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1958 Chevrolet Impala Coupe
of General Motors
|Body and chassis|
|This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. (December 2009)|
1958 Chevrolet Impala Coupe
of General Motors
|Body and chassis|
The Chevrolet Impala is a full-size automobile built by the Chevrolet division of General Motors introduced for the 1958 model year. Deriving its name from the southern African antelope, Chevrolet's most expensive passenger model through 1965 had become the best-selling automobile in the United States, competing against the Ford Galaxie 500 and the Plymouth Fury when full-size models dominated the market. The Impala was distinguished for many years by its symmetrical triple taillights. The Caprice was introduced as a top-line Impala Sport Sedan for the 1965 model year becoming a separate series positioned above the Impala in 1966, which itself remained above the Bel Air and Biscayne. The Impala continued as Chevrolet's most popular full-size model through the mid-1980s. Between 1994 and 1996, Impala was revived as a muscular 5.7-liter V8–powered version of the Caprice Classic sedan. In 2000, the Impala was re-introduced again as a mainstream front-wheel drive full-size sedan.
Ed Cole, Chevrolet's chief engineer in the late 1950s, defined the Impala as a "prestige car within the reach of the average American citizen."
The Impala name was first used for the full-sized 1956 General Motors Motorama show car that bore Corvette-esque design cues, especially the grille. Painted emerald green metallic, with a white interior, the Impala featured hardtop styling. It is not known to have survived. Clare MacKichan's design team, along with designers from Pontiac, started to establish basic packaging and dimensions for their shared 1958 General Motors A body in June; the first styling sketch that would directly influence the finished Chevrolet product caught the eye of General Motors Styling vice president Harley Earl in October. Seven months later, the basic design was worked out.
|Body and chassis|
|Related||Chevrolet Bel Air, Chevrolet Biscayne, Chevrolet Brookwood, Chevrolet Nomad, Chevrolet Parkwood|
|Engine||235 cu in (3.9 L) Blue Flame I6|
283 cu in (4.6 L) Turbo Fire V8
348 cu in (5.7 L) W-series Turbo Thrust V8
|Transmission||3-speed (close-ratio) manual|
3-speed overdrive manual
2-speed Powerglide auto.
The Impala was introduced in 1958 and positioned as top of the line Bel Air coupes and convertibles. From the windshield pillar rearward, the 1958 Chevrolet Bel Air Impala differed structurally from typical Chevrolets. Hardtops had a slightly shorter greenhouse and longer rear deck, giving the impression of an extended body.
It was a change from the 1955–1957 shape that was itself a substantial move away from the conservative Chevrolets of past years, longer, lower, and wider than its predecessors. The sharp tailfins of the 1957 gave way to deeply sculptured rear fenders. Three taillights each side would become an Impala hallmark whereas lesser models had two and wagons just one. Special crossed-flag insignias sat above the side moldings plus bright rocker moldings and dummy rear-fender scoops. 1958 was the first year of dual headlamps.
Underneath this new body was a new chassis. The standard perimeter-type frame was abandoned, replaced by a unit with rails laid out in the form of an elongated "X." Chevrolet claimed that the new frame offered increased torsional rigidity and allowed for a lower, yet still roomy passenger compartment. In this design, a transitional step between traditional construction and the later fully unitized body/chassis, the body structure was beefed up in a number of areas (most notably the rocker panels and firewall) to create a solid package. However, this frame was not as effective in protecting the interior structure in a side impact crash, as a traditional perimeter frame.
With a six-cylinder engine, a Chevrolet Bel Air Impala started at $2,586, while $2,693 bought a V8. In all, 55,989 convertibles and 125,480 Sport Coupes were built, 15 percent of production. Interiors held a two-spoke steering wheel and color-keyed door panels with brushed aluminum trim. No other series included a convertible. Impala signaled Chevrolet's entry into the mid-price field, even if the design was less radical than planned. In addition to style and vigorous performance, ads marketed its "quick, eager-to-please handling that lets you know you're the boss."
New-for-1957 Ramjet fuel injection continued to be available as an option for the Turbo-Fire 283 V8. 1958 Impalas equipped with this option are rare and highly desirable as collector cars.
Longer, lower, and wider—a recurrent theme-all Chevrolets had either a full-coil or air ride suspension, displacing the old rear leaf springs. A new "Safety Girder" X-type frame reduced height without headroom loss. A 283 cu in (4,640 cc) engine was now the standard V8, with ratings that ranged from 185 to 290 horsepower. A big-block 348 cu in (5,700 cc) Turbo-Thrust V8 was a new engine option, descended from a truck engine putting out 250 hp (190 kW), 280 hp (210 kW), or 315 hp (235 kW). The 1958 Chevrolet Bel Air Impala helped Chevrolet regain the number one production spot in this recession year.
1959 Chevrolet Impala Convertible Coupe
|Body and chassis|
|Related||Chevrolet Bel Air, Chevrolet Biscayne, Chevrolet Nomad, Chevrolet Brookwood, Chevrolet Parkwood, Chevrolet El Camino|
|Transmission||3-speed (close-ratio) manual|
3-speed overdrive manual
2-speed Powerglide auto.
The 1959 Chevrolet Impala was radically reworked sharing bodyshells with lower-end Buicks and Oldsmobiles as well as with Pontiac, part of a GM economy move, Chevrolets rode a wheelbase 11/2 inches longer than before. Atop a new X-frame chassis, roofs sat three inches lower, and bodies measured more than two inches wider overall. The growing size contributed to increased curb weight, one more trend of the times. Its tailfins protruded outward rather than upward. Auto tester Tom McCahill, of Mechanix Illustrated, declared that a Chevy's decklid had "enough room to land a Piper Cub." Chevrolet eschewed the triple-taillight rear style this year with a very large, single controversial "teardrop" taillight at each side.
Impala was now a separate series, including a four-door hardtop and four-door sedan, as well as the two-door Sport Coupe and convertible. Sport Coupes featured a shortened roofline and wrap-over back window, promising a "virtually unlimited rear view" to complement the car's new compound-curve windshield. The hardtop Sport Sedan had a huge, pillar-free back window and "flying wing" roofline. Base V8 was the carryover 283 cu in (4,640 cc), at 185 hp (138 kW) horsepower. Performance fans could select 280 cu in outputs to 290 hp (220 kW) – or turn to the big-block 348 cu in (5,700 cc) V8 up to 315 hp (235 kW). With a V8, the Impala convertible listed at $2,967, but a six-cylinder version saved the customer $118. Impala interiors flaunted their top-of-the-line status, offering front and rear armrests, an electric clock, dual sliding sun visors, and crank-operated front ventipanes. A contoured instrument panel held deep-set gauges residing below hoods to prevent glare. A Flexomatic six-way power seat was a new option, as was "Speedminder" (a device which allowed the driver to set a needle at a specific speed; a buzzer would sound if he exceeded this pre-set speed).
