The 1994-1996 Chevrolet Impala SS is a key piece of American motoring history, with these beefy sedans making for sought-after collector toys nowadays. That means many examples only get to parade their old-school mechanical side on the boulevard, but what if somebody took such a classic to the Nurburgring?
In theory, the Green Hell, with its unforgiving series of corners and devilish drivers, many of whom approach these bends in track-prepped machines, is no place for a bulky four-door (4,200 lbs/1,900 kg) with recirculating ball steering, no matter how attractive those 17-inch alloy wheels and 350 ci (5.7L) V8 might appear.
Well, Russian-born Misha Charoudin, who’s done more laps than we dare count after relocating to the Nurburgring in the first part of the previous decade, comes to show that the slab of America can be used as a proper* Ring tool and without even sending the thing to the garage! And *that’s because he focused on the giggle-delivering part of the experience rather than attempting to impress the stopwatch or pass other drivers.
The infamous German track still hasn’t opened its doors for 2022 (just one more month of waiting for that). However, the Nurburgring resident, who also worked as a digital content creator for Rimac for about one year, has found the energy to edit a piece of footage he captured last year, with this showcasing the Chevy putting its 260 hp (264 PS) and 330 lb-ft (447 Nm) to work on the track.
Is the Chevrolet Impala SS the same as the Caprice police car?
The seventh-gen Impala, which only came in SS form, was basically a sleeker take on the era’s Chevrolet Caprice in Police Interceptor trim. The SS received most of the law enforcement package goodies, such as the sports suspension, beefed-up engine and tranny cooling, all-round disc brakes, and dual exhaust, albeit while skipping the police vehicle’s oil cooler and superior body mount securing.
If you’re displeased with your favorite modern performance sedan (Chevrolet SS, anybody?) going the way of the dodo because people are hooked on SUVs these days, keep in mind that the Impala SS was a victim of this almost three decades ago. However, in its short life, this vehicle enjoyed plenty of praise, while delivering some proper RWD might before GM switched to FWD for the following iterations of the Impala, which was retired for good in 2020.
Impala SS Nuburgring Lap
Misha kicked off the hot lap with just the kind of determination you’d expect, going up to 200 km/h (124 mph) at times. However, the brake fade (remember when the Ram TRX hit the Ring?) determined the driver to cut the throttle some slack once he passed the Fox Hole section, which is an aggressive a downhill descent leading straight into climb.
And while that recirculating ball steering meant Misha had to guess his way into corners rather than feel it, the aficionado felt the GM 4L60-E four-speed automatic performed better than expected.
So, if you’re curious how getting passed by everybody on the Nurburgring can still lead to a brilliant, giggle-loaded lap, the video below has you covered. Nevertheless, those of you who prefer to see this GM platform being tasked with ridiculously impressive straight-line matters, may wish to check out this Caprice “Boostmaster Wagon 2” brewed by engine builder Steve Morris. The machine rocks some 4,500 hp and is currently taking on the 2022 Sick Week drag racing event over in Florida.