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AutoBlog: REPORT: Lutz says next Chevy Impala to stay front-drive, gain hybrid variant

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Filed under: Sedan, Chevrolet

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2009 Chevrolet Caprice (Middle East) - Click above for high-res image gallery

Remember those AWESOME rumors about the rear-wheel drive Pontiac G8 living on as a Chevy Caprice? Not going to happen, though used Chevy cop cars will still be the hot Christmas item come 2017 or so. Inside Line's Ed Hellwig reports that after a sit down meeting with General Motors' Maximum Bob Lutz, not only won't there be a true successor to the 1994-1996 Impala SS, but the next Impala will remain front-wheel drive.

The new Impala will get bigger says IL, and add features - probably in an attempt to keep up with the hefty and tech-laden Ford Taurus. Lutz mentions that the new Impala will not only sport decent fuel economy, but also feature GM's hybrid technology. Whether or not this means a Chevy Volt style gas-electric powertrain or the General's next-generation belt-alternator mild hybrid system isn't clear. All we know is, once the few, still-lingering-on dealer-lots G8s are gone, they are gone baby, gone.



[source: Straight Line Blog]

REPORT: Lutz says next Chevy Impala to stay front-drive, gain hybrid variant originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 16 Nov 2009 09:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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It's gonna get bigger?

Why do these cars keep getting bigger and bigger?

Once upon a time, Honda had two cars: The pretty much compact Accord, and the even smaller Civic. Then as the model years went by, both cars kept getting bigger. And bigger, until the Accord was a mid-size car, and the Civic was a compact. Then they added the Fit to squeeze in under the Civic. The Fit is more or less the same size as the Civic used to be. And now, the Accord is a full-size sedan.

The Malibu is the only reason the Impala needs to get bigger, because they inexplicably made that car bigger, and at the moment the two cars compete for sales.

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It's gonna get bigger?

Why do these cars keep getting bigger and bigger?

Once upon a time, Honda had two cars: The pretty much compact Accord, and the even smaller Civic. Then as the model years went by, both cars kept getting bigger. And bigger, until the Accord was a mid-size car, and the Civic was a compact. Then they added the Fit to squeeze in under the Civic. The Fit is more or less the same size as the Civic used to be. And now, the Accord is a full-size sedan.

The Malibu is the only reason the Impala needs to get bigger, because they inexplicably made that car bigger, and at the moment the two cars compete for sales.

While I like the Impala, the packaging is rather dated. It just doesn't have the interior volume to compete with the Avalon/Taurus/300/Maxima even though on the outside it's just about as big.

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As long as this doesn't push itself into LaCrosse territory, OK. If it does, GM is doing the same mistakes as before.

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As long as this doesn't push itself into LaCrosse territory, OK. If it does, GM is doing the same mistakes as before.

I would expect it to be bigger than Lacrosse with less amenities.

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Oh yea of little faith ... The Impala is not the last word on RWD at Chevrolet or even GM for that matter. Worry not, and be of good Cheers and Gears ... :smilewide:

Edited by Pontiac Custom-S
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I wonder if they will keep the ohv V6, 4spd auto,and bench seat as retro features in the next FWD Impala :)

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I wonder if they will keep the ohv V6, 4spd auto,and bench seat as retro features in the next FWD Impala :)

Let the W body and all its old skool features rest in peace Moltar :AH-HA:

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This car needs a HF V6, six speed automatic, large trunk, roomy back seat, good fit and finish, and yes a low price. If it is as good as the new LaX I will be happy. I am glad PCS says not to give up on RWD. Anyways I can't wait to see this car!

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Oh yea of little faith ... The Impala is not the last word on RWD at Chevrolet or even GM for that matter. Worry not, and be of good Cheers and Gears ... :smilewide:

That had better be the case...

As for this new Impala, oh joy! :rolleyes:

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simply put, chevy needs a LARGE sedan, at a great price for a broad mass of people. this is a market that got ignored during the buy a car with home equity era.

families, old people, fleets, people who just like a large, decent car.

they don't want a 20 year old w body mid sizer.

cruze, malibu (which is getting a bit smaller), impala.

just like pop at the restaurant. small, medium, large.

i suspect it will have the same size inside as a LaCrosse, maybe a tish more.

I am glad to see Chevy chase volume segment for a change. The key here is to not price it too high, and just give great value.

i don't think the AARP crowd wants their sedan on Zeta, nor do they care. and as PCS says, it is probably still coming in some form for the smoky burnout crowd.

Edited by regfootball
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I'm sure that's true, Reg.

I just don't give a damn. :smilewide:

I just find the prospect of a new FWD Impala about as exciting as dry toast.

