It’s safe to call the Chevrolet Impala the old wise man of the General Motors lineup. With its W-Body underpinnings — a platform that traces its roots back to 1988 — and its forgettable 3.5L and 3.9L V6 engines mated to four-speed transmissions, the current model has seen minimal updates or styling changes since it was first introduced in 2006. To make matters more frustrating for those looking for a more modern full-sized sedan from Chevy, the Impala’s replacement (reported to ride on a stretched Epsilon II platform) has been pushed back until 20014. Whoops, we meant to say 2014, but it’s going to feel like it’s taken another eighteen thousand years by the time 2014 rolls around, anyway.
Luckily, the most recent reports have also shed light on what else is in store for The General’s fleet queen, and from the looks of it we can expect the pair of “high value” V6 engines to be tossed out the window for something much more modern when the 2012 Impala rolls out later this year with the very promising 3.6L LFX V6 engine.
The LFX — an updated variant of GM’s already impressive LLT V6 engine that can be found in the Chevy Camaro, Cadillac CTS and the entire stable of Lambda crossovers — has been rumored to have the ability to produce as much as 330 horsepower while still returning 30 miles-per-gallon on the highway. Additionally, the 2012 Impala will be ditching its primitive four-speed automatic transmission in favor of a more tolerable (and modern) six-speed auto. Along with the 2012 Impala, the 2012 Camaro and Cadillac SRX are expected to get the LFX treatment as well.