As one of the most successful automobile manufacturers in the world, Chevrolet has been able to produce various vehicles that helped shape the industry. One such model, which was introduced in 1958, is considered by many people as one of the most iconic vehicles in history—the Impala.
1958: Bel Air line
With its longer rear deck and shorter greenhouse, the Impala was considered to be structurally different from most Chevrolets during that time. Thus, it was placed by Chevrolet under the Bel Air line as luxury coupes and convertibles. The noteworthy three headlights and dual headlamps also debuted in this year. Engine-wise, the Bel Air Impala was powered by either a 283 cubic-inch engine or a big-block 348 cubic-inch engine.
1962: GM "B" style
The Impala was revamped in 1962 making it look more like the other "B" full-size hardtop coupes under GM. It featured a wrap-around rear window and a bigger "C" pillar. Nonetheless, this revamped version became very popular, and a hit song was even dedicated to it. Aside from the new look, the 1962 Impala was also sold with a then-new radio.
1969: Ventless front windows
In 1969, Chevrolet decided to redesign the Impalas once again to eliminate the vented windows they installed before. These windows, though they were excellent ventilation systems, cause too much wind noise. What's more, removing the vented windows saved Chevrolet much money and was a step in the installation of air conditioning systems that were slowly becoming popular that time.
1975: HEI and catcon
The Chevrolet Impala underwent some major changes during this period to further increase its sales. Two of the most notable changes during this year were the introduction of the catalytic converters and the High Energy Ignition (HEI). The HEI, an electronic type of ignition system, was developed by the Delco-Remy Division under General Motors to replace the point-type ignition.
In order to meet the demands of car owners, Chevrolet decided to downsize the Impala in 1977. As a result, the vehicle became shorter and narrower. Nonetheless, the rear-seat legroom and headroom were increased to accommodate more passengers. Unfortunately, though it was a popular fleet vehicle, the Impala was discontinued in 1985.
In 2000, as a replacement for the Lumina line, the Impala was resurrected. It was sold in two versions: base and LS. The LS version came with a 3.8 liter L36 V6 engine, ABS, and traction control system. On the other hand, the base model was equipped with steel wheels, cloth seats, and 3.4 liter LA1 V6 engine.
2012: Current Impala
At present, the Impala has four versions: base, LT, LTZ, and LS. All of these trims are powered by a 3.6 L LFX engine that is coupled to a six-speed automatic transmission. The other features of the current Impala that are either optional or standard are auto-dimming rear view mirror, heated bucket seats, and perforated leather seats.