Continued Marathon: 2012 Impala to Get New Engine
Impala to go largely unchanged until 2014.
February 7, 2011
By: Nick Saporito
Having been around since 1988, the General Motors W-Body platform has been well utilized in its tenure on the marketplace. After spawning dozens of GM sedans over the years only one W-Body continues to solider on, the Chevrolet Impala. While the ancient platform is remaining, the Impala is getting a new high-tech powertrain for 2012.
According to numerous sources, including dealerships, the 2012 Impala will have only one engine and transmission option. That singular option will be GM’s 3.6-liter V-6 mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. Dealerships state that the 3.6-liter is listed as the LFX, the all-new variant of the familiar 3.6-liter that is making its way into several 2012 GM products.
Once production of the Buick Lucerne ends later this year, the Impala will be the only remaining GM product to utilize the 3.5-liter and 3.9-liter ‘high value’ overhead-valve V-6 engines. As such, GM is probably seeing a cost advantage by dropping production of those two engines in favor of changing the Impala’s powertrain.
There have been conflicting reports about other changes to the 2012 Impala, however the latest word is that no other significant changes are being made to the car for the 2012 model-year.
Engineering sources tell GMI that GM’s six-speed transmissions would not fit in the W-Body platform when mated to the ‘high value’ V-6’s, but state that changes to the engine cradle could accommodate the 3.6-liter and six-speed combination.
The news of the 2012 changes come just as GMI was told that the next-generation Impala has been pushed back several more months. According to leaked Canadian Auto Workers union documents the next-generation Impala was supposed to launch in February 2013.
GMI’s sources state that as of last week the car (known as GMX-352) has been pushed back several more months for unknown reasons. The car is still slated to be a 2014 model-year vehicle, but the launch date will be later than February.
As already reported, the next Impala will be riding on GM’s Global Epsilon platform, supposedly sharing the same wheelbase as the upcoming Cadillac XTS sedan. The current Impala has been on the North American market since 2006, meaning the car will experience a marathon seven-year life cycle unless current plans change.