Image credits: © Chevrolet. GM Corp
2008 Chevrolet Impala news, pictures, specifications, and information
2008 CHEVROLET IMPALA: STABILITRAK STABILITY CONTROL AND ADDITIONAL E85 FLEXFUEL POWERTRAIN HIGHLIGHT'08 MODEL YEARChevy's popular Impala was one of America's top 10 vehicles in sales during the 2006 model year and continued to attract more customers through'07 – including a nearly 44-percent jump in February'07 alone. Indeed, the Impala's combination of chiseled style, generous room, sporty driving characteristics and value answers the needs of a broad range of drivers.
The 2008 Impala reinforces the brand's value story wîth new features and revisions that add to its safety and efficiency, including the addition of standard StabiliTrak electronic stability control on 2LT, LTZ and SS models; and the addition of E85 FlexFuel capability to the 3.9L V-6 engine – an engine that also is equipped wîth the fuel-saving Active Fuel Management feature.
This marks the second engine in the Impala lineup to offer E85 capability; the 3.5L V-6 also is offered in a FlexFuel configuration. In fact, fuel-saving and FlexFuel powertrains are found in all Impala models:
• The 3.5L V-6 of LS and LT models comes standard wîth E85 FlexFuel capability in some markets and is available wîth it in some others
• The 3.9L V-6 that is standard on LTZ (and available on LT) is equipped wîth standard E85 FlexFuel capability and Active Fuel Management
• The 5.3L V-8 of the Impala SS comes wîth standard Active Fuel Management.
• Active Fuel Management is a fuel-saving technology that shuts off half the engine's cylinders when full power is not needed. It can improve fuel economy by up to 12 percent in certain driving situations.
'Alternative fuels and fuel economy are important considerations for many customers,' said Ed Peper, Chevrolet general manager. 'The Impala lineup offers a great range of models that answer the needs of those who are lòòking for efficient, flexible engines – and wîth the 3.9L engine, they can now choose a FlexFuel vehicle that also provides the gas-saving benefits of Active Fuel Management.'
New and revised features for'08 Impala's standard and available safety features include ABS, traction control and side-curtain roof rail air bags. StabiliTrak electronic stability control is new for'08 and is standard on 2LT, LTZ and SS models.
Additional new features and revisions for'08 Impala include:
• XM Satellite Radio is standard on all models
• 18-inch chrome aluminum wheels on Impala SS
• 18-inch machined aluminum flangeless wheels on LTZ
• 17-inch alloy wheels on 2LT models
• Performance-oriented FE3 suspension is standard on LTZ
• Three exterior colors: Gold Mist Metallic, Mocha Bronze Metallic and Slate Metallic
There is also a new 1LT Luxury Edition package, which features a leather-trimmed interior – including a leather-wrapped §teering wheel wîth radio controls – flip-and-fold rear seat, four-wheel ABS wîth electronic traction control, rear spoiler, OnStar wîth Turn-By-Turn Navigation and one-year Directions & Connections service. This package offers popular features and the 's easiest-to-use navigation system at a discounted price.
Chevy Impala conveys sophistication and exudes big-car roominess. On the exterior, large headlamps have a premium, jeweled appearance wîth three independent lighting units. These details complement other high-quality attributes, such as tight tolerances of 3.5 mm or less between body components and substantial 'grab'-style door handles, to provide an overall feeling of solidity. Also, new, flat-blade windshield wipers are used to provide consistent pressure on the glass, which helps eliminate streaking and wind noise.
The Impala LS, LT and LTZ models have varied exterior trim cues that identify each model, while the Impala SS receives a distinct front-end appearance. It includes a dual-split grille wîth a SS-signature black-diamond crosshatch pattern. At the rear, a spoiler is standard on LTZ and SS models and is available on LT. The Impala SS also receives Corvette-inspired bright exhaust tips.
Inside, Impala is packed wîth thoughtful features, including clever flip-and-fold rear seats (standard on LTZ and SS, available on LT). The forward-flip rear seat cushions reveal a storage tub under the seat that can contain spillage while transporting a variety of items. The tub also serves as a covered storage area beneath the seat wîth cushions down and offer convenient grocery bag hooks when the cushions are flipped forward. A generous pass-through from the trunk can be created by flipping the seat bottoms forward and the seat backs flat – an exclusive feature in the midsize §egmènt.
All of Impala's available seating features cleaner, simpler and more tailored appearances. Úplevel Nuance leather- appointed seating features premium deck seams around their perimeter and French seams on the center cushions. The seats also have firmer cushions and increased lumbar support that provide more comfort, especially during long drives. The driver's seat also includes adjustable lumbar.
The Impala's instrument panel wraps around into the door panels and has a double-hump design that is reminiscent of early Corvettes. Impala LS, LT and LTZ models have a wood-trimmed appearance, while a sportier, brushed sterling-appearance trim is available. The Impala SS comes standard wîth a 'technical'-pattern trim panel, wîth the wood-trimmed appearance as an option.
Completing the Impala's comprehensive interior is a host of useful comfort and convenience features, including:
• Available dual-zone climate control system wîth up to 12 degrees F temperature setting difference between the two front zones
• Available factory-installed remote vehicle start system wîth a 200-foot (61-meter) range and automatic climate pre-conditioning to warm or cool the vehicle prior to entry (Impala LS features available dealer-installed remote start)
• Informative gauge clusters and an expanded driver information center – wîth more than 50 alerts, depending on the vehicle's equipment
• Standard easy-access, §teering wheel-mounted cruise control buttons
• Steering wheel radio controls on uplevel models
• Eight-way, heated power driver seat standard on LTZ and SS leather-appointed seats; six-way power driver seat standard on LS, LT wîth cloth seats
• New 7.0 Generation OnStar system offers Turn-by-Turn navigation. (posted on conceptcarz.com)
Three audio systems feature simple-to-operate radios that include standard XM Satellite Radio and are compatible wîth the enhanced OnStar system. The base MP3/CD radio includes a six-speaker system, a two-line, 32-character reconfigurable display and the capability to select between AM, FM and XM stations without having to reset the frequency. An uplevel ICDX radio adds an in-dash six-CD changer. Impala also offers a premium Bose audio system. All radios include a standard auxiliary input jack for external devices such as an iPod or remote cassette player. Located in the lower right-hand corner of each radio, the input allows for plug-and-play through Impala's sound system.
Chassis and suspension
Quiet, smoothness and refinement are the ride and handling traits conveyed through the Impala's chassis and suspension systems. A robust front-end structure provides a firmer foundation to help reduce noise, vibration and harshness (NVH), while also enhancing §teering and handling performance.
Impala's fully boxed upper frame rail assemblies have a wider, deeper and structurally stronger upper front tie bar. Stronger ties between the upper and lower rails stiffen the front structure for improved ride and handling and a large, lower front-of-dash panel has been strengthened. It is constructed of Quiet Steel laminated steel, which consists of sound deadening material bonded between sheets of steel and reduces resonant sound.
An extruded aluminum engine cradle is used on both vehicles, too, and contributes to a smoother, vibration-free ride. The cradle's lateral stiffness (at the §teering joint) is increased wîth a new, one-piece machined rear cross member and new aluminum rear body mounts to help improve handling control. Models equipped wîth a V-6 engine have a two-point engine-mounting system, while V-8 models have a three-point mounting system.
A power rack-and-pinion §teering system is standard on all models, wîth a responsive 13.3:1 §teering ratio on LT, LTZ and SS models. All models feature a quiet, efficient power §teering system that optimizes internal flow of the hydraulic §teering fluid within the pump and reservoirs.
