No new Chevrolet Impala until 2014 model year

Trevor Hofmann - CAP staff
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Chevy's Impala has been basically the same car since the launch of the front-wheel drive W-body 2000 model, although the 2006 model year update modernized the four-door sedan's styling and interior design significantly. Now, five model years later, modern isn't exactly the word one might want to use to describe Chevrolet's largest "flagship" sedan. We're halfway through 2011 in car years, with 2012 models already starting to show up at auto shows, and the Impala wasn't really a serious retail competitor when the 2006 model entered the picture. What to do?

Nothing. OK, the 2012 model will get an updated V6, but the car itself will have to soldier on unchanged until a replacement arrives in 2013 for the 2014 model year, says a report from GMInsideNews.

The 2012 Impala will come fitted with General Motors' 3.6-litre V6 connecting through to a six-speed automatic transmission, the car's 3.5- and 3.9-litre V6 engines going the way of the dodo. The powertrain swap will go miles to improve the Impala's fuel economy, so police department and taxi cab fleet managers can collectively rejoice.

As for you, the buying public, the 2014 Impala will likely be based on GM's highly touted Epsilon II architecture, which currently underpins the much-lauded Buick LaCrosse and Buick Regal, the latter in short-wheelbase (SWB) form, as well as the Opel Insignia (Germany) that inspired the Buick models, plus the new Saab 9-5. The Malibu, the current large sedan of choice in the bowtie lineup, uses Epsilon I platform architecture and is expected to migrate to Epsilon II when it gets updated next year. Chevrolet will lengthen and likely widen the Impala over the new Malibu, and dress up the interior to do battle with other full-size sedans from the mainstream brands it competes with, namely the Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger, Ford Taurus, Hyundai Genesis, Nissan Maxima, and Toyota Avalon.

All bets are on that Chevrolet will take the next two years to bring a flagship sedan to market that restores the Impala name to its former lustre in the same fashion that Ford did with its Taurus. In the meantime, the creation of the unique and separate Chevy-badged Caprice police cruiser based off of the old Pontiac G8, will go far in making the next Impala more retail friendly.

©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Sedan, Chevrolet, 2012, Impala, $20,000 - $29,999,

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