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Chevy plans bigger, stylish Impala

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Chevy plans bigger, stylish Impala

Rick Kranz

Automotive News -- February 15, 2010 - 12:01 am ET

Chevrolet-Buick design chief John Cafaro: The next-generation Impala "has to be bold" and beat Hyundai.

CHICAGO -- Chevrolet will upgrade the Impala's image with a vehicle that's bigger and more stylish when the next-generation car arrives in about three years.

"I don't see us doing just kind of benign, nice family cars anymore," said John Cafaro, director of design for Chevrolet and Buick. "They have to be expressive. They have to be executed with a high level of content."

Cafaro said the surging Hyundai brand is a key competitor for the Impala.

In an interview last week at the Chicago Auto Show, Cafaro said the Hyundai Genesis and Sonata and the Ford Taurus have "taken that segment to a next level."

GM has just started working on the Impala's design, he said.

The Impala remains a high-volume seller for Chevrolet. Last year, 165,565 Impalas were sold, down 38 percent from the previous year.

But the car is getting long in the tooth. The Impala went on sale for the 2000 model year and was re-engineered and restyled for the 2006 model year.

The redesigned car will be developed on GM's Epsilon vehicle platform, which is shared by vehicles such as the Chevrolet Malibu, Buick LaCrosse and the upcoming 2012 Cadillac XTS sedan.

Industry sources say the next-generation Impala is expected in about three years and will be about the same size as the XTS. The Cadillac, at 203.5 inches long, is about three inches longer than the current Impala. The XTS wheelbase, at 115 inches, is 4.5 inches longer than the Impala.

Cafaro said the next generation of the Impala "has to be bold, make a statement."

"It will be a flagship only if it goes toe-to-toe and beats out the best -- Hyundai Equus, Genesis, Sonata, whatever they got.

"I think our biggest competitor is definitely the Hyundai guys because they are contenting their cars. They are built well. The metal is perfect, and they are moving right into the heart of our territory."

Read more: http://www.autonews.com/article/20100215/OEM03/302159922/1144#ixzz0fc1fNQhs

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This 'Impala going after the Equus' talk makes me a little nervous, and apparently Hyundai is making GM nervous...

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So, the XTS and Impala will be the same car, no surprise there. They will be the Lucerne/DTS of the 2010s, or like the current Taurus/MKS. Now which Hyundai are they going after, because the Genesis is not as big as the current Impala, let alone the future enlarged model. The Equus I saw in person, it is nicer than any Cadillac, and the Sonata competes with the Malibu. Perhaps the Impala will target the Azera, the one model they forgot to mention.

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So, the XTS and Impala will be the same car, no surprise there. They will be the Lucerne/DTS of the 2010s, or like the current Taurus/MKS. Now which Hyundai are they going after, because the Genesis is not as big as the current Impala, let alone the future enlarged model. The Equus I saw in person, it is nicer than any Cadillac, and the Sonata competes with the Malibu. Perhaps the Impala will target the Azera, the one model they forgot to mention.

What worries me regarding that Equus statement is that it is placing Chevrolet everywhere. Does that mean (sarcasm fully intended) the 1989 Chevrolet Caprice should have been the car to go against the 1st LS400? Because that's what Hyundai hopes the Equus will be to them...

My doubts is if this talk is either Old GM hyperbole (not a good sign) or complete confusion in terms of brand definition (much worse)...

Edited by ZL-1
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This 'Impala going after the Equus' talk makes me a little nervous, and apparently Hyundai is making GM nervous...

The entire industry is in fear of Hyundia. I have been say this for the last couple years. Toyota and Honda show the most fear.

GM is smart to target Hyundia.

I would not fear his statment as with so much time yet to go he does not want to publicly state the intended target is. I would expect a car a little more than a little more than a Genesis amd less than a Equus.

I hate the 3 years but the lack of money left this one at the starting gate for a long time.

GM needs to target the fastest growing car company as they have the right formula of price and value in the industry.

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I can't see comparing a V6 Epsilon II FWD Impala to a DOHC V8 RWD Genesis/Equus. Apples and oranges. I can see an Epsy Dos Impala competing w/ the Taurus, though.

Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar
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We will see.

Like I posted on GMI (and apologizing here as well for the silly humor), perhaps the fact that I became interested in American cars at 16 years old and now, at 33, I still smell the same "our next generation of products is the best thing since the invention of frozen squid" talk in GM's statements is distorting my view somewhat. I do wish GM well, but I and many have read the PR crap before. It's just as annoying as Toyota's collection of "best ever" comments in their PR material...

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We will see.

Like I posted on GMI (and apologizing here as well for the silly humor), perhaps the fact that I became interested in American cars at 16 years old and now, at 33, I still smell the same "our next generation of products is the best thing since the invention of frozen squid" talk in GM's statements is distorting my view somewhat. I do wish GM well, but I and many have read the PR crap before. It's just as annoying as Toyota's collection of "best ever" comments in their PR material...

I agree wholeheartedly, but their latest offerings have definitely been at least base hits ,though still not liking SRX or Terrain at least they sell.

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We will see.

Like I posted on GMI (and apologizing here as well for the silly humor), perhaps the fact that I became interested in American cars at 16 years old and now, at 33, I still smell the same "our next generation of products is the best thing since the invention of frozen squid" talk in GM's statements is distorting my view somewhat. I do wish GM well, but I and many have read the PR crap before. It's just as annoying as Toyota's collection of "best ever" comments in their PR material...