The front suspension features a MacPherson strut coil-over-spring independent setup wîth gas-charged struts and a stabilizer bar. Tall jounce bumpers in the front suspension help enhance stability and control. The rear suspension uses a trailing arm, tri-link setup wîth gas-charged struts and coil springs. A rear stabilizer bar is standard on all models. Based on the basic front and rear suspension designs, the Impala offers two levels of suspension tuning – FE1 and FE3 – each matched to the power and expected performance level of its respective model
FE1 (LS and LT): The FE1 suspension provides great control without compromising ride quality. It uses stiff, constant-rate front springs and variable-rate rear springs to provide higher roll rates and, at the front, a stiffer torque strut design reduces NVH and helps provide a smoother, quieter ride. The packages include 16-inch wheels and P225/60R16 ALS (all-season) Goodyear Integrity radials; on LT models equipped wîth the 3.9L V-6, it includes 17-inch wheels and P225/55R17 AL2 (touring) Goodyear Eagle LS2 radials.
FE3 ( LTZ and SS): Impala LTZ and SS models receive a FE3 suspension, which includes 18-inch W-rated P235/50R18 AL3 (performance) tires and five-spoke alloy wheels, to provide a sporty ride that complements the 5.3L small-block V-8's performance. A 34-mm hollow front stabilizer bar and 18-mm solid rear stabilizer bar combine to provide more roll control than the FE1 or FE2 suspensions. Also, increased stiffness helps reduce body lean and contributes to greater high-speed stability.
Impala's V-6 engines are as fuel-efficient as they are sophisticated. A 3.5L V-6 is standard in the Impala LS and LT, delivering 211 horsepower (157 kW)* and 214 lb.-ft. (290 Nm)* of torque – more standard power as a base engine than some key competitors' top (or only) offering.
Vehicles wîth federal emissions systems in the Únited States are equipped wîth the 3.5L engine, which is compatible wîth E85 ethanol fuel, allowing the vehicle to run on any combination of gasoline and/or E85. Vehicles sold in YF5 ( California ) or NE1 (Northeast) emissions are equipped wîth PZEV versions of the 3.5L engine. This engine is not E85-compatible. Customers in these areas have the option of ordering E85-compatible engines .
Standard in LTZ and available in LT models is the 3.9L V-6 that features E85 FlexFuel capability and Active Fuel Management. The 3.9L uses variable valve timing and a variable-length intake manifold to help produce 233 horsepower (174 kW)* and 240 lb.-ft. (325 Nm) of torque.* This engine offers more power and usable torque within its operating range, wîth 90 percent of peak torque available from 1800 to 5800 rpm.
The 5.3L all-aluminum small-block V-8 powers the performance-oriented Impala SS. It features Active Fuel Management, which can provide up to 8 percent better fuel economy. Developed exclusively for front-drive applications, the SS's 5.3L engine produces 303 horsepower (226 kW)* and 323 lb.-ft. (438 Nm)* of torque.
All of Impala's engines are matched wîth the Hydra-Matic 4T65 electronically controlled four-speed automatic transmission, which is renowned for its smoothness and durability. A strengthened version is equipped wîth the 5.3L engine to handle the V-8's torque.
Safety and crash avoidance
|Engine : 3.5 L., 6-cylinder|
Power: 211 hp
Engine : 3.9 L., 6-cylinder
Power: 233 hp
Torque: 240 ft-lbs
Engine : 5.3 L., 8-cylinder
Power: 303 hp
Torque: 323 ft-lbs
• StabiliTrak electronic stability control system is new for 2008; it is standard on 2LT, LTZ and SS models
Four-wheel-disc brake system featuring smooth, quiet operation, longer pad life, and more resistance to brake pulsation
• ABS system is standard on LTZ and SS, and available on LS and LT, and helps provide improved §teering control while braking. It also includes Electronic Brake Force Distribution, which helps provide optimum braking regardless of load, traction or braking speed
• Available engine- and brake-managed full-function traction control system works wîth the ABS system to help ensure stable acceleration on a variety of road conditions
• Pretensioners are standard on the front safety belts, helping to minimize forward movement during a frontal collision and new, more effective load-limiting retractors. The retractors have more 'take-up' force, cinching the belt more tightly. Three-point safety belts are equipped in all standard seating positions
• LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) child seat attachment system is included in all second-row seating positions
• Tire pressure monitoring system is standard on all models
• Standard remote keyless entry (RKE) system provides a second function for the red panic button. Drivers can use the button to locate their cars, without sounding the panic alarm.
The Impala includes features designed to enhance the vehicle structure, including lighter, more rigid front and rear bumper systems. Also, the Impala features a strengthened 'safety cage' passenger compartment wîth the front and rear doors designed for improved energy dissipation in the event of a crash.
The OnStar system is standard on Impala. Its digital hardware includes upgraded hands-free voice recognition capabilities, including more intuitive continuous digit dialing and improved voice recognition accuracy. OnStar is the leading provider of in-vehicle safety, security and information services in the Únited States and Canada . Úsing the GPS satellite network and wireless technology, OnStar features core safety services and OnStar Personal Calling that allows drivers to make and receive hands-free, voice-activated phone calls using a powerful 3-watt digital/analog system and external antenna for greater reception.
The OnStar service available on the 2008 Impala includes the General Motors Advanced Automatic Crash Notification (AACN) system, making crash data available to 911 centers to potentially dispatch the appropriate life-saving personnel and equipment to crash scenes faster.
The 7.0 Generation OnStar system offers Turn-by-Turn navigation wîth the optional Directions and Connections service. Turn-by-Turn navigation directs the driver through the route by using the digital readout lines in the radio head. Directions are downloaded by the OnStar advisor to the vehicle and can be played back or paused through the drive up to the destination. Besides being an easy to use system (all directions are downloaded to the car by an advisor) Turn-by-Turn offers an affordable system that is always up to date (no need to purchase map updates).
First used for the full-size 1956 General Motors Motorama show car, the Impala name was used on a car that featured Corvette-like design cues, especially on the grille. With hardtop styling the car was painted emerald green metallic and had a white interior. This show car is thought to have not survived. A basic packaging and dimension was established by Clare MacKichan's design team along with designers from Pontiac for their shared 1958 GM 'A' body in June. In October, GM Styling vice president Harley Earl caught a glimpse of the first styling sketch that would directly influence the finished Chevrolet product. The basic design came seven months later.
Beginning its life as a high-end Bel Air, the Impala name was derived from the South African antelope. The Bel Air Impala was only available in Sport Coupe or convertible models and was a departure from the standard Chevys of the day with its longer rear deck, shorter greenhouse and lower setting on an X-type frame. The '58 Chevrolet Bel Air Impala differed structurally from typical Chevrolets of the day. Though the overall length was identical, the wheelbase of the Impala was longer than the lower priced models. Deeply sculptured rear fenders replaced the sharp tailfins of the 1957 models. Soon becoming an Impala hallmark would be three taillights on each side, while lesser models had two and wagons had just one. 1958 would bring with it the first dual headlamps to the Impala.
The top model featured many innovative features like a two-spoke steering wheel, iconic three-circle taillights, color-keyed door panels with brushed aluminum trim and roof simulator extractor vents. With a pricetag that started at $2,586, the buyers could choose to power the Impala from a 245-cubic-inch Blue Flame I6, 283-cubic-inch Turbo-Fire V8 or a 348-cubic-inch Turbo-Thrust V8 engine. A new chassis with rails laid out in the form of an elongated 'X' replaced the standard perimeter-type frame. Chevrolet claimed that this new frame allowed for more torsional rigidity and a lower, roomier interior design.
Advertised as 'lets you know you're the boss,' the Impala truly lived up to its motto for many years. A total of 125,480 Sport coupes were produced and 55,989 convertibles, which made up 15 percent of sales production. No other series except the Impala offered a convertible. The Impala was Chevrolets introduction into the mid-price field, even though it brought with it a somewhat radical design. The Impala was marketed as 'quick' with 'eager-to-please' handling.
Ramjet fuel injection was offered as an option for the Turbo-Fire 283 V8 engine in 1957. Today the 1958 Impalas equipped with this exclusive option are considered highly collectible. Instead of the old rear leaf springs, all Chevrolets had a full-coil or air ride suspension. Without any loss in headroom, a new 'Safety Girder' X-type frame helped reduced the height in the Impala. Ranging from 185 to 290 hp a 283 cu in (4,640 cc) engine became the standard V8 engine. A new engine option was a big-block 348 cu in (5,700 cc) Turbo-Thrust V8, producing 250 hp, 280 hp or 315 hp. Chevrolet production sales were improved by the 1958 Chevrolet Bel Air Impala during the recession year.