The 1960 models created a more conservative look than was seen on the 1959 models and were simply toned down a bit. Stylists and marketers realized that the fin-and-chrome fashion had about run its course decided to shift direction, creating a more conservative face-lift. The effect was helped by reinstating three modestly sized round taillights on each side of the top-of-the-line Impala. Up front the nostril air intakes above the headlights were deleted completely. More abundantly chromed than Bel Airs or Biscaynes, Impalas found buyers more easily, with better than 490,000 built. Impalas displayed nonfunctional air-intake scoops, plus a white band running along the rear fender. Four body styles vied for customers: Hardtop Sport Sedan, Sport Coupe, Convertible Coupe, and Four-Door Sedan. The Impala Convertible Coupe at $2,847 led the line.
Drivetrain choices were slightly reduced to seven V8s in 283- or 348-cu in size. Top choice was the 348 cu in Super Turbo-Thrust Special, breathing through triple two-barrel carburetors and using 11.25:1 compression and dual exhausts to put out 335 hp (250 kW). More modest versions of the 348 yielded 250 to 320 hp (190 to 240 kW). The carbureted Turbo-Fire 283 cu in V8 could have either 170 hp (130 kW) or 230 hp (170 kW). Fuel injection was no longer an option on full-size Chevrolets. New to the options list was speed and cruise control, the first time such a device was offered on a low-price automobile.
Right-hand drive cars were made in Oshawa, Canada, for New Zealand, Australia and South Africa and assembled locally from CKD or SKD kits. The RHD dashboard was a mirror image of the 1959 Chevrolet panel and shared with equivalent RHD Pontiac models. Australian models were assembled by hand on the GMH Holden assembly lines.
1961 Chevrolet Impala Convertible Coupe
|Assembly||United States: Arlington, Texas, (Arlington Assembly)|
|Body and chassis|
The Impala was restyled on the GM B platform for the first time in 1961. The new body styling was more trim and boxy than the 1958–60 models. Sport Coupe models featured a "bubbleback" roof line style for '61, and a unique model, the 2-door pillared sedan, was available for 1961 only. It was rarely ordered and a scarce collectible today. The rare Super Sport (SS) option debuted for 1961. This was also the last year the top station wagon model would bear the Nomad name. Power brakes were $43.
The 1962 model featured new "C" pillar styling for all models except the 4-door hardtop. Sport Coupe models now featured the "convertible roof" styling, shared with other GM "B" full-size hardtop coupes. This style proved extremely popular, and contributed to the desirability of the '62–'64 Impalas as collectibles. The "overhang" roof style of the sedans was replaced with a more attractive, wider "C" pillar with wraparound rear window. Engine choices for '62 settled down, the 348-cubic-inch (5.7 L) V8 discontinued and replaced by the 340 brake horsepower (250 kW) 409-cubic-inch (6.7 L), which could be ordered with any transmission. The small-block 283 was enlarged to 327 cubic inches (5.4 L), which added more engine choices for small-block fans. The Beach Boys produced a hit single, "409," referring to the Chevy, which became an iconic song for these cars. Impalas again featured premium interior appointments, plusher seats, and more chrome trim outside, including a full-width aluminum-and-chrome panel to house the triple-unit taillight assembly. Super Sport (SS) models featured that panel in a special engine-turned aluminum, which was also used to fill the side moldings, making the SS more distinctive in appearance. Impala also gains the top station wagon after the Chevrolet Nomad is gone. Due to reliability problems, the optional Turboglide automatic transmission was discontinued, leaving Powerglide the only automatic transmission available until 1965. A new radio was optional.
Among collectors, the 1963 Impala is the most popular for its body style, though it was almost mechanically identical to the 1962 model. The 1963 Impala's distinctive body style has crisp lines with pointed front and rear fenders which emphasize the long, low style of car design popular in the early 1960s. The rear taillight panel was aluminum, and was surrounded by a chrome border with the engine-turned surface on SS models. Engine choice was similar to '62, with the small-block 283-cubic-inch (4.6 L) and 327-cubic-inch (5.4 L) V8s the most popular choices. The Sport Sedan featured a new, creased roof line that proved popular. A new "coved" instrument panel was good-looking, but replaced the temperature gauge with "idiot lights" for hot and cold engine conditions. An optional factory tachometer was built into the dash, just above the steering wheel. It was rarely ordered, but gave the Super Sport models an extra feel of sportiness.
For 1964, the Impala was slightly restyled, reverting to a more rounded, softer look. The signature taillight assembly had an "upside-down U" shaped aluminum trim strip above the taillights, but the lights themselves were surrounded by a body-colored panel. The 409-cubic-inch (6.7 L) returned as the big-block option, as well as the 2X4 carburetor setup for the 425 horsepower motors. SS models continued to feature the engine-turned aluminum trim. Rooflines were carried over from '63 unchanged. Back-up lights were standard.
Right hand drive cars were made at GM's Oshawa plant in Canada and often shipped overseas in kit form for assembly in South Africa and New Zealand. The RHD cars – Chevy or equivalent Pontiac (built on Chevrolet frames and using Chevy engines in Canada)– all used a RHD version of the LHD 1961 Pontiac dashboard.
|Body and chassis|
|Related||Chevrolet Caprice, Chevrolet Bel Air, Chevrolet Biscayne|
Totally redesigned in 1965, the Impala set an all-time industry annual sales record of more than 1 million units in the U.S., which has never been bettered. All new full-size Chevys eschewed the "X" frame for a full-width perimeter frame, a new body which featured curved, frameless side glass (for pillarless models), sharper angled windshield with newly reshaped vent windows, and redesigned full-coil suspension.
In 1965 Chevrolet introduced the Impala Caprice, exclusively as a four-door hardtop. Caprices received unique tufted upholstery, wood grained accents on the dashboard and specialty pulls on the insides of the doors. This "halo" model also featured the "spinner" wheel covers from the Impala SS, with the "SS" logo centers replaced by a Chevy "bowtie" emblem. The Super Sport's blackout rear trim strip below the triple taillights was also used, with the "Impala SS" emblem deleted of course. The Caprice Custom was reintroduced as the Chevrolet Caprice in 1966, taking the top position in the full-size Chevrolet lineup. Engine choices included the inline six-cylinder as well as the famous Chevy small-block and big-block V8s. Automatic buyers were given the option of the newly introduced three-range Turbo Hydra-Matic transmission for the newly introduced Mark IV big-block engine, displacing 396 cubic inches. The old 409-cubic-inch (6.7 L) "W" engine was discontinued early in the 1965 model year, so early-production '65s got the 409, as well as 1/10 of 1% had the 396 CID big-block. Moreover, other later-built cars had the 396-cubic-inch (6.5 L) as the big-block option with significant horsepower drawback. Two-range Powerglide, as well as Synchro-Mesh 3- and 4-speed manual transmissions were available. As with previous years, Impalas featured more chrome trim inside and out, with pleated tufted upholstery and door panels. The Impala would be the #2-selling convertible in the U.S. in 1966, with 38,000 sold; it was beaten by the Mustang by almost 2:1.
The 1967 model was redesigned with enhanced Coke bottle styling which featured Corvette-inspired front and rear fender bulges. The curves were the most pronounced with the 1967–68 models. In keeping with federal regulations, safety features were built into Impalas during the 1967 and 1968 model years, including a fully collapsible energy-absorbing steering column, side marker lights, and shoulder belts for closed models. A black 1967 Sport Sedan 4-door hardtop was used in the television series Supernatural, and as such, this model has seen a substantial increase in value to collectors.
