1996 CHEVY IMPALA SS BACKGROUND
The 7th-generation Impala SS ran from 1994 through 1996, and was nearly identical to the show car that Chevy revealed at the 1992 Detroit Auto Show, but powered by a Corvette-derived 5.7 LT1 V8 instead of the show car’s 500ci V8. The 1996 Chevy Impala SS was the final year of what was essentially a high-performance Caprice. They started with the Police Package (9C1), formerly unavailable to civilians. The package includes sport-tuned suspension with reinforced shocks and springs, a high-capacity reverse-cooling system, a larger transmission cooler, larger 4-wheel disk brakes, a high-capacity electrical system, and dual exhaust.
1996 CHEVY IMPALA SS STYLING CUES
The 1994 through 1996 Chevy Impala SS’s got unique styling cues designed to differentiate it from plebeian Caprices. Body-colored trim, a unique single-bar grille, the absence of a hood ornament, a rear-deck spoiler and unique 17-inch alloy wheels shod with 255/50ZR17 all-season Z-rated tires were the main differences. The introductory ’94 model was available in black only. For the ’95 model year, they added Dark Cherry Metallic and Dark Gray Green (my personal favorite).
BELOW: The 1996 Chevy Impala SS was available in three colors for the first time. It came in Black, Burgundy or Gray-Green, as pictured below. Gray-Green is the most rare of the three, and a very handsome color. Most are black.
1996 Chevy Impala SS INTERIOR
1996 CHEVY IMPALA SS INTERIOR
Only one interior was offered on all 1994 through 1996 Chevy Impala SS’s. Gray leather. All came with bucket seats and a center console and leather-wrapped steering wheel. “SS” logos were embroidered into the front-seat headrests. Overall it was a very handsome, comfortable and functional cabin. Interior changes for the 1996 Chevy Impala SS over the previous 2 model years were that the shifter was moved from the column to the console, and the analog speedo and tach were replaced with digital units.
1996 CHEVY IMPALA ENGINE
The 5.7-liter V8 was pulled from the Corvette and detuned slightly to it’s output of 260-horsepower. This same engine made 300hp in the Corvette and 275hp in the Camaro. The disparity came from the Impala‘s use of cast-iron heads instead of the Corvette’s and Camaro’s aluminum heads and a milder cam, tuned more for low-end and midrange power. As the result, these 5.7 blocks have 2-bolt main bearings instead of the Corvette/Camaro engines’ 4-bolt mains. All 1996 Chevy Impala SS’s used the 4L60 4-speed automatic transmission, but for some reason, they didn’t beef it up to handle the added torque. Transmission failures were common at around 100,000 miles, unusual for GM automatics, known for their long life.