This article is part of the GM Authority Mailbag series, where the GM Authority Crew features and replies to your questions, comments, and observations. Write in to the Mailbag here for a chance to have your letter published.
This one comes to us from C. Sinz:
I have owned several Chevrolet Impalas in my life time including high end sedans and sports cars. Currently driving an 06 Impala LTZ (love the torque curve) I am 70 years old working full time and at my age I am not looking forward to having my butt 4 inches off the ground while feeling every pebble on the road. We old farts like comfort, that does not mean we like slugs or land “yachts” trust me, I am not just speaking for myself. Here’s the tip GM, how about an optional supercharged 3.6 Impala with a bit tighter suspension. Just a thought for your productions staff! I wonder how many “baby boomers” are having the same thought. After all, we where raised on Chevies!
For starters, it’s cool to hear that C is 70 and doesn’t want a slug “or land ‘yacht'”. Very cool, indeed.
But on the one hand, C doesn’t want to be 4 inches off the ground… and on the other, he wants performance (supercharged 3.6L and all). It seems that what C really wants is a good, comfortable car that also is a good performer. Enter the all-new 2014 Chevy Impala.
Before going forward, let’s take a step back and look at the numbers. The 2006 Impala was available with three engine choices, including:
- 3.5 LZ4/LZE: 211 hp, 214 lb.-ft. torque
- 3.9 liter LZ9: 240 hp, 240 lb.-ft. torque
- 5.3 liter LS4: 303hp, 232 lb.-ft. torque
So even if C’s ’06 Impala is cradling the top-of-the-line 5.3 LS4, the 2014 Impala will offer slightly more power (305 horse, to be exact) out of a lighter, more compact, and more efficient 3.6 liter V6. So not only will the (excellent) 3.6 liter LFX be more powerful, but it will also allow the vehicle to be more agile and more responsive, whether during acceleration, cornering, or braking — thanks to the lighter and smaller powerplant (3.6 vs. 5.3 liters). And that’s not even taking into account the possibility of the upcoming 3.6 liter twin turbo V6 making its way into the car at some point in the future. But even without the boosted six, the 2014 Impala’s modern and naturally-aspirated V6 makes plenty of power — enough, in fact, that we don’t see a reason to even bother with forced induction, unless it’s for a high-performance variant.
Now to the “butt 4 inches off the ground” and “feeling every pebble on the road” portions of C’s letter. To us, it appears that C is saying that he doesn’t want a souped-up ride that has its tires rubbing on its wheel wells. Luckily, the new Impala is anything but that. It’s more modern and efficient, sleeker, and full of amenities that the last-gen model couldn’t even begin to dream about.
To that end, the new Impala will also be comfortable. Perhaps it won’t be as “floaty” as the outgoing model… but who ever said that supercharging the last-gen W-body-based Impala would be a good idea, when the car wouldn’t be able to handle the resulting power that well in the first place?
And so it seems that the new 2014 Impala will do its job quite well for C: not only will it feature a comfortable ride, but it will also offer a spirited driving experience thanks to the available 3.6 liter LFX V6 making 305 ponies — more than any last-gen model Impala. Let’s leave the turbocharging, supercharging, and forced induction up to the high-performance Impala variant… if the Chevy SS doesn’t steal that market, that is.