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GMInsidenews Exclusive: The NEXT Chevrolet Impala
By The GMI Staff
June, 19, 2004
www.GMInsidenews.com



The word Impala is synonymous with "Surprise Success" at General Motors. Many did not expect the Impala to rope in such sales success to Chevrolet. Sales of the Impala are strong and continue to gain momentum, however the time is approaching that Chevrolet has to update the Impala. The Next Impala will debut in 2006 as a 2006 model. The Impala will feature 3 new engine choices. The base engine will be the 3.5L 3500 V6 which is currently optional on the 2004 Chevrolet Malibu and standard on the Malibu Maxx. The 3500 delivers 200HP and 220lb/ft of torque, which we do not expect will change in the Impala. The next engine which will be optional on the LS and standard on the LT is the 3900 Series, 3.9L V6 engine. We estimate that this engine will produce near 260HP and 260lb/ft of torque, though numbers have not yet been released. The 3900, set to debut in 2006 will power the Pontiac G6 GTP and GXP. The Impala SS will be powered by a 5.3L Vortec V8 Engine. This engine will also power the 2005 Pontiac Grand Prix GXP and is said to produce near 290HP and 300lb/ft of torque, though official numbers have not been released.
The interior will receive a complete redo and is said to look much more luxurious and richer than the drab interior of the current Impala. Rich materials and colors will be used. Wood trim is to be standard on the LT and Metallic trim on the SS. We expect the interior of the Impala to feature the "Waterfall" effect that Bob Lutz has prescribed to the 2005 Buick LaCrosse and the 2005 Cadillac STS.
Though many have thought that Chevrolet would wait until Zeta to redesign the Impala, it can be inferred that Chevrolet saw the success it was having with the FWD setup and decided to at least wait until later to develop a Zeta (RWD) Impala. This lends itself to several different scenarios:

1) Impala stays FWD until 2009, then turns RWD on the Zeta chassis. This would mean that the Impala would not be the first Zeta, because Zeta is said to be in production in 2007. Therefore, Buick will most likely receive the first Zeta vehicle, then Pontiac, then Chevrolet.

2) Impala stays FWD until 2007, then turns RWD on the Zeta chassis. This would mean that Chevrolet wasted development money on a new FWD Impala, which is definitely not likely.

3) Impala stays FWD for it's life-span, and the rumored return of the Caprice is true. The Caprice would be Zeta based and possibly debut in 2008 or 2009, along with a coupe, likely a Chevelle or Camaro replacement, due to the fact that the Monte Carlo is scheduled to die by the end of the decade.

Either way, the Impala will be here to stay and will likely be it's volume seller, unless for some reason, the Malibu starts to really take off. Here is to a better and brighter Chevrolet future, may it be filled with large RWD car and a Midsize RWD Coupe!

Stay connected to GMInsidenews for the latest news and scoops.



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well well well we finally got the info but why is there a current picture of the Impala with the ? mark on it?? doesnt anyone know what the next gen impala look like or it is up in the air like almost every upcoming GM vehicle...but im glad to hear that its gonna get some power from the GPs GXP engine and chevy could definitely use that kinda horses vs mercurys marauder and the future high horsepowered large cars from all companies but im sure the GP GXP will put a good dent in most of it...but id like to see the impala be put in the middle of the malibu and vette price range but hopefully they wont be very similar looking like the new GP and aging GA but we wont know til prob the end of this yr hopefully..
 

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My buddy has seen the 2006 Impala at G.M. and from what he said it looks like a cross between an Impala and a malibu, his words!
 

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Had an Impala as a rental car in Florida and it was one of the cheapest made (poor quality) vehicles I've ever had to endure driving. Simply mediocre in all aspects. Ride quality was okay. Not a quiet car by any stretch of the imagination. Handling was decent. Seats were uncomfortable and the dashboard needs to be redesigned. Cheap. Cheap. Cheap. Trunk space was nothing to write home about. Back seat seemed roomy enough.

I don't know why these cars sell as well as they do. They are simply average to mediocre cars long past their expiration date (which was well before their launch date). My guess is that half of the Impala sales are to rental companies. In Florida, it seems everyone is a rental.

I'd really rather have a Buick or a Pontiac Bonneville. The Impala sucked.
 

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Hopefully this one will remain fwd and we will get a larger rwd car (caprice).
either way, a v8 imp would kick major a$$

way to go!
 

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Originally posted by laserwizard@Jun 19 2004, 05:51 AM
Had an Impala as a rental car in Florida and it was one of the cheapest made (poor quality) vehicles I've ever had to endure driving. Simply mediocre in all aspects. Ride quality was okay. Not a quiet car by any stretch of the imagination. Handling was decent. Seats were uncomfortable and the dashboard needs to be redesigned. Cheap. Cheap. Cheap. Trunk space was nothing to write home about. Back seat seemed roomy enough.

I don't know why these cars sell as well as they do. They are simply average to mediocre cars long past their expiration date (which was well before their launch date). My guess is that half of the Impala sales are to rental companies. In Florida, it seems everyone is a rental.

I'd really rather have a Buick or a Pontiac Bonneville. The Impala sucked.
Have you stepped into a new 03/04 Taurus? I know I have. Talk about bland, blah, and cheap!! Seats are so-so, and ride hasnt changed much from my 95.
lets not even talk about the Crown Vic/Grand Marks...


