Chevrolet's 2010 Impala Will Be FWD. Maybe.

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
chevrolets 2010 impala will be fwd maybe

Automotive News reports that GM still hasn't decided whether their next gen Chevrolet Impala will channel its motive power through the front or rear wheels. While the Impala's replacement is currently slated for the same rear wheel-drive platform used by the… wait for it… please wait for it… it really is coming soon we swear… Chevrolet Camaro, the automaker is now contemplating placing the new Impala on the company's box fresh, front wheel-drive "global mid-sized vehicle architecture." That's the platform that will underpin virtually everything GM makes, from the European Vectra to the replacement for the just-out Chevrolet Malibu. Aye, there's the rub. The new 'Bu is nearasdammit the same size as the current Impala. If both cars ride on the same global platform, there can only be a 20" difference between them. Badge engineering across brands is one thing; trying to differentiate mechanically identical cars within one brand is another. Indeed, there are already worries that the new Malibu will cannibalize sales from the current Impala. So who gets the final call and when will they make it? Hipster Car Czar Maximum Bob Lutz says it's all down to the feds. ""The large rwd (Chevrolet) sedan is always on the bubble, depending on what the government does," Lutz says. "A lot of the product lineups are up in the air right now and very flexible." Now there's a product plan you can believe in.

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4 of 9 comments
  • Mikey Mikey on Nov 05, 2007

    Oh yeah! Robert,the Camaro is coming.We got one sitting on the floor Its lacking a few things such as an engine,seats .trim,paint,wheels,you get the picture.Its a cool car I think. Anyway Plant 1 starts the conversion in 3 weeks,Impala production goes to plant 2. I'm not 100% sure that the new flex plant is flexible enough to run front and rwd vehicles? I do know that the Camaro can't deliver the sales numbers of the fwd Impala. I read the article today and there is a lot more questions than answers. The last Oshawa built Caprice rolled of the line in late 1984.We didn't get a half decent replacement until the Impala pushed the illconcieved Lumina off the track. I for one am not in a big hurry to lose the Impala

  • Naif Naif on Nov 05, 2007

    " GM is confused right now " that has to be one of the biggest understatments of the last 35 years. rwd for the Impala and offer a standard shift, they get better mpg. and other reasons.

  • Morbo Morbo on Nov 06, 2007

    Hmmm... a high output, RWD Chevy with a manual transmission, or an auto without the four near the door slushbox. Sounds like a Corvette to me. Seriously though, the average driver can't handle a heavy, RWD, high output sedan. Even with the advancements in ABS, ESC, and other nanny controls. I knew (a woman of course) that managed to lose control of a FWD Lumina. On Dry pavement. Driving a straight line. At 40 MPH. I've actually tried to replicate this and cannot physically do it. Asking the average idiot driver out there to handle 300 lb-feet torque coming out the back is great for body shops and hospital business, but bad for almost everyone else. I learned to drive on the Snipermobile (88 Chevy Caprice with the 5.0 V8) and remember it fondly. I remember it teaching me NOT to accelerate hard on wet/unstable pavement. I remember it teaching me to regain control on icy snow packed roads. I remember it teaching me that if you get the oversized water pump from Pep Boys instead of the correct sized one, you don't admit defeat and return it: you use a sledge hammer and force it into the engine bay. I remember it teaching me that the only terrain a heavy RWD sedan can't conquer is the DMV's emissision testing requirements. Nowadays, kids cut there teeth on Camcordima's or Taurpala's. Disconnected road feel. Nanny safety devices correcting their mistakes without them even knowing. 27 airbags to prevent injury when they do really screw up. I've gone a bit off topic, but point is, GM isn't stupid (just evil - I'm a Pontiac Bonneville too far with them). They could have engineered a modern, well powered, RWD V8 sedan in recent years like Ford (Lincoln LS/T-Bird/Mustang) or Chysler (300/etc.). They didn't because they don't sell beyond the fad years or as low margin taxi's/fleets/police. No matter how many of us remember (probably with too much nolstagia) the 96 Impala, or the 88 Turbocoupe, or the LTD etc., the FWD, plain jane appliance '08 Impala will profittably outsell any wickedized fire breathing RWD G8's, Impala's, Thunderbird's, Mustangs, Challengers, or other recent RWD attempts. The average driver is too boring/challenged to attempt to enjoy their ride. They want safe, boring, practical. Just like the current FWD Impala. That said, hell yeah I'm grabbing one of the RWD Mustangs or Magnum's before they're gone.

  • Ddubowits Ddubowits on Dec 24, 2007

    GM doesn't get it. Never mind FWD or RWD, make the Impala a performance AWD! All Wheel Drive made Audi what it is today. A good AWD design appeals to both performance and safety fanatics. I loved my '99 Audi A4 Quattro for its performance, and my wife loved it for its surefootedness. That's how I got the greenlight to buy the Audi. If the new 'bu had AWD, I'd buy it tomorrow. Really.