The Impala broke away to become its own standing model in 1959 and featured an incredible redesign that made it one of the most distinct-looking vehicles in American vehicle history. The Impala was defined by Ed Cole, Chevrolet's chief engineer in the late 1950s, as a 'prestige car within the reach of the average American citizen.' The new Impala was nearly two inches longer and had a rear 'bat wing' lid with 'cat eye' sideways teardrop taillights that flowed with the protruding lid. A more spaced grille and long drawn-out eyebrow air intakes that no longer stretched over the headlights was front and center and gave the Impala a leaner, sleeker look.
In part of a GM economy move, the Impala shared bodyshells with lower-end Oldsmobiles, Buicks and Pontiacs. Riding a wheelbase 1-1/2 inches longer than before, the Impala was now on top of a new X-frame chassis with a three-inch lower roof and a two-inch wider body. Curb weight was increased because of all of these modifications.
The Impala name was made into a full lineup that included a four-door hardtop, four-door sedan, two-door Sport Coupe and convertible. With a 'virtually unlimited rear view' Sport Coupes had shortened roofline and wrap-over back window that perfectly accessorized the new compound-curve windshield. The Sport Sedan was hardtop and featured a large, pillar-free back window and 'flying wing' roofline.
The base V8 engine was the same 283 cu in (4,640 cc) as before, at 185 horsepower. Buyers itching for performance could opt for the 280 cu in outputs to 290 hp, or the big block 348 cu in (5,700 cc) V8 engine up to 315 hp. The Impala convertible was priced at $2,849 with a six-cylinder engine, and $2,967 powered by a V8. Impalas featured top of the line features like electric clock, dual sliding sun visors, front and rear armrests and crank-operated front ventipanes. Deep-set gauges were housed in a contoured instrument panel below hoods that prevented sun glare. A new option was a Flexomatic six-way power seat, and a 'Speedminder' device that allowed for pre-set speed setting by the driver and a buzzer that would sound once the speed was exceeded.
For 1960 Chevrolet toned down the Impala look a little bit and made the design a bit more conservative. Three modestly sized round taillights were placed on each side of the Impala and the nostril air intakes above the headlights were deleted entirely. With more than 490,000 Impalas produced for 1960, compared to nearly 60,000 built in its debut year, the Impala may have featured more chrome than Bel Airs or Biscaynes but it seemed to work in its favor as it was America's No. 1 seller. The 1960s model had a white band running along the rear fender along with nonfunctional air intake scoops and the slogan, 'Space, Spirit, Splendor'. Leading the Impala lineup at $2,847 was the Convertible Coupe, followed by the Hardtop Sport Sedan, Sport Coupe, and Four-Door Sedan.
Seven V8s in 283-cu in or 348-cu in size drive train choices were offered this year with the top choice being the 348 cu in Super Turbo-Thrust Special which breathed through triple two-barrel carbs and used 11.25:1 compression and dual exhausts that produced 335 hp. Less robust versions of the 348 produced 250 to 320 hp and the carbureted Turbo-Fire 283 cu in V8vould have either 170 or 230 hp. Fuel-injection wasn't offered anymore on full-size Chevrolets. Speed and cruise control were added to the options list, a first for such a device being offered on a low-price automobile.
Right-hand drive Impalas were produced in Oshawa, Canada for Australia, New Zealand and South Africa and assembled locally from CKD or SKD kits. The dashboard was identical to the 1959 Chevrolet panel and shared with equivalent right-hand drive Pontiac models. GMH Holden assembly lines assembled Australian models by hand.
The third generation of the Chevrolet Impala was introduced in 1961 and restyled on the GM B platform for the first time. Much more trim and boxy than the 1958 models, the new styling was very attractive. A 'bubbleback' roofline style was introduced on Sport coupe models in 1961 along with a 2-door pillared sedan that was exclusive for this year. The sedan was rarely ordered making it a valued collectible today. Also debuting this year the rare Super Sport (SS) option. Power brakes were available this year for $43. 1961 would be the final year that the top station wagon model would bear the Nomad name.
The following year Chevrolet introduced new 'C' pillar styling for all models except the 4-door hardtop. Sharing the 'convertible roof' styling with other GM 'B' full-size hardtop coupes, the Sport Coupe models were now extremely popular in design and 1962 through 1964 models were highly desirable. A more eye-catching wider 'C' pillar with wraparound rear window replaced the 'overhang' roof style of the sedans.
Engine options for 1962 included the 340 brake horsepower 409-cubic-inch (6.7 L), available with any transmission, replacing the 348-cubic-inch (5.7 L) V8. The small-block 283 was enlarged to 327 cubic inches (5.4 L) which added more engine choices for small-blocks. The Beach Boys hit single '409' was in reference to the cars performance 'Nothing can catch her, nothing can touch my 409...'
As before the Impala features top of the line interiors with luxury extras like plush seats, plenty of exterior chrome trim and a full-width aluminum-and-chrome panel to house the triple-unit taillight assemble. Chevrolet took special price in the 'velvet soft and whisper quiet' Impalas that featured four large coil springs that helped minimize impact with 725 point of sound and vibration dampening. Chevrolet also added inner front fenders to the body by Fisher to help protect from rust and coated the muffler with aluminum and zinc to protect against corrosion.
Making the SS incredibly distinctive, the Super Sport models featured this panel in a special engine-turned aluminum, which was also used to fill the side moldings. After the Chevrolet Nomad was gone the Impala once again was named the top station wagon. The optional Turboglide automatic transmission was discontinued because of reliability problems. Powerglide was the only automatic transmission available until 1965. Optional for 1962 was the all-transistor de luxe push-button radio.
Many consider the 1963 Chevrolet Impala as the most popular body style, even though mechanically it's nearly identical to the 1962 model. With its crisp lines and pointed front and rear fenders, the 1963 Impala carried a long, low style of car design that was quite popular during the early 1960s. This year featured an aluminum rear taillight surrounded by a chrome border with the engine-turned surface on SS models. The Impala was offered in six models, which included six- and nine-passenger wagons. Even the regular sedans featured plenty of available space in both the cabin and the trunk with luxury and comfort as high on the priority list as sport and style.
Engine choices didn't vary much from the previous year, and the small-block 283 and 327-cubic-inch (4.6 and 5.4 L) V8s being the most popular choices. A new creased roofline was introduced on the Sport Sedan, which proved to be quite popular. The temperature gauge with simple indicator lights for hot and cold engine conditions was featured along a new 'coved' instrument panel, 'air-washed' rocker panels and all-season air conditioning. Though rarely ordered by buyers, an optional factory tachometer was built into the dashboard right above the steering wheel, giving the Super Sports model a more ‘sporty feel'.
Updated slightly in 1964, the Impala now featured a more rounded, softer, smoother design. The standard taillight assembly had an 'upside-down U' shaped aluminum trim strip above the taillights, and the individual lights were each surrounded by a body-colored panel. The 6.7 L engine returned as the big-block option, along with the 2X4 carburetor setup for the 425 horsepower motors. SS models kept the engine-turned aluminum trim and rooflines remained the same from 1963. Standard now were backup lights. Showing a shift in the importance of the American muscle car, 1964 was the year that the Chevelle was introduced worldwide.
Produced at GM's Oshawa plant in Canada, right hand drive cars were often shipped overseas in kit form for assembly in South Africa and New Zealand. RHD cars used a right hand drive version of the left hand drive 1961 Pontiac dashboard.