Anyway, good news from Chevy! What a good way to cap off its revolution with what I hope to be a class leading car. This should keep the momentum going for chevy. First the Malibu, then the Max, the Nox, Cobalt, and now the big sedan will finaly show everyone that GM will no longer sit on the side lines.
I hope they follow all these cars with a Camaro :D , but thats another discussion for another day.
 

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The much needed improvements to the Impala, as noted on this bored, are what is necessary to put Chevy over the 3 million vehicle mark.

Gee, that number sound familiar....

The process of designing and building a car, or even refreshing, is more complex than anyone can imagine.
 

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You know, I was really hoping to see a RWD Impala. But you know what, if this refresh does a great job, makes the interior awesome, gives it a v8 option, and stays fwd, Im totally ok with that. HOpefully, it will be enough to take a swing at accord and camry. Of course, Im ok with this with the provision that they do bring back a BIG rwd v8 sedan. Caprice is ok, hopefully they would find a new name.

sorry about the bad typing, just got home from a club...
 

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Great news, it is nice to see Chevrolet evening the playing field with Pontiac in terms of the W-body. I would suspect the Monte Carlo will recieve the same treatment since they are both on the same line. Will pontiacs 3800 V6 series III be replaced with the engine choices mentioned in the article?
 

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Originally posted by johnd89@Jun 19 2004, 06:20 AM
Hopefully this one will remain fwd and we will get a larger rwd car (caprice).
either way, a v8 imp would kick major a$$

way to go!
Why does Chevy need two fullsize cars?

Make one fullsize car, with RWD and optional AWD. Get rid of the FWD fullsize car. If Chevy kept the price close to what it is now, A RWD impala will sell just as many.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Originally posted by SS4EVER@Jun 19 2004, 05:51 AM
Great news, it is nice to see Chevrolet evening the playing field with Pontiac in terms of the W-body. I would suspect the Monte Carlo will recieve the same treatment since they are both on the same line. Will pontiacs 3800 V6 series III be replaced with the engine choices mentioned in the article?
That is a good question, however the future of the Grand Prix is hard to predict. Some say its moving to Zeta, some say it will stay W-Body. Either way the 3800 will likely be replaced, its just going to take a very long time.
 

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The 5.3 Is a very unlikley V8 for FWD applications, it's form factor is pretty large, and the torque curve is stout enough to make front wheel drive a little unruly.. the Caddy Northstar V8 or the retired 4.0 northstar from the olds lineup makes more sense... plus there is not an existing FWD transmission that I know of that can be made durable with that much torque.


JL
 

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Originally posted by GM_Guy81@Jun 19 2004, 02:52 AM
You know, I was really hoping to see a RWD Impala. But you know what, if this refresh does a great job, makes the interior awesome, gives it a v8 option, and stays fwd, Im totally ok with that. HOpefully, it will be enough to take a swing at accord and camry.
That's really the pair that GM should have in their crosshairs. Thankfully (PRAISE GM!), the next version of the Impala will be using redesigned engines (I love that 3900 VVT Pushrod!), not carry-overs from 1993.

Impeccable quality, an interior like the Lacrosse's combined with newer, more reliable engines and an attractive exterior would give the Impala new legs in the market -- at least it would be something that I would consider buying, unlike the current stale model.



In my opinion, GM missed the mark - just barely - with the Grand Prix and Lacrosse's exterior looks (a grille change would make the GP perfect, as some of our photoshoppers have shown). Let's hope that the upcoming Impala looks mainstream and modern, without any Chevy designer quirkiness or obvious styling flaws for people to pick on. I don't want a bland vanilla egg --- styling like on the Equinox and Cobalt is pleasing -- Malibu is a little too funky.

Kudos to Tahoe for the excellent scoop!
 

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Will someone please tell me whtat the difference between Zeta and Kappa is? There both RWD, is ZEta for bigger cars or something? Also, what otehr GM cars are on the same FWD platform as the Impala? I don't THINK it the Saab 9-3/ Malibu plaform, and its obviously not Delta.
 

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Originally posted by surferdude00711@Jun 19 2004, 08:36 AM
Will someone please tell me whtat the difference between Zeta and Kappa is? There both RWD, is ZEta for bigger cars or something?
Yep. Kappa is for the Solstice, and think of that like a Miata to the Zeta which would be for bigger cars like the GTO, or Holden Commodore.

Like the CTS Sigma platform but less expensive, I'm guessing...thus the prior name for Zeta, "sigma lite".

The Buick Velite confused me - I thought it looked like a stretched Solstice and used a stretched Kappa - but it uses the Zeta platform.

Kappa - see how small:
 

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My parents have an Impala base. I like it. When I was borrowing it (my GP was in the shop) I was driving down the road and I sped up and the radio got loud and when I slowed down it got quiter. (I'm easily amused :p ) It was fun and I ended up doing it a couple other times. The prob I found with the Impala was the sound system wasn't that great when I was driving down the highway the automatic sound thing turned up and I had the volume way up but it wasn't that loud. It was like driving in the city with my GP volume 2/3 of the way up(I drive with the car volume higher when I'm not with my wife) I hope they change that. Other than that I like the car.
 
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