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Simple Chevy Impala SS Pontiac G8 and GTO K&N Performance Upgrades

Chevrolet introduced the Super Sport (SS) package in 1961 on the full-size Chevy Impala model. In 1961 the SS badging truly represented a performance package with more Chevy Impalapowerful engine options, upgraded wheels, tires, suspension, and brakes. For 1961 the SS package was available on Impala coupes, sedans, and even station wagons. The legendary Impala SS continued until 1969 with the Impala SS427 signaling the end of Chevrolet’s full-size performance car until 1994.

Because of the large number of engine, carburetor and performance packages offered during early Impala SS production, it’s best to use the K&N vehicle search tool to find the specific stock replacement air filter needed. Of course, the performance of any of these V8 powered early Impala SS models can be improved with the addition of a variety of different K&N custom air cleaner custom air cleanerassemblies designed for stock 2-barrell and 4-barrel carburetors as well as aftermarket 4-barrel carbs.

Twenty years ago Chevrolet brought back the Impala SS for just three short years. In 1994, 1995, and 1996 a new Chevy Impala SS powered by a 5.7L LT1 V8 engine derived from the Corvette could be purchased. The seventh generation Impala SS had sport tuned suspension, larger disc brakes, and dual exhaust normally only found in the Caprice 9C1 police package. The 5.7L Chevy small block engine and other mechanical upgrades had previously only been available in the B-Body platform, such as the Chevy Caprice, to law enforcement and government agencies. Performance of the last rear wheel drive Impala SS can be helped along by replacing the restrictive disposable air filter with a high-flow K&N air filter 33-2057, or step up to a K&N air intake air intake systemsystem. A K&N air intake system for 1994-1996 Chevy Impala SS 5.7L models reduces air intake restriction and on the dyno showed an estimated power gain of nearly 19 horsepower at the rear wheels.

General Motors discontinued its full-size car rear wheel drive platforms following the 1996 model year. When the Impala reemerged in 2000, it did so as a front wheel drive car only available as a sedan. Although a V8 engine was not available in the eighth generation Impala, Chevy did produce an Impala SS powered by a supercharged 3.8L V6 engine capable of producing a reasonable 240 horsepower. 2006 ushered in the ninth generation Chevy Impala, and with it came a new V8 powered Impala SS. It’s noteworthy that the 2006 Impala SS was the first V8 in a front-wheel-drive Chevrolet and the first V8 in a Chevrolet sedan since the 1996 Impala/Caprice. Rated at 303 horsepower, the ninth generation Impala SS is said to be capable of acceleration from 0-60 in 5.6 second.

K&N Air intake systemThe supercharged 2003, 2004, and 2005 Chevy Impala SS 3.8L V6 can be outfitted with a high-flow K&N air filter 33-2141-1 for improved performance or a guaranteed horsepower increase with K&N short ram intake 57-3045. 5.3-liter V8 powered 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009 Impala SS models can receive similar performance improvements with a high-flow K&N air filter 33-2334, or K&N short ram intake 63-3059. When installed on an otherwise stock 2006 Chevy Impala SS 5.3L, this K&N air intake system provided an estimated 13.48 more horsepower and an estimated gain of 13.56 lb-ft of torque.

Meanwhile in Australia the GM subsidiary known as GM Holden LTD, was producing a rear wheel drive sedan named the Commodore, and its coupe variant called the Monaro. The former GM North America Chairman fought to import a version of the Monaro following excellent Car and Driver reviews, and complaints that this particular GM car was not available in North America. After much internal debate GM officials agreed to bring the Holden Monaro to the United States and at the same time revive the legendary Pontiac GTO. The 2004, 2005, and 2006 Pontiac GTO was first powered by a 5.7-liter LS1 V8 capable of 350 Pontiac GTOhorsepower. In 2005 displacement was bumped up to 6.0L and with it came another 50 horsepower. Lukewarm sales resulted in the discontinuation of the Holden Monaro based fourth generation GTO. However, in a time when the Chevy Camaro and Pontiac Firebird were absent from GM offerings, it represented the only performance coupe available in the U.S. from General Motors besides the Chevy Corvette.

K&N offers performance upgrades for the 2004, 2005, and 2006 Pontiac GTO with either the 5.7L or 6.0L V8 engine, in the form of a high-flow K&N air filter, or a K&N short ram intake system. 2004 GTO models can upgrade to K&N air filter 33-2289, or choose between two K&N air intakes. Part number 57-3044 comes with a black Pontiac GTO Air Intakerotomolded air intake tube, and part number 69-7200TP uses a mirror-like aluminum air intake tube instead. Similarly 2005 Pontiac GTO 6.0L owners can choose between high-flow K&N air filter 33-2314, or K&N air intake systems, numbers 57-3053 and 69-7201TP. 2006 model year Pontiac GTO models have a high-flow air filter 33-2314 available or the option of a K&N short ram intake 63-3053 that made an estimated additional 13.96 more horsepower on an otherwise stock vehicle.

Not too discouraged by the discontinuation of the fourth gen GTO, Pontiac was back at it again in 2008 with another rebadged Holden. This time however, Pontiac targeted the performance sedan market with a Holden Commodore based car known in North America as the Pontiac G8. The G8 was Pontiac’s first rear-wheel-drive full-size sedan since 1986. The G8 had an optional 6.0L V8, and in 2009 a GXP version of the G8 was offered with a 415 horsepower 6.2L LS3 V8 engine. Sadly, a down turn in the global economy hurt sales of the G8 and as part of the GM bail-out, came the discontinuation of the Pontiac make as a whole. 6.0L and 6.2L powered 2008 and 2009 Pontiac G8 and G8 GXP sedans can receive improved performance with a K&N performance air filter 33-2919. 2008 and 2009 Pontiac G8 6.0L models have the option of a K&N air intake system 63-3071 shown to make an estimated additional 11.88 more horsepower when tested on the dyno.

Holden VF CommodoreAs the health of General Motors recovered, so has interest in performance rear wheel drive cars. The Chevy Camaro made a triumphant return in 2010 and for 2014 Chevrolet introduced the SS model. Slotted in size between the Chevy Malibu and Chevy Impala, the Holden VF Commodore based Chevrolet SS is the first rear-wheel drive Chevy sedan since 1996. The SS is powered by a 6.2L V8 from the Chevrolet Corvette and the 2009 Pontiac G8. The 2015 model year Chevrolet SS can now be equipped with a 6-speed manual transmission for full control of all 415 ponies, and comes standard with magnetic ride control. The similarity between the outgoing Pontiac G8, and the new Chevrolet SS means that the same washable and reusable K&N performance air filter designed for the G8 will also fit the 2014 Chevrolet SS. As with the K&N air filter, the K&N short ram intake system first tested on a 2008 Pontiac G8 will also provide a guaranteed increase in horsepower for the 2014 Chevrolet SS. When K&N air intake 63-3071 was tested on a 2014 Chevrolet SS 6.2L the car saw an estimated increase of over 10 horsepower, and almost 9 lb-ft of torque. A K&N short ram intake system provides one of the best performance bangs for the buck, and can usually be installed using basic hand tools in around 90 minutes.

The performance car market segment is full of sports coupes, small, and even mid-size cars from U.S., European, and Japanese automobile manufacturers. While a BMW 5-Series, or Chevy Corvette offer incredible performance, they might not suit everyone’s taste. There is something about driving a full-size V8 powered car that can’t be explained, it just needs to be felt. For those enthusiasts out there that prefer a big-body sedan, K&N has your performance parts and performance upgrades covered.




Press Release Supplied By: K&N Filters

Website: www.k&


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