It looked like a regular family saloon, but thanks to GM’s 5.7-litre LT1 V8 under the bonnet, the 1994-1996 Impala SS was basically a four-door Corvette.

First seen as a concept in 1992 at the Detroit Auto Show hiding an 8.2-litre V8, the production version Chevrolet didn’t quite retain the large motor — but the 350 cubic inch powerplant mated to a four-speed auto produced 260 horses and 450Nm of torque. That was almost as much power as the C4 Corvette (it was detuned in the Impala) but it was a powerhouse and  came with the C91 police package which added four-wheel ABS-equipped disc brakes, a modified suspension along with sticky Z-rated tyres to help drivers tame it. It also packed a high-capacity cooling system, dual exhaust, a transmission cooler and a limited-slip diff. Even though it was rather portly, it could hit 100kph from rest in 7 seconds and handled very well thanks to the beefed up chassis. What was a bog-standard family car of the Nineties — derived from the Caprice and built on the B-body platform — was now suddenly on the lips of performance enthusiasts. With barely visible Impala SS emblems, 17in five-spoke alloys and available only in dark shades of green, cherry or jet black, it was the ultimate sleeper of the decade.

Today, it can be had for as little as Dh15,000  (it was Dh150,000 new) making this, the last of the rear wheel drive Impalas and one of Chevy’s most historic vehicles, a real bargain.

 

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