The 1968 model was facelifted with a new front end, The new rear bumper housed triple "horseshoe" shaped taillights. 1968 also saw a new Impala model, the Custom Coupe. This two-door hardtop featured the same formal roofline as the Caprice Coupe. It was a huge commercial success and would be continued right through 1976.
By 1969, the muscular "Coke Bottle" look had become passe for full-size Chevys. The 1969 Impala and other full-sized Chevrolets got new slab-sided bodies with a small "upsweep" at the rear quarter window, giving them a more formal appearance. The emphasis was clearly on making the Impala look bigger, even though it retained the 119" wheelbase from previous models. New front bumpers that wrapped around the grille and horizontal taillights in the rear bumper made it look wider. Ventless front windows were used on all models. Chevy had a rudimentary "power vent" system featuring vents in the instrument panel, but it wasn't the pressurized system that became standard on all 1971 big GM cars. The vent windows had provided excellent ventilation at highway speeds, but at the expense of wind noise. Eliminating them saved money on each car produced, kept the interiors quieter at highway speeds, and no doubt encouraged more check marks on the order sheets for the high-profit air conditioning systems that were becoming increasingly popular. The ignition switch was moved from the instrument panel to the steering column, and when the key was removed, the steering wheel and shift lever were locked. All 1969 GM cars except the Corvair got this change, one year ahead of Federal regulations. The hardtop Sport Coupe got a new, crisply styled notchback roofline, replacing the "fastback" C-pillar from 1967–68. During the 1969 model year Impala production topped Caprice production by 611,000 units. The similar 1970 Impala got a minor facelift featuring a more conventional under the grille bumper replacing the wrap-around unit used in 1969 along with new triple vertical taillights in the rear bumper. Canadian buyers got the choice of a lower priced companion to the Impala Sport Coupe, the Bel Air Sport Coupe, which used the same body but featured Bel Air trim.
Right Hand Drive cars were manufactured in Canada for export to some countries such as Australia, UK, etc., until 1969. They used a version of the 1965 Impala dash panel - without provision for a radio and installed in a dash moulding made of fibreglass, not metal, - until 1969. Radios (centrally mounted) and heaters were locally sourced and wipers parked in the centre of the screen. Australian models were assembled in Australia from kits as this lessened tax on the cars. The Australian cars had locally-sourced amber flashing rear indicators replacing the clear reversing lenses as red flashers were banned there. For New Zealand assembly, the bodies were supplied from Canada already welded, painted and trimmed.
In 1961, the Impala SS (Super Sport) was introduced to the market. The SS badge was to become Chevrolet's signature of performance on many models, though it often has been an appearance package only. The Impala's SS package in 1961 was truly a performance package, beginning with the 348-cubic-inch (5.7 L) V8 engines available with 305 horsepower (227 kW), 340 horsepower (250 kW), and 350 horsepower (260 kW) or the new 409-cubic-inch (6.7 L) V8, which was available with up to 425 horsepower (317 kW). Unlike all other years, the 1961 Super Sport package was available on any Impala, including sedans and station wagons (the sales brochure shows a 4-door hardtop Sport Sedan with the SS package). The package also included upgraded tires on station wagon wheels, springs, shocks and special sintered metallic brake linings. Only 142 '61 Impala Super Sports came from the factory with the 409, making it a most rare and desirable collectible. Starting for the 1962 model year, the Impala SS was an appearance package limited to hardtop coupe and convertible coupe models, available with all engines in the Impala series starting with the base 235-cubic-inch (3.9 L), 135 horsepower (101 kW) inline-6 through 1967, though the big-block engines and heavy-duty parts could still be ordered. In 1967–69, an additional model, the SS427, was available.
The Super Sport was known as Regular Production Option (RPO) Z03, from 1962–63, and again in 1968. From 1964 through 1967, the Super Sport was a separate model, with its own VIN prefix (168, versus the 164 for the regular Impala). 1962–64 Super Sports came with engine-turned aluminum trim, which was replaced by a "blackout" trim strip in '65 which ran under the taillights. 1965 Super Sport exteriors differed only slightly from regular Impalas. Rocker panel trim was deleted. "Super Sport" scripts replaced the "Impala SS" badges. The new center console housed a rally-type electric clock, and full instrumentation now included a vacuum gauge. A total of 243,114 Impala SS coupes and convertibles were built for 1965.
The 1966 Impala SS was face-lifted with a revised grille and new rectangular taillights that replaced the triple round units. A chrome beltline strip shared with regular Impalas was added in response to complaints about door dings on the clean-lined 1965s. Inside were new Strato bucket seats with thinner and higher seatbacks, and a center console with an optional gauge package available. Sales of the 1966 Impala SS dropped by more than 50% to around 117,000 units; this was mainly due to the sport/performance car market switching from full-sized models to intermediates (including Chevy's own Chevelle SS396 and Pontiac GTO), along with the emerging market for the even smaller pony car market created by the Ford Mustang in 1964 that Chevrolet would respond to with the Camaro for 1967.
The 1967 Impala SS was less decorated than other Impalas; Super Sports had black grille accents and black-accented body-side and rear fender moldings. Lesser models leaned more toward brightwork inside and out. Buyers could choose either vinyl bucket seats with a center console, or a Strato-Bench seat with a fold-down center armrest. Standard wheel covers were the same as the optional full covers on other big Chevys, but the centers featured the "SS" logo surrounded by tri-color ring of red, white and blue. "Chevrolet" and "Impala" callouts on the body were all replaced by attractive "Impala SS" badges. Of the 76,055 Impala SS models built, just 2,124 were ordered with RPO Z24, a special performance package that included RPO F41 heavy-duty suspension and other performance goodies, RPO L36 (385 brake horsepower (287 kW) Turbo-Jet 427-cubic-inch (7.0 L) V8, as well as a special trim package that replaced the "Impala SS" badges with large "SS427" emblems on the front grille and rear trim. The Z24 package also included a special hood with fake chrome-plated intake. Only about 400 Super Sports had a six-cylinder engine. in 1967–1968, 390 brake horsepower (290 kW) in 1969) or L72 (425 brake horsepower (317 kW)) in 1968–1969. Special SS427 badging, inside and out, was the rule, but few were sold since muscle car enthusiasts were looking toward big-block intermediates such as the Chevelle SS396 and Plymouth Road Runner. A car that has won a special place in the hearts of many fans of the TV show Supernatural is the Impala 1967. It is the lead character Dean Winchester's beloved car that has also become an honorary character on the show due to the fans and cast and crew's love for it.
In 1968 as Caprice sales escalated, those of the Impala Super Sport suffered a decline. Much of this drop in sales was no doubt due to the availability of big-block engines in the mid-sized (and lighter) Chevelle, and even Novas could be special-ordered with the 396-engine with the new-for-'68 body. No longer a separate series, the Super Sport was a mere $179 option package (Regular Production Option Z03) for the two Impala coupes and the convertible. Only 38,210 Impalas were so-equipped, including 1,778 with the Z24 package, which was carried over from 1967. In 1968 only, SS427s could be ordered without the Z03 SS package, which meant SS427 equipment but no bucket seats, SS door panels, or center console. The Z03 Impala SS could be identified by "Impala Super Sport" badges on the front grille, rear fenders and trunk lid. Z24-optioned cars included "SS427" emblems to replace the "Impala Super Sport" badges, a special layered "pancake" hood, and three "gills" mounted on the front fender aft of the wheel well à la Corvette Stingray.