Edited by Camino LS6
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It would be nice if GM reached back and brought some Impala styling traits like round tail lamps back. I always liked them on the 00-05 models although I would assume new GM would do them with a little more polish.

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Now you know my record, it speaks for itself ... :smilewide:

And I know GM's, which is rather checkered on this topic...

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The Impala is 200 inches. It is already larger than the LaCrosse which is a 197 inches long. The new Taurus is 202 inches long. I like keeping up with car lengths. The LaCrosse lost an inch in the redesign. It was a 198 inches long. The trunk got significantly smaller. The new 2011 Regal is the same size as a 1988 Buick Regal which was a 188-190 inches long. The Malibu is a 190 inches long. The Cadillac CTS is a 190 inches long. It is not big. The GM A Bodies in the 1980's were 188-190 inches long. The Malibu is the right size for the segment it is placed. The Impala has to get larger because Impala is too close in size and has more interior room I think. I also think it is getting larger because of that new Cadillac XTS. I expect Impala to be about 202-205 inches long. The interior volume is where I am sure it will change.

A 1992-1999 Oldsmobile Eighty Eight is 200 inches long. The 1989-1993 Buick Riviera was a 198.7 inches long. The last Oldsmobile Aurora was 199.3 inches long.

The GM G Bodies in the 1980's were 200-201 inches long. They were midsized.

It amazes me what people think is big and how cars have got bigger. The Honda Accord and Toyota Camry did get larger.

The Impala shrunk from the last rear drive car. The last rear drive was 214 inches long.

The Pontiac G8 was 196.4 inches long. That is on par with the 80's C and H Bodies which were 196-198 inches long.

Here is a little trivia.

The 1985 downsized Deville and Fleetwood were a 195 inches long until GM stretched them in the late 1980's.

The Olds 98 and 88 was 196.4 and 196.1 respectively.

The 1986 Buick Riviera was a 187 inches long.

Those cars flopped because they were too small.

Grand Am grew. It was a 177 inches in 1985, and was 186-189 by the time it died.

My Toronado is the same length and wheelbase as a 1980's G Body Cutlass. My car is wider.

Just something to think about.

PCS is telling you something without telling you.

Edited by NINETY EIGHT REGENCY
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And I know GM's, which is rather checkered on this topic...

Camino there may just be something to his statement here is what has been going around the web. It originally came from the G8 web site.

"My dealer had sent off pictures to GM of the cable portion of the front seats belts rubbing against the plastic on the side of the front seats. In an email sent back to the dealer, GM says that they have no plans to solve what has already been built but going forward a correction is planned. The email continues: ...a fix is planned for MY11.5 Chevy Police Program and MY12 Chevy SS. The fix will involve a protective sleeve that covers the buckle and section of the buckle stem that rubs on the plastic trim."

Several of the web sites are claiming we get the Impala and a Chevy SS.

Note the MY12 Chevy SS. Might just be something for you yet.

Edited by hyperv6
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I wonder if they will keep the ohv V6, 4spd auto,and bench seat as retro features in the next FWD Impala :)

I think the HOV 6 is going the way of the T Rex. THe 4 speeds Auto are done in 2012 with the Cobalt and HHR.

You will get a DOHC DI V6 and at least a 6 speed. I would not be suprised to see a option for a 300+ HP V6.

With Bu getting smaller this will be just a little bigger and wider than the present Bu. THe width will play well in this class as the BU is a little narrow for some.

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Saw that already Hyper, but thanks for thinking of me.

Posted elsewhere here.

Edited by Camino LS6
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I have a feeling that the 2012 Impala will be rather similar to the 2010 LaCrosse, just with the Chevy look. If it is FWD, about 197-200 inches long and $27,000 on Epsilon 2, it is basically competition for the LaCrosse.

As far as engines, I would guess the 2.4 4-cylinder is there (since the Lacrosse is getting it) and the top end engine will be the 3.0 V6, maybe (a big maybe) the 3.6 V6 making 280 hp. But if they give the Impala the 3.6 V6, then Buick has no engine upgrade over the Impala. Plus I would guess 80% of Impalas sold now have 211 hp, so the 250 hp V6 is going to make it seem like a rocket compared to what it is now.

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Just because the car is supposed to be bigger doesn't mean overall size. Maybe the interior is getting bigger. The W is a large car with a small inside.

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Exterior length doesn't mean much. More important is width, wheelbase and interior dimensions and volume.

Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar
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I'm not impressed...yet.

If people start returning to cars as I expect, then the new Impy will come in handy.

My question is how it is going to be postioned....as there are quite a few different angles that GM could take.....

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