Hitting an all-time industry annual sales record of more than 1 million units, a record that hasn't yet been topped, the fourth generation Chevy Impala was introduced with a whole new redesign in 1965. The divot in the front grille was pulled to the headlights while the actual lights received a more dominant enclosure. At the rear the Impala had a quarter panel bubble once again and the hood had a pop-up latch and a windsplit with a tempered rear plate glass window. Adding a redesigned full-coil suspension, all new full-size Chevrolets were moved to a full-width perimeter frame instead of the 'X' frame. The new body featured curved, frameless side glass, a sharper angled windshield and newly reshaped vent windows.
The Chevy Caprice was introduced in 1965 as the highest model Impala, much like the Impala was created as the highest model Bel air. The Caprice featured many lux features like specialty door pulls and sleek wood grain interior. The Impala Caprice was exclusively offered as a four-door hardtop resplendent with distinctive tufted upholstery, specialty pulls on the insides of the doors and wood grained accents on the dashboard. The Caprice took the 'spinner' wheel covers from the Impala SS with the 'SS' logo centers replaced with a Chevy 'bowtie' emblem. Also borrowed from the SS was the blackout rear trim strip below the triple taillights, minus the 'Impala SS' emblem.
In 1966 the Caprice Custom was reintroduced as the Chevy Caprice. It was placed in the top spot in the full-size Chevrolet lineup. Powering the Caprice was the inline six-cylinder or the famous Chevrolet small-block and big-block V8 engines. If buyers purchased the automatic they were given the option of the newly released three-range Turbo Hydra-Matic transmission for the newly introduced Mark IV big-block engine, which displaced 396 cubic inches. The Super Sport introduced four-way power bucket seats this year along with a vinyl roof covering and a Positraction rear axle.
Early in 1965 the aging 409-cubic-inch (6.7 L) 'W' engine was deleted while other later-built cars received the 396-cubic-inch (6.5 L) as the big-block option with significant horsepower drawback. Available this year was two-range Powerglide and Synchro-Mesh 3- and 4-speed manual transmission. Once again the Impala featured a wealth of interior and exterior chrome trim along with pleated tufted upholstery and door panels. New this year was the use of wraparound taillights, which retailed the three-light tradition in a flat, boxed setting. In 1966 the Impala would be the #2 selling convertible in the United States with 38,000 models sold. Mustang sales topped the Impala nearly 2 to 1.
In 1967 Chevrolet redesigned the Impala with Coke bottle-styling with front and rear fender bulges inspired by the Corvette. The roofline now flowed straight into the lid and 'hop-up' rear fenders brought it all together. Many safety improvements were made this year to keep up with federal regulations that included a fully collapsible energy-absorbing steering column, side marker lights, and shoulder belts for closed models. A 1967 Sport Sedan 4-door hardtop made its TV debut in the series Supernatural, which made the value increase exponentially for collectors.
Once again the Impala was Chevrolet's top of the line model for 1968. A total of 710,900 models were sold that year and it seemed the face-lifted front end and new rear bumper with triple 'horseshow' shaped taillights was a big hit. A new Impala model, the Custom Coupe was introduced this year. Incredibly successful, the two-door hardtop carried the same formal roofline as the Caprice Coupe. The same four different-sized engines were offered along with the option between a two-speed Powerglide automatic transmission or a three-speed Turbo Hydramatic.
The Coke bottle styling was becoming a thing of the past for full-size Chevrolets by 1969. New slab-bodies with a small 'upsweep' at the rear quarter window and a more formal look was in store for the '69 Impala. Chevrolet was now trying to make the Impala look bigger, though it still rode on the 119-inch wheelbase from earlier models. Giving it a wider look were new front bumpers that wrapped around the grille along with horizontal taillights in the rear bumper. All models used vent-less front windows. Though it wasn't yet the pressurized system standard on all 1971 big GM cars, Chevrolet had a rustic 'power vent' system that held vents in the instrument panel. Though they were noisy, the vent windows provided excellent ventilation at highway speeds. The ignition system was relocated to the steering column from the instrument panel and once the key was removed, the steering wheel and shift lever were locked. One year before Federal regulations all 1969 GM models (minus the Corvair) received this update.
Replacing the 'fastback' C-pillar from 1967 to 1968 the hardtop Sport Coupe received a new, crisply styled notchback roofline. Impala production topped Caprice production by 611,000 models during 1969. The Impala station wagon was renamed Kingswood and would continue this way through 1972.
New this year was one of the most unique and rear options ever features on a Chevrolet; the 'liquid tire chain' which sprayed traction-inducing and ice-melting liquid onto the tires. This seldom purchased option was only available for a year. The unit rested in the trunk and offered one spray over each tire.
In 1970 the Impala received a minor updated that included a more conventional under the grille bumper instead of the wrap-around unit from 1969. Also new were triple vertical taillights in the rear bumper. This would be the final year of the fourth-generation superstar Chevy seller. The floor-mounted four-speed manual and the Strato bucket seats were dropped this year, and the six-cylinder engine was only available on four-door sedans as a 250-horsepower Turbo-Fire V8 that was standard on larger-engined trims. The Bel Air Sport Coupe was introduced in Canada as the lower priced sibling to the Impala Sport Coupe, and used the same body but used Bel Air trim.
In Canada right hand drive cars were manufactured for export to countries like the UK and Australia until 1969. These exports used a version of the '65 Impala dash panel until 1969 without modification for a radio, and dashboard molding of fiberglass instead of metal. Radios would be centrally mounted while heaters were locally sourced and wipers placed in the center of the windscreen. In Australia, Australian models were assembled from kits since this lessened tax on the cars. Instead of the clear reversing lenses since red flashers were banned there, Australian cars had locally-sourced amber flashing rear indicators. For New Zealand consumers the bodies were supplied from Canada already welded, painted and trimmed.
The Impala SS (Super Sport) was debuted to the market in 1961. Though it often had been an appearance package only, the SS badge was to become Chevy's signature of performance on numerous models. Truly the epitome of performance, the SS started with the 348-cubic-inch (5.7 L) V8 engines available with 305 hp, 340 hp, and 350 hp, or the new 409-cubic-inch (6.7 L) V8 with available 425 hp. The 1961 SS package was available for purchase on any Impala, included station wagons and sedans, unlike previous years. The Super Sport package also brought with it upgraded tires on wheels, shocks, springs, and special sintered metallic brake lines on station wagons. Becoming one of the most rare collectibles, only 142 1961 Impala Super Sports arrived from the factory with the 409. In 1962 the Impala SS became an appearance package restricted to only hardtop coupes and convertible coupe models. It was available with all engines in the Impala series beginning with the base 235-cubic-inch (3.9 L), 135 hp inline-6 through 1967. Big-block engines and heavy-duty parts could still be ordered though. The SS427 was an additional model available from 1967 through 1969.
From 1962 until 1963 the Super Sport was often referred to as Regular Production Option (RPO) Z03, and also again in 1968. The Super Sport was its own separate model from 1964 through 1967 with its own VIN prefix. From 1962 through 1964 Super Sports featured engine-turned aluminum trim, which was replaced by a 'blackout' trim strip in 1965 running under the taillights. In 1965 the SS didn't vary much on the exterior from regular Impala models and rocker panel trim was deleted. 'Super Sport' scripts replaced the 'Impala SS' badges also this year. On the inside, a new center console featured full instrumentation that included a vacuum gauge and a rally-type electric clock. In 1965 a total of 243,114 Impala SS coupes and convertibles were produced.
The following year the SS was updated with an improved grille and new rectangular taillights instead of the triple round units. Following customer complaints about door dings on the clean-lined 1965s a chrome beltline strip shared with regular Impalas was added to the SS. On the interior new Strato bucket seats with thinner and higher seat backs were added, along with a center console with an optional gauge package was now available. Unfortunately the sport/performance car market was evolving from full-sized models to intermediates, and in addition to the new market desiring for even smaller pony cars let to sales of the '66 Impala dropping by more than 50% to around 117,000 models.