Well from the people I know inside GM thing have really been different since last spring. GM knows they are in the 9th inning and need to get it right. With the Chapter 11 they also got a second chance.

These are the reasons we are seeing thing being done that would have not happened a year ago. Most of GM's new product has been good to very good. The big thing is much of what is coming has not been release or detailed to us 5 years in advanced as it once was to keep the stock prices up.

The new stuff will be sprung on the public and will change the look of GM as well as they way people think of GM. This is not something that can't be done as witness the change Hyundia and Ford has done.

I grew up around an retired GM exectutive who taught me the old way GM did things. To him it was the only way to do things and no one questioned it or challanged it. Today I see things going on that would have never happened before and I really think they will do it as long as the economy issues are more than they can over come.

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I have a better idea: Cease and desist all work on this car, wait three years for the redesigned Commodore, slap an Impala badge on it, and produce it at Oshawa.

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...Ahhh piss on it... The next Impala should be a Zeta based car not a FWD EP-II. I want a damn Zeta Caprice/Impala with cloth seats, V8 and RWD, and I want it now. If the new PPV isn't federalized (crash tested, and meets emissions standards) I think I am going to have a break-down. If it is or they can use the G8's tests I am in the clear and could have one in the fleet. *I am praying...*

Edited by gm4life
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I can't see comparing a V6 Epsilon II FWD Impala to a DOHC V8 RWD Genesis/Equus. Apples and oranges. I can see an Epsy Dos Impala competing w/ the Taurus, though.

Agreed, and the problem is the Taurus has a 3 year head start. If the Impala and XTS come out in 3 years offering what the Taurus and MKS offer now, what is to get excited about.

Hyundai is a tough competitor because they have the right formula, and they move faster than GM (Or Toyota) does. GM is in a position where they have to respond to what Hyundai and others are doing, GM isn't the trendsetter.

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This better mean that Caddy gets the DT7 developed to up the ante against MB and BMW...

Apparently no DT7 (meaning no RWD large Cadillac) and the Impala chases the Equus... Leaving the FWD/AWD XTS to chase itself probably...

Edited by ZL-1
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EARTH TO GM, EARTH TO GM...stop benchmarking and start leading.

Forget Hyundai, forget Toyota, forget Ford...research your customers and figure out what they are looking for. That's what your blue oval buddy in Dearborn has been doing. Mulally doesn't sit around talking about building a Hyundai beater. He and his team have been out there investigating trends, developing cutting-edge technology, improving upon fuel efficiency, and designing expressive cars that look like nothing else on the road. The sooner you figure that out, the sooner GM can begin to lead again.

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Hyundai is the next media and consumer darling. He Toyota failure has already set this in motion. Gm is right to be worried about them.

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More stylish than the current Impala, its going to be a scorcher!

I'm sure Avis is really looking forward to this car..:)

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there's a lot of folks out there that want a car bigger and more upright than the malibu. its obvious by this point that regardless of the chassis bias this car will need optional AWD. No RWD only Impala is going to sell near the volume the current one does. They would either need to add AWD to the Zeta, or just use the already developed Haldex Epsilon. This really could just be a case of using what is available and more typical of mass market cars in this segment.

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Yipee spiff!

An all new big ,fat, FWD Impala in three years.

Whoopee! :rolleyes:

Show some respect as it is the boring plain cars like this that make the fun cars that sell in smaller numbers possible. You have to eat your veggies to get Ice cream.

I woulds say the old W Impala has made more than enough money to have paid for the new Camaro tooling.

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there's a lot of folks out there that want a car bigger and more upright than the malibu. its obvious by this point that regardless of the chassis bias this car will need optional AWD. No RWD only Impala is going to sell near the volume the current one does. They would either need to add AWD to the Zeta, or just use the already developed Haldex Epsilon. This really could just be a case of using what is available and more typical of mass market cars in this segment.

This is the class people do no care for RWD. The sheep are programed to want FWD and that is what they buy. RWD is not what the majority of Point A to B drivers want anymore.

The number of Le Sabres and Camry's show this class can sell a lot of cars with little flash or zip.

AWD would be nice and possible with the Haldex. Just the question of keeping it affordable. If they can't keep it cheap save it for Buick.

Lets just look at the present W car. It is selling in great numbers not because it is stylish, fast, cool, or leading edge technology. The reason it sells is it is a sold car with great value. You can get a good size car cheap and it is reliable.

Now if GM can make the new Impala a good value keep it cheap and reliable wile adding up to date technology, good mileage and may be add some good looking styling they could really sell a lot of cars and make a lot of money doing so.

This is not a car for car people it is a way to get around for the general public. They want it to be plesent to look at, Comfortable, a cheap payment and they do not want to have to take it to the service department.

It is not Hyundia models they are targeting it is the precieved value the public has of them right now. They have a more for your money price over Toyota and Honda. Most like the styling and they have a warranty that is as good as you will find. This is what Chevy is targeting.

Unlike Hyundia GM has 3 division they can use but Hyundia has to do it all in one. So far Hyundia is doing it. I see many people that used to be in GM and FOrd car in Hyundias today that never owned a import. As money become tighter price will be king.

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