Because of their rarity, Z24 cars command a much higher price on the collector-car market today. Although many owners tried to "clone" regular Impalas into SS427s, the unavailability of the special hoods and other trim items (on the '67 and '68 cars) makes this a difficult (and expensive) process to successfully execute.
In 1969, the Impala SS was available only as the Z24 (SS427), coming exclusively with a 427-cubic-inch (7.0 L) V8 of 335 brake horsepower (250 kW), 390 brake horsepower (290 kW), or 425 brake horsepower (317 kW). This was the final year for the Impala SS until 1994. The 1969 Impala SS was often considered a "sleeper" in that there was no distinctive SS badging inside the car except for an "SS" logo the steering wheel (again, there was no Z03 offered that year), and a true 1969 Z24-optioned car is the rarest and most collectible of any year with this package available. Like the '68s, the Z24 could be ordered on the Impala convertible, Sport Coupe, or Custom Coupe. 1969 was the last year that the Impala SS was offered with the Z24 package, but the only year in which front disc brakes and 15-inch (380 mm) wheels were standard; that made the 1969 SS427 mechanically better than the previous versions in standard form. Therefore, the potential buyer of an advertised 1969 SS427 that has 14-inch wheels and/or drum brakes in front, would be aware that such a car may not be an authentic Z24 original. Although sales of 1969 Z24-optioned Impalas increased to approximately 2,455 units from the 1,778 Z03-optioned units of 1968, and high-powered big-block V8 engines continued to be available, there would be no Impala SS for 1970. The 427 was also replaced on the engine offerings list by a new Turbo-Jet 454 producing 390 hp for 1970.
|Body and chassis|
The Impala remained Chevrolet's top-selling model with the fifth generation. A high-performance big block V8 was still available in the form of the Turbo-Jet 454, which produced 365 hp in 1971, but power decreased as the years went along. The 1971 redesigned B-body would be the largest car ever offered by Chevrolet. The hardtop Sport Coupe continued to be offered; it was a smoothly sloped semi-fastback reminiscent of the 1961 "bubbletop" styling. A three-speed manual transmission remained standard at the beginning of the year, but in the spring of 1971 all V8-equipped full-size GM cars got Turbo Hydra-Matic as standard equipment. Interestingly, Powerglide remained optionally available for six-cylinder cars until the 1973 models. In keeping with their huge size, these new "B" body Chevys were close to Cadillac in luxury features, styling, and ride. No doubt many were confused upon seeing a '71 Impala for the first time, thinking it was a Cadillac Eldorado.
The 1972 model introduced a grille which extended below the bumper. Powertrains consisted of mostly V8 engines. The 250 inline six was still standard for Sport Coupe and 4-door sedan models; the 350 2bbl V8 became the standard engine from 1973–1976, with 350 cubic inches (5.7 L), 400 cubic inches (6.6 L), 402 cubic inches (6.6 L) (through 72) or 454 cubic inches (7.4 L). The best-selling body style was the Custom Coupe. Beginning in 1972, all engines were designed to run on unleaded gasoline. 1972 saw the last Impala convertible; it sold 6,456 copies, placing fourth with just under 9 percent of the market, right behind the Corvette 6,508, ahead of the Mustang's 6,401.
1973 Chevrolets featured a larger, shock-absorbing front bumper due to new federal mandates which required 5-mile-per-hour (8.0 km/h) impact protection. New taillights were mounted in the (still) conventional rear bumper. This was the first year of the Caprice Classic convertible. Tweaks to the suspension and frame gave better roadability, according to Chevrolet general manager John Z. DeLorean. Steering wheels and instrument panels were color-keyed to interior colors, as opposed to the matte black used in 1971–72. The inline six-cylinder engine was now offered on the Bel Air 4-door sedan only, and only with the 3-speed manual transmission. Interiors had repositioned front seats for more legroom.
In 1974, the rear bumper was redesigned with shock absorbers to meet the upgraded standards and new tail lights were featured. The front end was also freshened as in previous years, with a new grille and headlight bezels, a new header panel, and a bumper with a drop down center section. The marker lights moved back up beside the headlamps once again. This was the only year of the 1971–1976 models the Impala had a different front end design than the Caprice Classic, as other years used either a grille insert or previous year Caprice front to distinguish the two. The rooflines of the Impala coupes were also revised. For 1974 the Custom Coupe was no longer a hardtop, with large fixed rear quarter glass and a thick B-pillar. The Sport Coupe, still a pillar-less hardtop, now used larger roll-down quarter glass like that of the 1971–73 Custom Coupe, and had a narrower, fastback style, flat back window. Sedans used carryover body shells from previous years.
A limited-edition Spirit of America package was offered in 1974 on Sport Coupe models; primarily an appearance package, it featured white or blue body paint, a white full vinyl top, white upholstery with red or blue trim, color-keyed seat belts and floormats, special wheel covers, optional white rally wheels, sports-styled dual remote outside rear view mirrors, a vinyl body side molding insert, and red pin-striping. Special fender and dashboard badges announced the package to passers-by and passengers. Chevy also offered Nova and Vega Spirit of America versions as well.
The 1975 Impala used a 1974 carried-over Caprice front end, with a grille insert and emblem change. The Caprice model was revised with a new front end with a swept back style header panel with recessed headlight buckets, a new hood, and new fenders. Also in 1975 upholstery, door panels and the dashboard were revised as were the radio and climate control graphics. Speedometers read up to 100 miles per hour (160 km/h), and added kilometers per hour. 1975 officially debuted a High Energy or HEI Ignition system, however it was installed on some 1974 cars as a clandestine option. Catalytic converters were also introduced as were several new options, including an Econominder gauge package (which also included a coolant temperature gauge), intermittent wipers, and a divided 50–50 bench seat with passenger-side recliner (with a choice of sport cloth or vinyl trim). This was the final year of the full-size Chevrolet convertible. Four door models got new rooflines; the hardtop Sport Sedan got a small triangular "opera window" carved out of the wide roof panel.
A Landau model available for 1975–1976 models featured a landau vinyl roof (with a chrome band across the roof), a choice of special paint colors, sports-styled dual remote outside rearview mirrors, color-keyed wheel covers, a vinyl bodyside molding insert, and pin-striping. Inside were color-keyed seat belts and floormats. Fender and dashboard emblems rounded out the package. The 2-door hardtop model (dubbed the "Sport Coupe") was discontinued after 1975, leaving redesigned Custom Coupe, with its wide "B" pillar and fixed rear window, the only 2-door Impala available in 1976. This body style had been introduced for the 1974 model year, a precursor to Detroit's complete abandonment of pillarless body styles before the end of the Seventies. 1976 Impalas used a previous year Caprice nose, with a new "egg crate" grille insert. The Impala had round headlamps while the Caprice used the new quad rectangular ones.