Taking a stylish backseat for 1967, the Impala SS was much less decorated than other Impalas. Super Sports had black grille accents and black-accented body-side and rear fender moldings while lesser models leaned towards more bright work on the interior and exterior. Customers could customize their SS with either vinyl bucket seats with a center console, or a Strato-Bench seat with a fold-down center armrest. The standard wheel covers were the identical optional ones on other big Chevys, but the centers featured the 'SS' logo surrounded by tri-color ring of red, white and blue. 'Impala SS' badges replaced 'Chevrolet' and 'Impala' callouts on the body of the car.
For 1967 a total of 76,055 Impala SS models were built, with only 2,124 ordered with RPO Z24, a special performance package that featured RPO F41 heavy-duty suspension and other performance extras, RPO L36 (385 brake hp Turbo-Jet 427-cubic-inch (7.0 L) V8, along with a trim package that replaced the 'Impala SS' badges with the large 'SS427' emblems on the front grille and rear trim. Other extras on the Z24 package included a special hood with imitation chrome-plated intake. From 1967 through 1968 only around 400 Super sports had a six-cylinder engine, 390 brake hp in 1969, or L72 (425 brake hp) from 1968 to 1969. On the inside and out special SS427 badging was featured, though very few models were sold since muscle car fans were looking for big-block intermediates like the Chevelle SS396 and Plymouth Road Runner.
Possibly due to the availability of big-block engines in the mid-sized Chevelle, and even Novas that could be ordered with the 396 engine with the new for 1968 body, Impala Super Sports had a huge decline in sales. The Super Sport was no longer a separate series, but instead a mere $179 option package for the two Impala coupes and the convertible.
The Z24 package was a carryover from 1967 and only 1,778 of the 38,210 Impalas equipped with the SS package were produced. The following year only SS427s could be ordered without the Z03 SS package, which meant that it included SS427 equipment but a lack of bucket seats, center console or SS door panels. The Z03 Impala SS was easily identifiable by the 'Impala Super Sport' badges on the trunk lid, front grille and rear fenders. The Z24 optioned models featured 'SS427' emblems rather than 'Impala Super Sport' badges, three 'gills' mounted on the front fender aft of the wheel like the Corvette Stingray and a special layered 'pancake' hood. Today these Z24 cars are highly collectible and though many owners tried to 'clone' regular Impalas into SS427s there was a lack of special hoods and other trim items which made this a difficult task.
The Impala SS was available in 1969 only as the Z24 (SS427), with a 427-cubic-inch (7.0 L) V8 of 335 brake horsepower, 390 brake horsepower, or 425 brake horsepower. 1969 would be the final year for the Impala SS until 1994. There was no Z03 offered this year, and the 1969 Impala SS carried no distinctive SS badging on the inside of the car except for an 'SS' logo on the steering wheel. The most rare collectible car of any year with this package was a true 1969 Z24-optioned car. Much like the '68s, the Z24 could be ordered on the Impala convertible, Custom Coupe or Sport coupe. The following year, 1969, would be the last year that the Impala SS was available with the Z24 package, and also the only year in which front disc brakes and 15-inch wheels standard. This made the '69 SS427 mechanically more advanced than the previous versions in standard form. Sales of the '69 Z24-optioned Impalas jumped to 2,455 units from the 1,778 Z03-optioned units of 1968, and high-powered big-block V8 engines were still available, but there would be no Impala SS models for 1970. A new Turbo-Jet 454 producing 390 hp for 1970 replaced the 427 on the engine offerings list.
The fifth generation of the Chevrolet Impala was introduced in 1971 and was the top-selling model. Producing 365 hp in 1971 a high-performance big block V8 was still available in the form of the Turbo-Jet 454, but unfortunately power went down over the years. The largest car ever offered by Chevrolet ever before, the redesigned B-body screamed massive room and comfort. Taking its styling cues from the 1961 'bubbletop' styling the hardtop Sport Coupe continued to be offered with a smoothly sloped semi-fastback. Chevrolet borrowed some design features from the Camaro like a double panel roof and flush door handles.
At the beginning of 1971 a three-speed manual transmission remained standard but was soon followed by all V8-equipped full-size GM cars receiving Turbo Hydra-Matic as standard equipment. Until 1973 Powerglide remained optionally available for six-cylinder models. All engines were configured with lower compression rates that could use both leaded and unleaded fuel in preparation for the incorporation of catalytic converters. The large 'B' body Chevrolets offered plenty of luxury features like the Cadillac and offered a smooth, stylish ride that was often easily confused with a Cadillac Eldorado.
New in 1972 for the Impala was a grille that reached beyond the bumper. Rather than a fully aligned block, the grille was offset with a bigger presence shown below the fender. This would be the final year for the Impala convertible with a total of 6,456 models sold. The best-selling body style for 1972 was the Custom Coupe. Power options consisted of mostly V8 engines. Standard for the Sport Coupe and 4-door sedan models was the 250 inline six, while the 350 2bbl V8 became the standard engine from 1973 through 1976 with 350 cubic inches (5.7 L), 400 cubic inches (6.6 L), 402 cubic inches (6.6 L) (through 72) or 454 cubic inches (7.4 L). Sales for this year slid below 600,000 for the year, signally a lack of sales in the beloved Impala.
New federal mandates in 1973 required the addition of 5-mile-per-hour impact protection in larger shock-absorbing front bumpers. The rear bumper remained quite conventional and received new taillights and standard variable-ration power steering. Better road capability was achieved thanks to updates to the suspension and frame. Rather than the matte black used in 1971 and 1972 the steering wheels and instrument panels were color-keyed to interior colors. The Caprice Classic convertible debuted this year and it was the first all-closed-body Impala ever. The Bel Air 4-door sedan was the only ride with the inline six-cylinder engine and only with the 3-speed manual transmission. The front seats were repositioned to provide more legroom. The station wagon returned to the lineup with the Impala name and Glide-Away tailgate and power rear window.
For 1974 the Impala underwent a redesign that included the rear bumper with shock absorbers that met the upgraded standards and featured new taillights. The front end received a fresh update that included a new grille, headlight bezels, a bumper with a drop down center section and a new header panel. Once again the market lights moved back up beside the headlamps. On the inside the interior was much quieter and offered an even more comfortable ride. This would be the only year for five years (1971 through 1976) that the Impala would have a different front end design than the Caprice Classic like other years that used a grille insert or previous year Caprice front to distinguish the two. Also updated in 1974 were the rooflines of the Impala coupes. The Custom Coupe received a large fixed rear quarter glass and thick B-pillar for 1974, which made it no longer a hardtop. The Sport Coupe now used bigger roll-down quarter glass reminiscent of the '71-'73 Custom Coupe, still a pillar-less hardtop, with a narrower, fastback style with a flat back window. The sedan was built on carryover body shells like previous years.
Sport Coupe models were introduced with a special limited edition Spirit of America package that was primarily an appearance package in 1974. It included white or blue body paint, white upholstery with red or blue trim, a white full vinyl top, color-keyed seat belts and floor, unique wheel covers, optional white rally wheels, sports-styled dual remote outside rear view mirrors, red pin-striping and a vinyl body side molding insert. The Spirit of America package also featured special fender and dashboard badges. Nova and Vega Spirit of America versions were also offered by Chevrolet.
The following year the Impala received a carried over Caprice front end along with a grille insert and emblem change. Meanwhile the Caprice received a new front end with a swept back style header panel with recessed headlight buckets, new fenders and a new hood. Other updates for 1975 included 50-50 retractable seats with passenger-side recliner, updated upholstery, dashboard with spruced up radio and climate control graphics and updated door panels. Kilometers per hour was added to the speedometer along with the number amount rising up to 100 miles per hour on the read screen. Though it was installed on some 1974 cars in a secretive manner, a High Energy Ignition (HEI) system was officially launched in 1975.
For the first time catalytic converters were introduced along with several new options that included an Econominder guage package that included a coolant temperature gauge and intermittent wipers. 1975 was the last year of the full-size Chevrolet convertible. New rooflines were given to four-door models and the hardtop sport Sedan received a small triangular 'opera window' that was carved out of the wide roof panel.
