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NEW CHEVY SHOW CAR CREATES A STIR

 WARREN, Mich., Jan. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- A mystery car, derived from Chevrolet's Caprice and dubbed the "Impala SS," was publicly unveiled today during the press days of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
 Since it was shown at this year's Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association (SEMA) convention in Las Vegas a few weeks ago, Chevrolet has been deluged by inquiries and questions from auto writers and aftermarket manufacturers about the company's plans for the car.
 "People want to know if we actually plan to produce and sell it," said Jim Perkins, Chevy's general manager. "That wasn't the idea. All we were trying to do was tweak the interest of the automotive aftermarket, but based on the reaction we're getting I guess we ought to at least consider its potential."
 Perkins, a self-professed car nut, is obviously pleased with the reception the car has gotten. "But I'm enough of a realist to know that making snap decisions about something like this can get you into trouble," he said. "We're going to dig in and find out if there's really a market for it before we make any decisions."
 The Impala SS is actually a Caprice LTZ underneath, a sporty version of the Caprice that utilizes the drivetrain and suspension from the car's police equipment package. The LTZ was honored as Motor Trend's Car of the Year when it debuted in 1991.
 Jon Moss, Chevrolet's specialty vehicle guru, said turning a regular Caprice sedan into a saleable version of the Impala SS wouldn't be all that difficult. "Most of the equipment that's on the car is already available on the Caprice," Moss said. "The special appearance items would be easy to add -- and the package wouldn't have to cost an arm and a leg."
 The one-of-a-kind Impala SS is outfitted with the much-heralded 300-HP LT1 Corvette engine and a 4-speed automatic transmission -- a powertrain combination similar to the one already available with the Caprice LTZ. Using that as a base, Moss and John Cafaro, GM Design Staff, proceeded to create a new grille, deck lid spoiler and monochromatic paint scheme for the car. They also created some small inserts that change the appearance of the rear quarter windows.
 To give the Impala SS a more aggressive look, Moss and Cafaro added 17-inch aluminum wheels, P275 Goodyear GS-C radial tires and lowered the car two inches. "We'd have to raise the car back up a couple of inches to conform to bumper height laws in most states," Moss said. "But that really wouldn't change the overall appearance very much."
 To enhance the appearance of the car's interior, Moss and Cafaro went to the parts bin and dug out some bucket seat tracks available in the Caprice police package. They used two production driver's seats with soft gray leather, and created a console between the front bucket seats. Satin black paint replaced all wood grain on the instrument panel and door trim. The digital speedometer is the same one used in the LTZ and police car equipment packages.
 -0- 1/5/93 R
 /CONTACT: Tom Hoxie of Chevrolet, 313-492-8836/
 (GM)


CO: Chevrolet Motor Division ST: Michigan IN: AUT SU: PDT

483 01-05-93 15:56 EST JG-ML -- DE032R -- 1987 01/05/93 22:54 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 5, 1993
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