1981–1985 Chevrolet Impala 4dr Sedan
|Body and chassis|
|Wheelbase||116 in (2,946 mm)|
The changes in the automobile marketplace resulted in Chevrolet redesigning the Impala once again in 1977 to meet changing demands. The new downsized Impalas were shorter in length, taller and narrower than before. The new Impala's frame was a shortened version of the one introduced in 1971 and would be utilized until 1996 when the B-body production line was shut down. Even with its trimmer exterior dimensions, the new Impala featured increased headroom, rear-seat legroom and trunk space. Production of the downsized model increased substantially over 1976, and the Impala regained the number one US sales position. The redesigned 1977 Impala/Caprice was named Motor Trend's car of the year.
Pillarless hardtops were discontinued, the result of rumors of federal rollover standards looming in the near future. The 1977–1979 coupes sported a double bent tempered rear window similar to the 1987 Chevrolet Monte Carlo Aerocoupe. In 1980, all new sheet-metal was used, although the body style remained similar.
|1976–1977 Comparison||1976 Impala||1977 Impala|
|Wheelbase||121.5 in (3,086 mm)||116.0 in (2,946 mm)|
|Overall Length||222.9 in (5,662 mm)||212.1 in (5,387 mm)|
|Width||79.5 in (2,019 mm)||75.5 in (1,918 mm)|
|Height||53.7 in (1,364 mm)||55.3 in (1,405 mm)|
|Front Headroom||38.9 in (988 mm)||39.0 in (991 mm)|
|Front Legroom||42.5 in (1,080 mm)||42.2 in (1,072 mm)|
|Front Hip Room||59.3 in (1,506 mm)||55.0 in (1,397 mm)|
|Front Shoulder Room||63.8 in (1,621 mm)||61.1 in (1,552 mm)|
|Rear Headroom||38.0 in (965 mm)||38.2 in (970 mm)|
|Rear Legroom–ins.||38.8 in (986 mm)||39.5 in (1,003 mm)|
|Rear Hip Room||59.7 in (1,516 mm)||55.7 in (1,415 mm)|
|Rear Shoulder Room||63.8 in (1,621 mm)||61.1 in (1,552 mm)|
|Luggage Capacity||18.9 cu ft (535 L)||20.9 cu ft (592 L)|
Engine availability was reduced in 1977; the inline-6 was reintroduced with 110 horsepower (82 kW). Options included 267-cubic-inch (4.4 L) and 305-cubic-inch (5.0 L) V8 engines. The 350-cubic-inch (5.7 L) V8 engine was optional in some years. Oldsmobile's 350-cubic-inch (5.7 L) V8 diesel engine also was available. Starting in 1980, the inline 6 was replaced by a generic 229 cubic-inch V6, originally from Buick but installed in numerous GM models of different divisions.
The Impala and the upscale Caprice sold well into the early 1980s. The Impala was reduced to the base model full-size Chevrolet and was popular with fleet usage – including taxi and police pursuit vehicles but was discontinued in 1985, while the Caprice continued unchanged until 1990. Upon the demise of the Impala, the base model full-size Chevrolet was rebranded Caprice starting in 1986, with the upper models being called the Caprice Classic and Caprice Classic Brougham.
1995 Chevrolet Impala SS 4-door sedan
|Production||February 14, 1994–December 13, 1996|
|Assembly||United States: Arlington, Texas, (Arlington Assembly)|
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||4-door sedan|
|Engine||5.7 L (350 cu in) LT1 V8|
|Transmission||4-speed 4L60-E automatic|
|Wheelbase||115.9 in (2,944 mm)|
|Length||214.1 in (5,438 mm)|
|Width||77 in (1,956 mm)|
|Height||54.7 in (1,389 mm)|
|Curb weight||4,036 lb (1,831 kg)|
In 1991, the GM B platform was extensively redesigned, though it retained the same shortened frame design of the 1977 redesign. The Impala SS badge was resurrected at the 1992 Detroit Auto Show as a concept car designed by GM designer Jon Moss. The concept car was two inches lower to the ground than the regular Caprice, and was powered by a 8.2-liter (500 cu in) engine. Eventually, the concept car's engine was replaced with a 5.7-liter (350 cu in) engine derived from the Corvette in order to show the public what would be offered if put into production (an off-road specification 510-cubic-inch (8.4 L) V8 was eventually put into the engine bay of the prototype years later).
The 1994 Impala SS went into production on February 14, 1994 at GM's plant in Arlington, Texas, and was almost identical cosmetically to the concept car, the only noticeable change being the chromed bowtie logo on the grill (vs a red logo on the concept). The car was, in essence, a high-performance version of the Caprice. From a mechanical standpoint, it used the Caprice 9C1 police package as its base and as such got most of the equipment formerly available only to law enforcement and government agencies. This included a sport-tuned suspension with reinforced shocks and springs, a high-capacity reverse flow cooling system (derived from the Corvette's LT1), larger four-wheel disc brakes, transmission cooler, dual exhaust, a higher-output electrical system, and other minor mechanical alterations. Not all of the police equipment was carried over however, as the Impala SS did not get the external oil-to-air engine oil cooler, nor were all the body mounts secured (the standard Caprice and Impala SS were assembled at the factory with the front 3 body mounts missing one of the rubber cushions, while the 9C1 was assembled with all rubber cushions in place), although both are popular aftermarket additions to the Impala SS by their owners.
The Impala SS was uniquely fitted with a standard 3.08 gear. The limited-slip rear differential was standard (as opposed to the option G80 on Caprices) and the suspension was an inch lower. A retuned LT1 5.7-liter (350 cu in) small-block V8 was standard on the Impala SS, making 260 horsepower (190 kW) and 330 pound-feet (450 N·m) of torque (retuned from the prototype's 300 horsepower (220 kW) rating). The primary difference between the LT1 in the Impala and the LT1 that was in the Corvette and Camaro was that the Impala engine was fitted with cast-iron cylinder heads instead of aluminum ones, and a camshaft that was designed more for low-end torque than high-end horsepower. Another difference was that the Impala LT1 had 2-bolt main bearing caps while the Corvette LT1 had 4-bolt main bearing caps. The transmission used in the car was the 4L60E, which was an electronically controlled version of the previously hydraulically controlled 4L60. However, the transmission was not beefed up for the power of the LT1, and transmission failures after 100,000 miles (160,000 km) were commonplace. A manual transmission was never available in the 1994–96 Impala SS. However there is a growing trend of replacing the 4L60-E transmission, with the T-56 (6-speed manual) from the Camaro and Firebird using aftermarket kits. Alternatively, a popular enhancement was the addition of a shift-kit and/or a more aggressive torque converter. Several other cars in the B/D-body line also shared a similar powertrain: these were the Chevrolet Caprice, Buick Roadmaster, and the [D-body] Cadillac Fleetwood which all shared the LT1 engine and 4L60E automatic transmission.
Cosmetically, the Impala SS received body-colored trim, which helped reduce the sometimes "bloated" look of the standard Caprice, a unique single-bar grille with no hood ornament and, a rear deck spoiler. It was fitted with 17-inch (430 mm) brushed aluminum wheels with 255/50ZR17 all-season Z-rated tires. Inside, the car came with a central console with cup holders (1994 and 1995 models) and a storage compartment, leather seats embroidered with the Impala SS logo, and a standard leather-wrapped steering wheel. For the 1994 model year, it was available only in black with a gray interior. Due to a shortage of the unique five-spoke aluminum wheels (manufactured by ROH in Australia), only 6,303 cars were sold. However, the wheel shortage was remedied for the 1995 model year and 21,434 cars were sold.