From 1975 through 1976 a special Landau model was introduced with a landau vinyl roof (with a chrome band across the roof), the buyers choice of unique paint colors, color-keyed wheel covers, sports-styled dual remote outside rearview mirrors, a vinyl bodyside molding insert and pin-striping. The interior of the Landau offered color-keyed seat belts and floor mats. Other features on the model included special fender and dashboard emblems.
The final year of the fifth generation Impala, 1976 was the last of the large, bulky sedans. The Impala was dropped down to Chevrolet's lowest priced full size car in the marques increasingly larger fleet. After 1975 the 2-door hardtop Sport Coupe was deleted from the lineup, which left the redesign Custom Coupe. The Custom rode on a wide 'B' pillar frame and with its fixed rear window, was the only 2-door Impala available in '76. Models this year had round headlamps instead of the Caprice's new quad rectangular ones, though it shared a nose, and a new 'egg crate' grille insert. This would also be the final year any Chevrolets were powered by the 454-cubic-inch V8.
The sixth generation of the Impala was debuted in 1977 and would run until 1985. In an attempt to stay fresh with current market demands, the Impala was once again redesigned and now made shorter in length, but taller and narrower than ever before. The new frame was a shortened version of the one introduced in 1971 and would remain in use until 1996 when the B-body production line would be shut down. Even though the proportions were shrunk slightly, the Impala still had very roomy headroom, rear-seat legroom and ample trunk space. Compared to the previous year the Impala sales rose exponentially with sales once again regaining the number one US sales position. For 1977 the newly designed Impala/Caprice was named Motor Trend's car of the year. This reworked model had a starting price at $4,876 and was available in a coupe, four-door sedan and four-door station wagon.
New for this year was the deletion of pillarless hardtops in the threat of impending federal rollover standards. Similar to the 1987 Chevrolet Monte Carlo Aerocoupe the 1977 through 1979 coupes received a double bent tempered rear window. Brand new sheetmetal was used in 1980 though the body style remained very similar.
The available engine options were reduced in 1977 including the inline-6 reintroduced with 110 horsepower. Optional for this year was the 267 and 305 cubic inch V8 engines. Also optional was the 350-cubic inch (5.7 L) V8 engine and Oldsmobile's 350-cubic-inch (5.7 L) V8 diesel engine. A generic 229 cubic inch V6, originally from the Buick replaced the inline 6 engine in 1980 and was installed in a variety of GM models of different divisions.
In 1978 Impala sales peaked at 290,744, with only 33,990 of these being coupes. Dubbed the 'trim, crisp, beautiful' line, the 1977 through 1979 Impalas featured a double bent tempered rear window and for the first time, a power skyroof. The following year the Impala was still carrying the tagline 'The New Chevrolet'. The biggest change to the 'American family favorite' was on the grille, with the deletion of the horizontal bars. The 1979 Impala was priced at $5,828 and total production peaked at 270,907.
Production dipped down to 99,257 units in 1980 when production was hit hard by the gas crisis. The starting price began at $6,535 and only a few minor updates were made to the exterior. Now slightly more rounded, the hood and front fenders of the Impala were lowered slightly. Unfortunately the Impala and the Caprice were slowly descending in popularity.
In 1981 the big changes for the Impala included the debut of the Computer Command Control (CCC) emission system, which helped reach stiffer regulations. Other updates this year include a four-speed automatic transmission that improved the 305-cubic-inch V8's EPA to 26 on the highway. Finally the 5.7-liter 350-cubic-inch Oldsmobile V8 previously only available for station wagons was now available for all Impalas.
The Sport Coupe was deleted in 1982 thanks to ever lowering sales because of the popular pony car, leaving the Caprice Sport Coupe the only full-size left on the lineup. The four-speed auto transmission from 1981 was adapted for the 4.4-liter 267-cubic-inch V8 engine. At a list price of $7,918, the original full-size family Impala sedan was still being outsold by the Caprice Classic.
The following year the Impala station wagon was deleted entirely along with the last two-door option. Also removed this year was the 4.4-liter V8 engine. In 1983 Impala sales dipped about 20 percent with a total of 45,154 produced, but it continued to be one of Chevrolets top sellers. In 1984 the full-size sedans, including the Caprice, had a 25 percent increase in sales. The starting price for the standard Impala was $8,895, but was considered a solid value for the era. New this year was the windshield wiper controls moving from the dash to the turn signal lever. Cruise control could also now be increased or decreased by one mile per hour.
The final year of the sixth generation, 1985 was a year a 4.3-liter V6 (with a 20 horsepower increase) replaced the 3.8-liter V6 engine. The suspension was also tightened for a stiffer ride. Selling well in to the early 1980s, the Impala and was reduced to the base model full-size, and popular with fleet usage, especially with police pursuit vehicles and taxis, but was discontinued this year. Chevrolet continued to sell the more successful Caprice. Starting in 1986 the base model full-size Chevrolet was rebranded Caprice and all of the upper models were called the Caprice Classic and Caprice Classic Brougham.
The seventh generation of the Impala was introduced in 1991 on the incredibly revamped GM B platform on the shortened frame design from 1977. GM designed Jon Moss rocked the automotive world with his Chevy Impala SS concept introduced at the 1992 Detroit Auto Show. Two inches lower than the regular Caprice, the concept car was powered via a 8.2-liter (500 cu in) engine. Before it reached production level the engine was replaced with a 5.7-liter (350 cu in) engine from the Corvette to demonstrate to the public what would be available, though an off-road specification 510-cubic-inch (8.4 L) would eventually be put into the engine of the prototype.
On February 14, 1994 the '94 Impala SS entered production at GM's plant in Arlington Texas and powered with a 260-horsepower 5.7-liter V8 LT1 engine, mated with a less than impressive four-speed automatic transmission with the gear shifter on the steering column. Nearly identical cosmetically to the concept car, the only obvious change was the chromed bowtie logo on grille instead of the red logo from the concept. With a starting price of $22,495 the new car was produced in black online rode on 17-inch five-spoke aluminum wheels with retro Impala badges. The car featured a lowered sports suspension with De Carbon gas-pressurized shocks, dual exhaust, disc brakes and a high-capacity reverse flow cooling system.
Basically a high-performance version of the Caprice, the Impala SS used the Caprice 9C1 police package as its base, but most of its equipment was previously only available to government agencies and law enforcement officers. Though not all of the police equipment was carried over from the Caprice 9C1 package, the SS didn't get the external oil-to-air engine oil cooler or had the body mount secured, though both of these are popular aftermarket additions to the Impala SS.
The SS was individually fitted with a standard 3.08 gear, while the limited-slip rear differential was standard and the suspension was lowered an inch. The difference between the LT1 in the Impala and LT1 in the Corvette and Camaro was that the Impala's engine had cast-iron cylinder heads fitted rather than aluminum ones. The camshaft was also designed more for low-end torque instead of high-end horsepower. Other differences include the block casting for the Impala LT1 having 2-bolt main bearing caps instead of 4-bolt main bearing caps. An electronically controlled version of the previously hydraulically controlled 4L60 was the transmission 4L60E used in the LT1. From 1994 through 1996 a manual transmission wasn't available, though today that is a trend growing in popularity to replace the 4L60-E transmission with the T-56 from the Firebird and Camaro with aftermarket kits.
Updates on the exterior of the Impala SS included a special single-bar grille with no hood ornament and a rear deck spoiler. The 1994 model rode on 17-inch brushed aluminum wheels with 255/50ZR17 all-season Z-rated tires. The interior of the SS was fitted with a central console with cup holders, leather seats emblazoned with the Impala SS logo, a storage compartment and a standard leather-wrapped steering wheel. The SS was only available in black with a gray interior this year. Only 6,303 cars were sold this year due a shortage of the special five-spoke aluminum wheels manufactured by ROH in Australia. Once the wheel shortage was rectified for 1995 a total of 21,434 cars were sold.
