Last year, General Motors announced it would become the industry’s only manufacturer to produce a full-size sedan in North America capable of running on both compressed natural gas and gasoline with the arrival of the 2015 bi-fuel Chevrolet Impala. Now, the automaker has announced the bi-fuel Impala will go on sale in the fourth quarter of this year carrying a starting price $38,210, including an $825 destination charge.
The vehicle is available in either LS base trim or a more well-equipped LT trim and with only one powertrain option, a 3.6-liter V6 with hardened valves and valve seats for improved wear resistance to accommodate the CNG fuel system. A trunk-mounted CNG tank stores the equivalent of 7.8 gallons of gasoline, which is good for about 150 city miles of range on compressed natural gas. The total range using both CNG and regular gasoline should be able to top 500 miles, GM estimates.
The bi-fuel system in the Impala will run primarily on CNG until the fuel tank is completely depleted, at which point the system will automatically switch to run on gasoline. Drivers can also change fuels on demand via a button on the dashboard, which also indicates through an LED light when CNG is being used. GM says CNG delivers fuel savings of nearly $1.25 per-gallon and is one of the cleanest burning fuels available.
If you’re weary about the reliability of the CNG fuel system, it is covered by GM’s three-year, 36,000-mile new vehicle limited bumper-to-bumper warranty and five-year, 100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty. It will be assembled at GM’s plant in Oshawa, Ontario and will be available for purchase at more than 3,200 Chevrolet dealers beginning later this year.