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Platform is still stuck on RWD, but exhibits gains from eAssist, DI

The Chevy Impala is a name with a lot of history attached.  One of General Motors (GM) oldest models, it first debuted in 1958 and for a time was the best-selling automobile in the country.  Chevy today announced its plans for the new 2014 Impala, which was previewed at the New York Auto Show.

The new model will be based around three different engines:
  • 2.4 L LUK Ecotec 182 hp (136 kW) I4 w/ eAssist
  • 2.5 L Ecotec 197 hp (147 kW) I4
  • 3.6 L LFX 303 hp (226 kW) V6
All of the engines will come with six-speed transmissions -- increasingly an industry standard, given that more gears helps automakers better balance power and fuel efficiency.

Chevy Impala
The 2014 Chevy Impala [Image Source: GM]

The eAssist model uses GM's second generation belt-driven battery/motor system.  While less powerful than power-split architectures where the generator is directly driven by the drive shaft, the second gen system does offer more hybrid energy recapture, with a 15 kW (20 hp) motor-generator that delivers 79 lb·ft (107 N·m) of torque.  Further, it's inexpensive and simple, making cost of ownership and repairs less intense than with traditional power-split hybrids like Toyota Motor Comp.'s (TYO:7203) best-selling Prius.

The Ecotec engines also bring direct injection to the Impala for the first time.  Cumulatively these allow the 2.4L LUK Ecotect/eAssist Impala to get an estimated 35 MPG.

The vehicle will feature Chevy's nascent MyLink infotainment/services platform, paired with a 4.2-inch LCD screen.  It will also come with LED daytime running lights and a stacked technology options package, which includes, "full-speed-range adaptive cruise control, collision mitigation braking, forward collision alert, lane departure warning, side blind zone alert, rear cross traffic alert, rear camera and rear-park assist".

Chevy Impala
The interior is complemented by a MyFord Touch-like infotainment system.
[Image Source: GM]

The Chevy Impala platform continues to be front-wheel driven (FWD).  The sales downturn and subsequent bankruptcy shelved plans for a RWD transitition.

The key for GM will be the pricing of this mild hybrid.

Source: GM

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RE: RWD/FWD Confusion
By Dr of crap on 4/5/2012 8:22:14 AM , Rating: 0
I'm sory but here in the snowy lands we perfer FWD. ( no fish-tailing)
And why you'd want to go back to RWD after all this time, it's almost like going backward in tech.

RE: RWD/FWD Confusion
By Motoman on 4/5/2012 11:01:54 AM , Rating: 2
Because it's more fun to drive.

RE: RWD/FWD Confusion
By Spuke on 4/5/12, Rating: 0
RE: RWD/FWD Confusion
By IcePickFreak on 4/5/2012 12:15:39 PM , Rating: 2
Nope, no thanks. I'm in the "frozen tundra" and still much prefer RWD. You know they have this thing called traction control now right?

RE: RWD/FWD Confusion
By FITCamaro on 4/5/2012 12:30:39 PM , Rating: 2
Here in the 21st century with traction control and stability control systems in cars, its not an issue if you drive properly.

RE: RWD/FWD Confusion
By ebakke on 4/5/2012 2:02:07 PM , Rating: 2
Sadly, that's a big "if" for most people.

RE: RWD/FWD Confusion
By Boingo Twang on 4/6/2012 11:39:34 AM , Rating: 2
I live in a snowy land too and like RWD drive better as long as I have good traction control and real winter tires. The people that say that FWD is better in snow are probably wearing all season tires on their cars, not the advanced cold weather rubber/tread patterns/siping of modern winter tires. No argument there, if you don't want to purchase real winter tires then FWD is better in snow.

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