In 1995 the Impala SS was available in two new body-color trims, Dark Cherry and Green/Gray, which weren't a huge change from the jet black signature color, but was a welcome addition. The body paneling on the rear quarter panel was tweaked to show the cosmetic effect previously achieved by a window insert. Also new this year was the side mirrors being attached to a larger format attached to the 'A' pillar.
With a pricetag of $24,405, the 1996 Impala SS enjoyed its final year of production with a total of 41,941 models sold. The '96 model went into production late in the model year and the final one was produced on December 13, 1996. Only slight updates were made including the digital speedometer replaced with an analog one, along with a tachometer. Other changes included the shifter being moved from the column to the center console and the engine received an OBD-II computer control system.
On December 13, 1996 a special ceremony was held at the plant for M.G. 'Pinky' a Chevy collector from Michigan as he bought the final Impala SS. Randall drove the final dark cheery-metallic painted SS off the lineup with County Judge Tom Vandergriff alongside him in the front seat. Mayor Richard Green rode in the backseat along with plant manager Herb Stone and Lonnie Morgan, president of United Auto Workers Local 276, the plant representative. The Impala SS joined 45 other vehicles in Randall's Chevrolet collection.
General Motors wanted to move in the direction of more profitable SUVs so the entire B-body line (which included the Impala SS, Chevrolet Caprice and the Buick Roadmaster) was discontinued for a four-year period. Since fleet sales to law enforcement outnumbered sales of all other B-bodies the Caprice was the only B-body with a market share.
In 2000 GM brought back the Impala to take the place of the Lumina with a brand new identity as the 'Hi-Mid' program. The new Impala no longer had any V8 options and was switched to front-wheel drive. In it's eighth generation, the Impala was built at Oshawa Car Assembly in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada and was based on the Lumina's W-body platform. The new model was available with a choice of two 3.8L V6 engines and slightly smaller 3.4L V6 engine. A big update for 2000 was safety improvement that included available side airbags as it met standards three years ahead of time.
From 2000 to 2003 the Chevrolet Impala was available in two trim levels. The base Impala featured cloth bench seats, steel wheels, a 3-gauge instrument cluster and an available 180 horsepower 3.4 liter LA1 V6. The LS Sport Option was introduced to celebration the Salt Lake City Winter Olympic Games. The LS was delivered from the factory with cloth bucket seats that was easily upgraded to leather with center console and floor shift, color keyed 'Impala' door scripts and trunk badge.
Other popular extras included anti-lock brakes, keyless remote entry, traction control system, integrated fog lights, aluminum wheels, rear spoiler, a new six-gauge instrument cluster, front passenger dual temperature controls, an AM/FM stereo with cassette and Radio Data System and a larger 200 hp 3.8 liter L36 V6 engine. All LS Impala's offered optional sunroof, Driver Information Center with built-in HomeLink system, OnStar system, heated power front seats and 16-inch 1990s SS inspired wheels. 2003 models came standard with power windows, locks and mirrors. Base models could opt for a rear spoiler and could be removed from LS models at buyers request. Optional this year was high-quality commercial-free XM Satellite Radio.
In 2004 the SS Impala returned with an increase in horsepower from 200 to 240 in its 3.8 liter supercharged engine L67 V6 engine. Its engine had been previously used in the Pontiac Grand Prix GTP, Buick Riviera, Buick Regal GS, Buick Park Avenue 'Ultra' and H-body Pontiac Bonneville SSEI. Other updates included a tighter suspension for sportier handling. Actually quicker than the 1990 SS thanks to the lightweight front-wheel-drive, the 2004 sedan could achieve 0-60mph in just 6.5 seconds.
A limited edition Impala Indy SS was debuted in 2004 to commemorate the Indy 500 race and its long relationship with Chevrolet. Only 4,088 units were produced with a special black grille with gold Chevrolet bowtie emblem that would be carried over to all 2005 models. Other features on the special edition included 17-inch chrome wheels, gauge cluster package, various Indy logos on the outside and inside and more.
First released in 2000, the Police Package or 9C1 and the 2001 Undercover Police Package or 9C3 were also released in this updated version and only available to law enforcement agencies, EMS or fire departments. More successful than the Lumina 9C3, the 2005 Impala 9C1 was a base model with a stronger suspension and powered by a 3.8 liter V6 engine. The base model was only available in a variety of basic colors. A feature from the LS, the 'SURV MODE' switch that replaced the fog light switch, was also added to the 9C1. This allowed to the driver to turn off all lights in the car and 'hide'; a special feature not allowed on civilian models, since automatic headlights were standard. Comparably equipped, the 9C3 and the 9C1 were similar, but the 9C3 had the ability to add additional convenience features and more paint and interior choices.
2005 was the final year with this styling and the Chevrolet Impala was the highest-selling domestic car in the U.S. with a total of 246,481 units produced. Unfortunately the Impala had stiff competition with the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry and the Nissan Altima.
The ninth generation of the Impala was introduced in 2006 and was produced until 2013. This generation was debuted at the 2005 Los Angeles Auto Show and was built on the GM W platform like the Buick LaCrosse. This body was much more rounded, with bigger, rounded headlights, cornered taillight instead of big circles and lower-centralized grille.
The Impala was now available in four trims; the base LS, LT, LTZ and the SS. The base model was priced at $21,990 while the fully loaded SS cost around $31,000. LTZ models had leather upholstery standard that was optional on LT models. The inside of the vehicles was completely redesigned with a wood trim center console and chrome accents on all major control buttons. On the dash was a chrome Impala logo embedded in the wood grain trim that runs across the front of the car and onto the doors. The interior of this newest generation featured updated audio systems, brand new seats, an available fold-flat rear seat, an updated instrument panel and standard side curtain airbags. Cup holders were now concealed beneath the midsection of the cars center console. The base LS model featured steel wheels with wheel covers, an AM/FM stereo with single-disc CD player, six speakers, auxiliary input jack, AC, keyless entry, cloth seating surfaces and buyers choice of front bucket or single front bench seat. The mid-range LT model featured alloy wheels, optional front heated seats and MP3 playback capabilities. The ultra-luxurious LTZ offered heated leather seating surfaces, a Bose eight-speaker premium sound system, security system, OnStar and a power sunroof.
The Impala LS and LT were powered by a 3.5-liter (214 cu in) V6 engine producing 303 horsepower with an available 323 ft/lbs. of torque. For the first time the Generation IV small-block V8 was used in a front-wheel-drive in the SS model since the 1996 Caprice. The V8 was the new 5.3-liter (325 cu in) V8 that produced 303 horsepower. With the V8 the Impala SS could achieve 0-60 mph in just 5.6 seconds, and the quarter mile in 14.2 seconds with a travel time of 101 mph. The SS was 72.9 inches wide, 58.7 inches high and 200.4 inches long.
Until 2009 the SS was the top-of-the-line- model powered by a 5.3L V8 engine, 18-inch machined-finished alloy wheels, special SS badging and leather-and-suede seating surfaces. Unfortunately not enough buyers were in the market for the SS trim so it was discontinued in 2009, leaving the LTZ as the top-of-the-line model for '10.
New in 2007 from Chevrolet was Active Fuel Management, a fuel-saving system that automatically turns off half of the cylinders when not necessary, on to a V6. The Impala received the Flex-Fuel 3.5-liter V6 and Flex Fuel rear badge for the LS, LT, LTZ, and Touring. The Impala SS kept its same drivetrain and didn't receive the FlexFuel feature because of the high performance nature of the powertrain. Standard on all models was cruise control, a CD player and a tire-pressure-monitoring system. A factory spoiler was available as an option.
The Impala SS came with standard leather-appointed seats and XM Satellite Radio. XM was optional on LS, LT and LTZ trims. In 2007 the LT introduced a new Luxury Edition package with leather seating, rear folding seat and rear spoiler. Four new colors were offered this year; Imperial Blue Metallic, Bordeaux Red, Red Jewel Tintcoat and Precisions Red. Also new this year was a Regency-outfitted 'Impala RSS' with rocker panel extensions, spoiler, front/rear bumper, aggressive wheels and various upgrades on the inside of the car. Also new this year was a police package that helped Chevrolet sales with high fleet purchases.