In 1995, Dark Cherry Metallic and Dark Grey Green were added as exterior color options, and the body paneling on the rear quarter panel was altered to reflect the cosmetic effect formerly achieved by a window insert. Another change from 1994 was the placement of the side mirrors from pods attached to the door to a larger format attached to the 'A' pillar. 1996 was the last year of production with 41,941 units sold. The 1996 Impala SS production went late into the model year; the last one being produced on December 13, 1996. It saw minor interior alterations, with the digital speedometer being replaced by an analog one, along with a tachometer. The shifter was moved from the column to the center console, and the engine was given an OBD-II computer control system (the camshaft was reground to adjust for the new computer).
A special ceremony was held at the plant on December 13, 1996 for M.G. "Pinky" Randall, a Chevrolet collector from Houghton Lake, Mich., who bought the last Impala SS. When Randall drove the car with the dark cherry-metallic paint off the line, he was accompanied by County Judge Tom Vandergriff in the front passenger seat. In the back seat were Mayor Richard Greene, plant manager Herb Stone and Lonnie Morgan, president of United Auto Workers Local 276, which represents about 1,900 of the plant's 2,100 employees. "I didn't think this last car would get publicity like this," said Randall, 69. The Impala becomes the 46th vehicle in Randall's Chevrolet collection.
The entire B-body line, consisting of the Chevrolet Caprice, Impala SS, and Buick Roadmaster, was discontinued by General Motors, as GM wanted more assembly lines to be able to produce more profitable SUVs. Another fact was that the Caprice was the only B-body with a market share since fleet sales to law enforcement outnumbered sales of all other B-bodies.
Chevrolet Impala LS
|Assembly||USA: Minneapolis, Minnesota, (Minneapolis Car Assembly)|
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||4-door sedan|
|Platform||W-body 2nd Gen|
|Wheelbase||110.5 in (2,807 mm)|
|Length||200.0 in (5,080 mm)|
|Width||73 in (1,855 mm)|
|Curb weight||3,465 lb (1,572 kg)|
The Impala name was resurrected for the 2000 model year as the "Hi-Mid" program to replace the Lumina. Based on the Lumina's W-body platform, it was built at Oshawa Car Assembly in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada. Unlike the earlier Impalas built on a B-body, this one was front-wheel drive and was available with a choice of two 3.8L V6 engines, and slightly smaller 3.4L V6 engine. A new Impala SS with a supercharged V6 was brought out for the 2004 model year.
The Impala was available in two trim levels from 2000 to 2003. The base model came equipped with cloth bench seats, steel wheels, the 180 horsepower (130 kW) 3.4 liter (204 cu in) LA1 V6, and a 3-gauge instrument cluster. The LS came factory-equipped with cloth bucket seats upgradeable to leather with center console and floor shift, color-keyed "Impala" door scripts and trunk badge, anti-lock brakes, traction control system, keyless remote entry, integrated foglamps, aluminum wheels upgradeable to alloy wheels, rear spoiler (optional on the base models), 4-gauge instrument cluster, and the larger 200 horsepower (150 kW) 3.8 liter (231 cu in) L36 V6. Options available on all models included a sunroof, OnStar system, rear decklid spoiler, Driver Information Center with built-in HomeLink system, heated power front seats, and 16 inch 1990s SS-inspired wheels. All options found or available on the LS were available on the base model. All models came equipped with power windows, door locks and mirrors.
The 2004 to 2005 Impala SS came equipped with the 3.8 liter (231 cu in) supercharged L67 V6 engine. It was rated at 240 horsepower (180 kW) and had been previously used in the Pontiac Grand Prix GTP, Buick Regal GS, Buick Riviera, and H-body Pontiac Bonneville SSEI and Buick Park Avenue "Ultra". The lightweight front-wheel-drive sedan was actually quicker than the vaunted 1990s Impala SS, with 0–60-mile-per-hour (0–97 km/h) times pushing 6.5 seconds compared to the earlier model's 7.1 second 0–60 time. To commemorate Chevrolet's long relationship with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Indianapolis 500 race, a limited edition (4,088 produced) Impala Indy SS was offered in 2004 featuring black grille with gold Chevrolet bowtie emblem which would be carried over to all Impala models in 2005, various Indy logos on exterior and interior, 17" chrome wheels, gauge cluster package, and more.
Also released with this version were the Police Package first released in 2000 and Undercover Police Package first released in 2001, named 9C1 and 9C3, respectively. Available only to law enforcement agencies, fire departments, and EMS agencies, it has had more success than its predecessor, the Lumina 9C3. The 9C1 was basically a base model with a stronger suspension and the 3.8 liter (231 cu in) V6 engine. It was only available in a few basic colors. Another addition was the "SURV MODE" switch which replaced the fog light switch found on the LS. This enabled the driver to turn off all lights in the vehicle and "hide"; something not allowed with the civilian models as automatic headlights were standard. The 9C3 was comparably equipped to the 9C1, but the ability to add other convenience options and more paint and interior choices set the 9C3 apart.
|Production||2005-2013 and 2013-2014 as Impala Limited|
|Model years||2006–2013 and 2014 as Impala Limited|
|Assembly||Canada: Oshawa, Ontario, (Oshawa Car Assembly)|
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||4-door sedan|
|Platform||W-body 3rd Gen|
|Wheelbase||110.5 in (2,807 mm)|
|Length||200.4 in (5,091 mm)|
|Width||72.9 in (1,851 mm)|
|Height||58.7 in (1,491 mm)|
|Curb weight||3,764 lb (1,707 kg)|
The 2006 Impala was introduced at the 2005 Los Angeles Auto Show. Like the Buick LaCrosse, this model uses the updated GM W platform. The base engine is a 3.5 liter (214 cu in) V6 producing 211 hp (157 kW) and 214 lb·ft (290 N·m) of torque at 4000 rpm. The new Impala features new taillights, different from the four-circle style of the previous generation.
The most notable news about the model, though, is the SS model's use of the Generation IV small-block V8 in a front-wheel-drive Chevrolet for the first time, and the first V8 in a Chevrolet sedan since the 1996 Caprice: the new 5.3 liter (325 cu in) V8 (with Displacement on Demand, now called Active Fuel Management or AFM) produces 303 horsepower (226 kW). With the use of the 5.3 liter LS4 V8, the Impala SS is capable of a 5.6 second 0–60-mile-per-hour (0–97 km/h) time and a quarter-mile time of 14.2 seconds traveling at 101 miles per hour (163 km/h). The car is 200.4 inches (5,091 mm) long, 58.7 inches (1,491 mm) high, and 72.9 inches (1,851 mm) wide.
