General Motors hopes that the launch this month of the redesigned 2014 Chevrolet Impala will increase sales of this nameplate and help invigorate the overall large-sedan segment. Chevrolet's vice president of U.S. sales and service Don Johnson thinks that the styling and generous features of the Impala will attract consumers away from the very popular crossovers and premium cars.
At a recent press event, Johnson expressed optimism about being able to steal sales away from its rivals in the large segment as well as those who are considering crossovers, SUVs and mid-sized sedans.
He didn’t give a prediction of the sales of the Impala or the large-sedan segment. Last year, the U.S. large-sedan segment increased by 1% to 560,611 units. The Impala was the best-selling model at 169,351 units, representing a 1% decrease from the previous year.
The Automotive News Data Center puts it ahead of the Dodge Charger (82,592 units); Ford Taurus (74,375 units); and Chrysler 300 (70,747 units). However, 70% of the Impala sales were actually made by rental agencies and other fleet customers. Johnson hopes to turn around this retail-fleet ratio with the redesigned Impala, which is expected to draw in younger, richer buyers.
Johnson added that a new lease program will help in driving up Impala sales. For the 2014 Impala LT powered by a V-6 engine, GM is offering a 36-month lease for $279 each month with $2,799 down on this model.
GM will still have the outgoing model for sale as a fleet-only vehicle, dubbed the 2014 Impala Limited. Johnson said that GM has yet to decide until when the Limited model will be available. But if there’s demand for this model, it may extend beyond the 2014 model year.
With the new 2014 Impala, Chevrolet is not only bringing in a new visual for its prized sedan, but also a model that respects the various cues that has made this nameplate unique for years. On the inside, it makes use of the brand’s well-known dual-cockpit motif. This time though, extra attention to detail was given in addition to having more upscale features.
Examples of this include how the stitching of the seats has that premium look with the materials having a soft feel to it. Then there is the ambient lighting being offered. The premium look can also be seen in the door panels and the bold instrument panel. The panel itself has an instrument cluster, part of which is the 4.2-inch display in full color containing features that can be reconfigured for the driver information center.
Also inside is a touch screen with an 8-inch display at the back of which is a hidden storage area. This is complemented by the Chevy MyLink system, though only available for the LT model and the LTZ variant. The use of the low and long proportion on the Impala gives it that wind-swept profile that makes it look like it’s moving.
By making available three types of wheels, the 18-inch versions, 19-inch ones, and the 20-inch variety, it allows the body to have that right stance. Going to the front area, it has a stunning set of projector-beam low-profile headlamps that sweep on its corners and frame the grille. It is important to note that on the LTZ, there are instead the daytime running lamps in LED and the HID headlamps. Furthermore, having these daytime running lamps on the LTZ helps give it a more modern interpretation, aside from having better visibility.
There is also the power dome hood which enables the Impala to display performance. While having sculpted coves on the sides enhances the emotion given by the design, the rear fenders with that sweeping trademark cue remains to honor the classic designs. Since the greenhouse region is rather long, it improves this model’s smooth appearance while ensuring that visibility is still there. In order to match the overall proportion, the deck lid was made short. Even then, once opened, there is a trunk with cargo space of around 532 liters, or about 18.8 cubic feet.
Rounding off the look in the rear portion are the dual-signature diagonal taillamps. However, the LTZ variant has exhaust outlets outlined in chrome added. For the exterior, the Impala will have a number of colors offered for it. These include Black, Blue Ray, Cyber Gray, and Crystal Red Tint coat. Included as well are White Diamond Tricoat, Tin Roof Rusted, and Summit White.
Then there is Silver Topaz Metallic, Silver Ice Metallic, Champagne Silver Metallic, and Blue Topaz Metallic. According to John Cafaro, who is North America passenger car exterior design director, the challenge for the design team was how to make a new classic while making sure not to depend on nostalgia. This new model, he added, is truly a modern car given the attention to detail, craftsmanship, and design elements, complemented with outstanding performance and innovative technology.