General Motors management decided to end production of rear-wheel-drive sedans at the end of the 1996 model year.

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