Available trim levels are LS, LT, LTZ, and the aforementioned SS. LS became the base model. Six-passenger seating was only available as an option on the LS and LT models. Leather upholstery was standard on LTZ models and optional on LT models. The interior has been completely redesigned. The 2006 Impala featured a wood trim center console with chrome accents on all major control buttons. The dashboard featured a chrome Impala logo embedded in the wood grain trim that runs across the front of the vehicle and onto the doors. The new control knobs found throughout the vehicle's cockpit are similar to those found in the new Buick models as well as the Cadillac DTS, all of which feature a similar center console. Another interior revision is the location of the cupholders, which are now concealed beneath the midsection of the vehicle's center console.
The LS was the base model. It offered steel wheels with wheel covers (later alloy wheels), an AM/FM stereo with single-disc CD player, auxiliary input jack, and six speakers, keyless entry, air conditioning, cloth seating surfaces, and your choice of two front bucket or a single front bench seat.
The LT was the mid-range model. It offered alloy wheels, MP3 playback capabilities, and optional front heated seats.
The LTZ was the most luxurious model. It offered leather seating surfaces that were heated, an AM/FM stereo with six-disc CD/MP3 changer in the dash and a Bose eight-speaker premium sound system, a power sunroof, security system, and OnStar.
The SS was the top-of-the-line model until 2009. It offered a 5.3L V8 engine, leather-and-suede seating surfaces, eighteen-inch machined-finished alloy wheels, and unique SS badging. Due to its unpopularity, the SS trim was discontinued in 2009, leaving the LTZ as the top-of-the-line model for 2010.
In 2007, the Impala received the FlexFuel 3.5-liter V-6 and Flex Fuel rear badge for the LS, LT, LTZ, & Touring. A new 3.9-liter V-6 with Active Fuel Management was available. The SS retained the same drivetrain and did not receive the FlexFuel feature due to the high-performance nature of the powertrain. A tire-pressure-monitoring system, cruise control and a CD player were standard on all models, and a factory spoiler was an available option. The LT had 16-inch, five-spoke alloy wheels. The generation-7 OnStar system with turn-by-turn navigation was included when the available directions and connections service was selected. The SS had standard leather-appointed seats and XM Satellite Radio, with XM being optional on LS, LT, and LTZ trims. A new Luxury Edition package featuring leather seating, folding rear seat, and rear spoiler was offered on the LT. There were four new exterior colors—Precisions Red, Imperial Blue Metallic, Bordeaux Red, and Red Jewel Tintcoat, as well as a Regency-outfitted "Impala RSS". The RSS included aggressive wheels, front/rear bumper and rocker panel extensions, a spoiler and various interior upgrades.
To commemorate the Impala's 50th year, a 50th Anniversary Edition was introduced in Spring 2008. Based on the LT, it added: FE3 Sport Suspension (replacing the FE1 Touring Suspension), four-wheel ABS, eighteen-inch SS-style alloy wheels (replacing the 16-inch wheels), rear SS style spoiler, "50th Anniversary" Impala badges on the C-pillars, two-tone, leather-trimmed seats with "50th" logos embroidered on the front headrests, eight-way power-adjustable driver seat, leather-wrapped steering wheel with accent-color threading including audio controls, ebony carpet, ebony floor mats with accent threading, "50th" Anniversary emblems on the sill plates and a choice of two premium exterior colors: Black Granite Metallic and Red Jewel Tintcoat A Luxury Edition package was again available on the LT and now also featured leather-wrapped steering wheel, steering wheel mounted audio controls, traction control, and anti-lock brakes.
For the 2009 model year, the Impala received three new exterior colors: Victory Red, Silver Ice Metallic, and Aqua Blue Metallic the brushed aluminum dash applique was no longer available. All models used the previous SS style spoiler (actually phased in for the late 2008 model year). The Touring trim level was discontinued for 2009. Leather seating was no longer available in combination with the 40/20/40 split bench front seat. The Active Fuel Management feature remained on the 5.3L V8 with a 14 gallon gas tank for the SS model, but was no longer available on 3.9L V6 for the LT and LTZ models. A sun and wheel package was available on 1LT models included power sunroof, overhead console with Homelink and 17" aluminum wheels. A Bose Premium Audio System was now part of the Luxury Edition package offered on LT models. Thorax side-impact air bags were standard.
For the 2010 model year, the Impala was the only GM W-body car in production, although the eight-cylinder SS model was discontinued. LT models included fog lights and once again offered an optional Luxury Edition package. The 3.9L V6 was no longer available for the LT model. Three new exterior colors were available: Summit White, Cyber Gray Metallic, and Aqua Blue Metallic, and four exterior colors were deleted. The (PDG) convenience package, AM/FM stereo with 6-disc in-dash CD changer, and trunk cargo net were no longer available. The Impala emblems on rear sail panels as well as the rear decklid badge on LS models were deleted. Early '10 models had the lower front-side GM badges but were also later deleted.
For the 2011 model year, Impala returned in LS, LT, and LTZ trims. Available engines were a 3.5 L V6 (LS or LT) or a 3.9 L V6 (LTZ only). A Luxury Edition package was again an option on the LT and featured leather heated seats, 6-way power front passenger seat, Bose Premium Audio System, XM radio, auto-dimming rearview mirror, Universal Home Remote, outside heated power mirrors, and rear spoiler.
The 9C1 and 9C3 models were based on the LS model, yet offered steel wheels or steel wheels with wheel covers, optional rubber flooring, preparation for police equipment such as sirens, radios, and lighting, special badging, and inoperable rear door handles, windows, and door locks. It also came with the option for a rear vinyl bench seat and front cloth bucket or bench seats, both cloth front and rear seats, or vinyl front and rear seats. It also offered preparation for a criminal cage to be installed between the front and rear seats. The foglamps seen on the LT, LTZ, & SS were optional in 2008 & stayed as an option until 2012 which did away with that option. The 9C1 & 9C3 also had the option of having the spoiler seen on the LT, & LTZ until being replaced by the spoiler that is on the SS & other models in 2009. The police sedans received the FlexFuel in 2008 feature to compete against the Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor, which also received a similar feature allowing it to utilize E85. Also updated were the 9C1 and 9C3 trim levels for the Police Package models, which did not have the civilian SS's 303 horsepower (226 kW) V8 engine, but used the 3.9 liter (237 cu in) V6. Police Sedans utilized the SS radiator and cooling system as an upgrade from the standard 3.9 liter engine (used in the Impala LTZ). GM did not wish to design a specific radiator and cooling system to equip a low-production V8 police vehicle. Also, the heavy-duty steel wheels were not redesigned, and as such, the Police Sedan used the original center caps or the older style wheel covers from the 8th generation model. The 9C1 and 9C3 were equipped with an external trunk lock tumbler starting in 2008. Neither feature was available for the civilian version of the car. The 9C1 and 9C3 police models had the standard wood grain for the 2006 model year until 2007 which was replaced by an aluminized interior trim. For the 2012 model year both the 9C1 & 9C3 have different end caps where the fog lamps are on the LT & LTZ trims on the front end bumper, received 17-inch wheels with new wheel covers, and the same LFX V6 that powers the civilian Impala, Caprice PPV and will be in the next generation model.