In the spring of 2008 Chevrolet created a special anniversary edition model to commemorate 50 years of America's best-selling car, the Impala. The special model was based on the LT and was powered by the base 3.5-liter V6 flex-fuel engine, had FE3 Sport Suspension which replaced FE1 Touring Suspension, four-wheel ABS, 18-inch SS-style alloy wheels and rear SS style spoiler. Special '50th Anniversary' Impala badges were visible in numerous places like on the C-pillars, two-tone, leather-trimmed seats, on the front headrests, leather-wrapped steering wheel with accent-color threading including audio controls, eight-way power-adjustable driver seat, sill plates, and a choice of two premium exterior colors: Red Jewel Tintcoat and Black Granite Metallic.
Once again a Luxury Edition package was available on the LT. This model came with a leather-wrapped steering wheel; steering wheel mounted audio controls, anti-lock brakes and traction control.
2009 brought with it three new exterior colors: Silver Ice Metallic, Aqua Blue Metallic and Victory Red. Customers were still impressed with the Impala and its big, roomy model, but the design didn't carry the same luxurious refinement of old. The brushed aluminum dash applique wasn't available any longer. All Impala models this year used the previous SS style spoiler. The Touring trim level was deleted and leather seating wasn't available in combination with the 40/20/40 split bench front seat. The SS model still offered the Active Fuel Management feature on the 5.3L V8 with a 17-gallon gas tank, but it was no longer available on 3.9L V6 for the LT and LTZ models. The Luxury Edition package on LT models now offered a Bose Premium Audio System. Standard now was Thorax side-impact air bags. 1LT models now offered a sun and wheel package that included power sunroof, 17-inch aluminum wheels and Homelink.
The entire Impala line was scaled down from five trim options to three in 2010; the LS, LT and LTZ. The Impala was the only GM W-body car in production and the eight-cylinder SS model was deleted. The LT2 trim was basically replaced with a convenience package option. An optional Luxury Edition package was once again available and LT models included fog lights. The LT model was no longer available with the 3.9 L V6. Three new colors were introduced in 2010, Cyber Gray Metallic, Aqua Blue Metallic and Summit White. Four exterior colors were deleted this year, along with the trunk cargo net, AM/FM stereo with 6-disc in-dash CD changer and the (PDG) convenience package. Also deleted this year were the Impala emblems on rear sail panels and the rear decklid badges on LS models. The first part of the year included lower front-side GM badges that were quickly deleted as the year progressed.
The 2011 Impala was debuted in LS, LT and LTZ trims. Powering this lineup was a 3.5 L V6 (LS or LT) or a 3.9 L V6 (LTZ only). The LT once again offered a Luxury Edition package as an option and came with leather heated seats, Bose Premium Audio System, 6-way power front passenger seat, XM radio, Universal Home Remote, auto-dimming rearview mirror, outside heated power mirrors and a rear spoiler.
The ninth generation of the Impala 9C1 and 9C3 police package was based on the LS model. This package featured steel wheels or steel wheels with wheel covers, optional rubber flooring along with a variety of police equipment prep that included sirens, radios, lighting, badging, rear door handles that didn't open, door locks and windows. Other options included a rear vinyl bench seat, front cloth bucket or bench seats and cloth or vinyl front and rear seats. The car was also prepped for a criminal cage in between the front and rear seats. In 2008 the fog lamps found on the LT, LTZ, and SS were optional, and remained until 2012 before they were done away with.
These police models could have the spoiler from the LT, & LTZ before it was replaced that is on the SS and other models in 2009. In an attempt to compete with the Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor the police sedans were equipped with FlexFuel in 2008. The trim levels for the Police Package models were also update and didn't have the standard civilian SS's 303 hp V8 engine, but instead used the 3.9-liter (237 cu in) V6. The Police package was upgraded with the SS radiator and cooling system since GM didn't want to design a specific radiator and cooling system to equip a low-production V8 police car. The Police car also used the original center caps or the older style wheel covers from the 8th generation model rather than receive newly designed heavy-duty steel wheels.
In 2008 the 9C1 and9C3 were equipped with an external trunk lock tumbler, a feature that wasn't available on the civilian version. From 2006 until 2007 the 9C1 and9C3 police models had the standard wood grain before it was replaced by an aluminized interior trim. Both models in 2012 received different end caps where the fog lamps are on the LT and LTZ trims on the front-end bumpers. Other updates this year included 17-inch wheels with new wheel covers and the LFX V6 already powering the civilian Impala. The Impala 9C1 will continue in production until 2016 when it was succeeded by the Caprice PPV.
The 2012 Impala underwent an exterior update and 4 trims; base model, LS, LT and LTZ. A universal standard 3.6-liter V6 flex-fuel with a new six-speed automatic transmission replaced the 3.5 and 3.9 engines. The 3.6-liter engine delivered 302 hp and 252 lb/ft of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission replaced the four-speed automatic transmission. All Impalas now arrived standard with Bluetooth, MP3 capability and satellite radio and had a starting price around $25,760. New packages were introduced this year that included the LS Up-level package, LS Onstar and Bluetooth package, LT OnStar package, LT Sunroof package and the LT OnStar and Bluetooth package.
Not much changed from 2012 to 2013 with the Impala as the model was mostly a carryover. The trims remained LS, LT and LTZ. This would be the final retail Impala to be offered with optional bench seat and column shift transmission. Once again a Luxury Edition package was brought back as an option on the LT. This package featured perforated leather seating surfaces, dual front heated bucket seats with driver's side 8-way and 6-way power adjustors on the passenger's side. Other features included rearview auto-dimming mirror on the inside, Universal Home Remove, heated power adjustable mirrors, Bose 8-speaker premium sound system, Sirius-XM satellite radio, six-disc in-dash CD changer, Radio Data System and iPod and USB inputs, and an auxiliary input. The 2013 Impala had an abbreviated model year since the brand new 2014 model was released early.
Until 2016 the Impala Limited remained in production in LS, LT, and LTZ trim as a fleet, rental and police vehicle. Built alongside the Chevrolet Equinox, the Impala Limited is produced at the consolidated plant in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada.
The tenth generation of the Impala was introduced in 2014. Much more cutting edge and able to keep up with the growing competition with its high-tech capabilities, the new Impala was much improved this year. Taking inspiration from the Camaro and the Malibu, the Impala featured a more modern look with a clean, organized visage. The tenth generation officially went on sale on March 4, 2013 and became the first American sedan in two decades to earn Consumer Reports' top score, with a score of 95, of a possible 100 points. On that same day regular production on the Impala started at their Oshawa plant, while production at GM's Detroit-Hamtramck plant began production on April 8 and arrived at dealerships in May. Near the end of 2013 the eAssist versions went on sale.
The 2014 Impala was first debuted at the New York Auto Show in April of 2012. It was given the option of three direct-injected engines which included a 3.6-liter V6, a 2.5-liter four-cylinder and a 2.4-liter four-cylinder with eAssist. All models featured a six-speed automatic transmission with sport and manual shifting modes. New features this year includes 18-inch standard wheels, low profile HID headlights and LED daytime running lights on LTZ trim. Safety features included 10 standard airbags combined with OnStar. Optional features for 2014 included collision mitigation braking, forward collision alert, full-speed-range adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, side blind zone alert, rear cross traffic alert, rear camera and rear-park assistance.
The interior of the Impala featured a brand new 4.2-inch color display that supports Chevy MyLink to pair with an 8-inch screen in the center console with Bluetooth streaming, smartphone integration and navigation. Sales have risen since 6.9 percent since 2013, making the Impala one of Chevrolet's best selling brands. The Impala beat out its current competitor, the Toyota Avalon, which fell from 17.8 percent in 2013 to 14.2 percent in 2014, which made the Impala the top selling full-size sedan in the U.S.
By Jessica Donaldson
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