Template:Morefootnotes Template:Infobox automobile 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, the Impala ultimately became the best-selling automobile in the United States when full size models dominated the market. Distinguished for many model years by its symmetrical triple taillights, the Impala competed against the Ford Galaxie 500 and the Plymouth Fury as Chevrolet's most expensive passenger model until 1965 – After reaching its sales peak, Chevrolet introduced the Caprice as a top-line Impala Sport Sedan. In 1966 the Caprice became a separate series positioned above the Impala, which itself remained above the Bel Air and Biscayne. The Impala continued as Chevrolet's most popular full-size model through the mid-eighties. For 1994–1996 a variant of the Caprice sedan carried the Impala SS sedan nameplate. Since 2000, Chevrolet has offered the Impala as a front wheel drive (FWD) full-size sedan.



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.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." 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.

Sales overviewEdit

From 1958 through 1996, Impala sales were in excess of 13 million, more than any other full-size car in the history of the automobile. The 1964 model year sales of 1,074,925 units (Impala & Impala SS) in the U.S. still stands as a record. 1965 wasn't far behind with 1,046,500 units. In 2008, Impala was the 6th best selling car in the United States and had the distinction of being the top selling American nameplate sedan, according to Reuters Top 20 Best-selling Vehicles Scorecard.[1]

Seventh generation (1994–1996)Edit

Template:Infobox automobile 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 Template:Convert engine. Eventually, the concept car's engine was replaced with a Template:Convert engine derived from the Corvette in order to show the public what would be offered if put into production (an off-road specification Template:Convert 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,[2] 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 upgraded reverse flow cooling system, larger and more powerful 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 suspension that was an inch lower. A retuned LT1 Template:Convert small-block V8 was standard on the Impala SS, making Template:Convert and Template:Convert of torque (retuned from the prototype's Template:Convert 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 itself an upgraded and revised version of the previous 4L60. However, the transmission was not beefed up for the power of the LT1, and transmission failures after Template:Convert were commonplace. Template:Citation needed A standard 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-body line also shared a similar powertrain: these were the Chevrolet Caprice, Buick Roadmaster, and the Cadillac Fleetwood which all shared the LT1 engine and 4L60E automatic transmission.

File:1996 Impala SS.jpg

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 Template:Convert brushed aluminum wheels with 255/50ZR17 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 grey interior. Due to a shortage of the unique 5-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[3] 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/D-body line, consisting of the Chevrolet Caprice, Impala SS, Buick Roadmaster and Cadillac Fleetwood, 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.

Eighth generation (2000–2005)Edit

Template:Infobox automobile 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 V6 engines, and slightly smaller. A new Impala SS with a supercharged V6 was brought out for the 2004 model year.

File:2002 Chevrolet Impala.jpg

The Impala was available in two trim levels from 2000 to 2001. The base model came equipped with cloth bench seats, steel wheels, the Template:Convert 3.4 liter (204 cu in) LA1 V6, and a 3-gauge instrument cluster.[4] 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 Template:Convert 3.8 liter (231 cu in) L36 V6.[5] 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. In 2002, Chevrolet introduced the LS Sport appearance package. Added to the LS model, it offered a 6-gauge cluster, front bumper extension, color-keyed tail light panels and a chrome exhaust pipe tip. In 2003, the "Impala" badges that adorned the front doors were dropped on the base model , like on all GM W-body cars (except for the Chevrolet Monte Carlo and Pontiac Grand Prix). The 2004 to 2005 Impala SS came equipped with the 3.8 liter (231 cu in) supercharged L67 V6 engine.[6] It was rated at Template:Convert 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 Template:Convert times pushing 6.5 seconds compared to the earlier models' 7.1. And the 04 LS model 0-60 in 10 seconds.


Also released with this version were the Police Package and Undercover Police Package, 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. Template:Clear

Ninth generation (2006–present)Edit

Template:Infobox automobile 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 Template:Convert.[7] 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 Template:Convert.[8] With the use of the 5.3 liter LS4 V8, the Impala SS is capable of a 5.6 second Template:Convert time and a quarter-mile time of 14.2 seconds traveling at Template:Convert.[9] The car is 200.4 inches (5,091 mm) long, Template:Convert high, and 72.9 inches (1,851 mm) wide.

File:06-08 Chevrolet Impala SS.jpg

Available trim levels are LS, LT, LTZ and the aforementioned SS. LS became the base model. 6-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 mid-section of the vehicle's center console. In 2007, the Impala received the FlexFuel 3.5-liter V-6 and Flex Fuel rear badge for the LS, LT, LTZ, 9C1 and 9C3 models. 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, 5-spoke alloy wheels. The generation-7 OnStar system with turn-by-turn navigation was included when the available directions & 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. 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 rims, front/rear bumper and rocker panel extensions, a BMW M-inspired spoiler and various interior upgrades.

File:06-09 Chevrolet Impala police.jpg

The police sedans received the FlexFuel 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 & 9C3 trim levels for the Police Package models, which did not have the civilian SS's Template:Convert V8 engine, but used the 3.9 liter (237 cu in) V6.[10] The reason being the 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. The 9C1 and 9C3 were equipped with an external trunk lock tumbler. Neither feature was available for the civilian version of the car. The 9C1 and 9C3 police models had aluminized interior trim instead of the standard wood grain. 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[11]

File:Chevrolet Impala FlexFuel 34 MIA 12 2008 with logo.jpg
File:09 Impala interior.JPG

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, and 9C1 and 9C3 police models switched to the metallic silver trim from the SS models. All models used the previous SS style spoiler (actually phased in for the late 2008 model year). 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 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. Thorax side-impact air bags were standard. For the 2010 model year, the Impala is the only GM W-body car in production. The eight-cylinder SS model has been discontinued. LT models now include fog lights. The 3.9L V6 is no longer available for the LT model. Three new exterior colors are available: Summit White, Cyber Gray Metallic, and Aqua Blue Metallic. Four exterior colors have been deleted. The (PDG) convenience package, AM/FM stereo with 6-disc in-dash CD changer, and trunk cargo net are no longer available. The Impala emblems on rear sail panels as well as the rear decklid badge on LS models have been deleted. Early '10 models had the lower front-side GM badges but were also later deleted.[12][13] Template:Clear


In the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's crash tests, the Impala is given an overall "Acceptable" score for front impact collisions.[14] 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.[15] 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.[16] In September 2009, a local news station's investigative team 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 2–3 years of use, many of the Impalas that were built without side-curtains have gone on to become privately owned cars; however, the current owners cannot easily determine that their cars were not equipped with a safety feature that would otherwise be standard.[17]


Motor Trend magazine awarded the full-size Chevrolet including the Impala as its 1977 Car of the Year.[18] Automotive Fleet and Business Fleet magazines awarded the Impala the 2006 and 2007 Fleet Car of the Year.[19] Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) selected the Impala for its 2006 Pyramid Award for Environmental Initiatives for the launch of its new ethanol-powered E-85 model.[20] Template:Clear

NASCAR Sprint CupEdit


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, it was recently announced that in 2008 the Impala will be the only Chevrolet nameplate on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Template:Clear


After rumors that Impala would return to rear wheel drive, General Motors confirmed that the next generation model will continue to be front wheel drive, likely based on a variation of the global GM Epsilon II platform known as Super Epsilon II.[21] A hybrid version is also expected.[22] Template:Clear



External linksEdit


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