For the 2012 model year, the exterior received a slight refresh and 4 trims: a standard Impala, LS, LT, and LTZ. The 3.5 and 3.9 engines were dropped in favor of a single, 3.6 L LFX that delivers 302 hp (225 kW) and 252 lb·ft (342 N·m) of torque. The four-speed automatic transmission is also deleted in favor of a six-speed automatic. The Impala also received new packages, including the LS Uplevel package, LS OnStar and Bluetooth package, LT Sunroof package, LT OnStar package and the LT OnStar and Bluetooth package.
For the 2013 model year, the Impala was largely a carryover of the 2012 model. Available trims were once again LS, LT, and LTZ. It was the last retail Impala to be offered with optional bench seat and column shift transmission. A Luxury Edition package, last seen on the 2011 model, returned as an option on the LT and featured perforated leather seating surfaces, dual front heated bucket seats with driver's side 8-way and passenger's side 6-way power adjusters, inside rearview auto-dimming mirror, Universal Home Remote, outside heated power adjustable mirrors, Bose 8-speaker premium sound system, six-disc in-dash CD changer that played MP3 and WMA files, with Radio Data System, Sirius-XM satellite radio, and iPod and USB inputs, as well as an auxiliary input. Due to the early release of the all-new 2014 model, the 2013 Impala had an abbreviated model year.
The ninth generation model remains in production in LS, LT, and LTZ trim until 2016 as a rental, fleet, and police car only under the revised model name Impala Limited. The consolidated plant in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada will continue making the Impala Limited, along with the Chevrolet Equinox.
A 2014 Chevrolet Impala on display at the New York International Auto Show in April 2012.
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||4-door sedan|
|Platform||GM Epsilon II|
|Engine||2.4 L LUK Ecotec I4 eAssist|
2.5 L LCV Ecotec I4
3.6 L LFX V6
|Transmission||6-speed 6T70 automatic|
6-speed 6T40 automatic w/ eAssist
|Wheelbase||111.7 in (2,837 mm)|
|Length||201.3 in (5,113 mm)|
|Width||73 in (1,854 mm)|
|Height||58.9 in (1,496 mm)|
|Curb weight||3,800 lb (1,700 kg) Est with V6|
The tenth-generation Impala was updated for the 2014 model year, with sales and production launched March 4, 2013. It is the first American sedan in 20 years to earn Consumer Reports’ top score, with a score of 95 of a possible 100 points.
This new version, which was introduced at the New York Auto show in April 2012, is larger and more upscale than the existing model (sharing the extended Epsilon II FWD platform with the Cadillac XTS) to reduce price overlap between Impala and Malibu, similar to how the Ford Taurus and Ford Fusion are positioned in Ford's lineup. The current versions are being assembled in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada, alongside the ninth-generation Impala (now renamed the fleet and rental exclusive-only Impala Limited), and at the Detroit/Hamtramck Assembly in the U.S. All cars will feature a six-speed automatic transmission with sport and manual shifting modes.
On April 4, 2012, General Motors released a public media article covering the 2014 Chevrolet Impala at the New York International Auto Show. The new Impala is described by General Motors as "a reestablishment of a popular, enduring and iconic nameplate with a new outlook on style, comfort, efficiency, and safety". A new exterior and interior emphasizes Chevrolet's new design direction, and features a more fluid structure with sweeping body contours and a much-improved, flush, and flowing interior according to GM.
The tenth generation models were shipped to dealerships across North America on March 25, 2013, and officially went on sale to the public April 1, 2013. That same day regular production on the Impala (the 2.4L eAssist and 3.6L equipped versions/LT2 and LTZ2 trims only) began at their Oshawa plant, while production at GM's Detroit-Hamtramck plant (the 2.5L equipped versions/LS, LT1 and LTZ1 trims) started production on April 8 and arrived to dealerships in May. The eAssist versions went on sale in the fourth quarter of 2013.
|2.4L LUK Ecotec I4 with eAssist||182 hp (136 kW) @ 6700 rpm||172 lb·ft (233 N·m) @ 4900 rpm||35 Highway Est.|
|2.5L LCV Ecotec I4||195 hp (145 kW) @ 6700 rpm||187 lb·ft (254 N·m) @ 4900 rpm||Unavailable|
|3.6L High Feature LFX V6 flex-fuel||305 hp (227 kW) @ 6800 rpm||264 lb·ft (358 N·m) @ 5200 rpm||19 City / 29 Highway|
The 2015 Chevrolet Impala will run on CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) and Gasoline. Unveilied in October 2013 by General Motors CEO Dan Akerson. The Bi-Fuel Impala will be offered to both fleet customers an retail. It is the only full-size CNG vehicle manufactured in North America. The new Impala will join the Honda Civic as a rare CNG car to come straight from a major automaker and available for retail sales.
The 2015 Chevrolet Impala will have a 500-mile driving range. It will allow the driver to switch from Gasoline to CNG or from GNG to Gasoline at the push of a button. The gigantic GNG tank is located in the trunk of the car. The CNG tank takes up a good portion of the trunk.
In the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's crash tests, the 2000 to 2005 Impala was given a "Good" rating overall for good structural performance and no chance of any significant injury in a crash of its severity, except for maybe a minor lower left leg injury, such as a bruise or sprain. The 2006 to present Impala is given a lesser overall "Acceptable" score for front impact collisions. and a "Good" score for side impacts. Side curtain airbags are standard for front and rear rows; side torso airbags previously unavailable became standard on all trim levels beginning with the 2009 model year. GM made some minor structural enhancements to the Impala, beginning in December 2009; models produced after that received a "Good" in the IIHS frontal offset crash test.
In September 2009, a local news station's investigative team in Rhode Island discovered that GM's fleet customers who purchased the 2006–2009 Impala were able to order them with the side-curtain airbags deleted for a savings of $175 per vehicle. Because these fleets typically sell off their cars after two to three years of use, many of the Impalas that were built without side-curtains have gone on to become privately owned cars. Current owners may be able to tell if their car has side airbags by checking the VIN and/or by checking to see if "Air bag" is printed on the roof support between the front and back rows.
Another potential safety hazard, affecting Impalas of model years 2007 and 2008, is premature rear tire wear caused by defective rear suspension components. Police vehicles were upgraded to correct this defect and law enforcement agencies were compensated for expenses incurred for tire replacement, but civilian vehicles were not recalled. As a result, Impala owners launched a class action lawsuit in July 2011 against General Motors. In response, the current General Motors leadership claimed about a month later that they are not responsible to repair the defective vehicles manufactured pre-General Motors Bailout. Subsequently, in late September, a new lawsuit, disputing the GM response, was initiated by three of the estimated 400,000 Impala owners. (GM is also facing a similar legal dispute regarding a pre-bankruptcy upgrade to its OnStar system which left thousands of users without service in violation of their paid-up contracts.)
Automotive Fleet and Business Fleet magazines awarded the Impala the 2006, 2007, and 2008 Fleet Car of the Year.
In 2007, the Impala began to replace the Monte Carlo on the NASCAR stock car racing circuit; more specifically, on all the scheduled racing events where NASCAR has mandated the use of a car with different (and some) new specifications, better known as the Car of Tomorrow.
The Impala is also used to represent Chevrolet in the Nationwide Series.
The 2012 NASCAR season marked the end of use of the Impala nameplate on stock cars. Beginning in 2013, Chevrolet drivers will drive the Chevrolet SS for 2013 in Sprint Cup.
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