2014 Chevrolet Impala: Who Knew?
The Chevrolet Impala is the best-selling car that nobody talks about.
Consider: in 2012, there were 169,351 Impalas sold. The closest competitor, the Ford Taurus, racked up 66,066 sales. The Nissan Maxima was somewhat close behind it—it being the Taurus, not the Impala—with 2012 sales of 59,349. Two other competitors, the Toyota Avalon and the Hyundai Azera, came in at 29,556 and 8,431 units, respectively.
That means you could sum the sales of all of the other cars and come up with 163,402 units, fewer than Impala’s 169,351.
According to Chevy, the Impala has been the best-selling full-size sedan in the U.S. since 2004.
But, again, who talks about it?
Todd Pawlik, chief engineer for the 2014 Impala does. He talks about it a lot. And for good reason, because the car certainly elevates what is arguably already a good car, elevates it in terms of design (John Cafaro, director of GM North America passenger car exterior design is quoted as saying, “Our design team was challenged to create a new classic, but that didn’t mean relying on nostalgia.”) and in terms of engineering. The car is underpinned by the GM Global Epsilon platform, which is used for a number of GM products, including the Cadillac XTS and the Chevy Malibu.
(“Wait a minute,” you might be thinking. “The Impala—full-size—and the Malibu—midsize—have the same platform? Doesn’t this mean they’re the same size?” No. The overall length of the Impala is 201.3 in. and the wheelbase is 111.7 in. The Malibu is 191.5 in. long and has a 107.8-in. wheelbase. Where the two are common is in the width: 73 in. Yet Crystal Windham, who heads up passenger car interior design, and her team did an excellent job at crafting the interior—such as stretching the IP fully to the doors—so the width of the inside of the Impala seems capacious.)
You can hear all about the engineering development straight from Todd Pawlik, as he talks with John McElroy, host of Autoline, Peter DeLorenzo of Autoextremist.com, and your autofieldblogger.
Of course, before Pawlik comes on the set, McElroy, DeLorezo, and Vasilash hold forth on a number of topics, ranging from introductions at the New York Auto Show to a question of just how many auto shows does the world really need?
So, without further ado. . .
A young(ish) guy that I’ve known for a number of years, a man who spent the better part of his career writing for auto buff books and who is a car racer on the side, mentioned to me that his wife has a used Lexus ES Hybrid.
The thing about the Wrangler Willys Wheeler: It is a toy for a grown-up boy.
The only back-seat driver in designing automotive seats and trim covers is PLM. That’s a good thing.