The full-size Chevrolet Impala has been Chevrolet’s flagship passenger car for over four decades. With over 16 million units sold, the Impala is also the highest-selling Chevrolet vehicle of all time. It was first introduced as the top model of the Chevrolet Bel-Air full-size car when General Motors was celebrating its fiftieth anniversary in 1958. This model had exclusive graceful styling, and so it was named after the Impala-the graceful African antelope. Today, the Chevy Impala is one of the top-rated full-size sedans on the market.
When celebrating its 50th anniversary in 1958, GM had each of its brands produce a special top model. The Bel-Air Impala was Chevrolet’s offering. The other GM brands produced the Cadillac Eldorado Seville, the Buick Roadmaster Riviera, the Oldsmobile Super 88 Holiday, and the Pontiac Bonneville Catalina.
The Chevy Bel-Air Impala, which was available only as a hardtop coupe or convertible, differed from the other Chevy Bel-Air models in the way it looked. It had a longer wheelbase, a shorter greenhouse, and a longer rear deck; it also had three taillights on each side instead of the two that were featured in the lesser models. On the inside, it featured a two-spoke steering wheel and a lot of brushed aluminum trim; its door panels and dashboard were also color-keyed. Under the hood, the Bel-Air Impala featured either a 283 cid (4.6 L) Small-Block V8 that made up to 290 horsepower or a 348 cid (5.7 L) V8 that made up to 315 horsepower. Chevrolet built 181,469 Bel-Air Impala models, which represented 15 percent of its production that year.
With the outstanding success of the Chevy Bel-Air Impala in 1958, Chevrolet offered the Impala as a stand-alone model from the next year. The redesigned, 2nd-generation 1959 Chevy Impala was lower, wider, and had a bat-wing tail design with tear-drop taillights. The top engine option in this generation was also 348 cid (5.7 L) V8, and it made up to 320 horsepower. The 1959 Chevy Impala was Chevy’s best-selling vehicle that year, with sales of over 473,000 units.
The 3rd-generation Impala was introduced in 1961. It was smaller, boxier, and more conservative in its styling, but it remains one of the most memorable Impala generations because it saw the introduction of the high-performance SS (Super Sport) models. The 3rd-generation Impala SS came equipped with a 409-cid (6.7 L) V8 that made up to 425 horsepower, and it could only be had with a manual transmission.
By the time the 4th-generation Impala was being introduced in 1965, the Impala’s popularity had grown significantly. With this generation, Chevrolet recorded annual sales of over 1 million units a year, the highest in the industry. This generation also offered powerful engines that included nine different V8 engines. The largest was a 454 cid (7.4 L) V8 that made 390 horsepower.
The 5th-generation Impala came onto the scene in 1971. This generation featured the largest Impala models. The four V8 engines were offered with this generation, the largest, again, being a 454 cid (7.4 L) V8.
With the 6th-generation Impala (1977-1985), Chevrolet focused more or practicality than sheer size or performance. The 6th-gen Impala was taller, shorter, and slimmer, but it still offered a roomy cabin; its trunk also grew in size. Besides three V6 engine options, this generation also offered four V8 engine options.
After 1985, the Impala went on a 9-year hiatus. In 1994, General Motors brought back the Impala SS as a sporty four-door sedan that had more curves and rounder edges. This 7th-generation Impala (1994-1996) was driven by a 350 cid (5.7-liter) V8 engine that made 260 horsepower. This car also had performance parts and accessories that included sport-tuned shocks and springs, a dual exhaust, a high-capacity cooling system, and a limited-slip rear differential.
After 1996, GM again paused production of the Impala, this time because of the increasing popularity of SUVs. The Impala came back to the market in 2000 as a different car altogether. Unlike the prior generation that was performance focused, this generation was more focused on fuel efficiency, practicality, and comfort. The 8th-generation Impala 4-door sedan was also smaller than its prior generation, and its styling was more conservative. For the first time, it was offered with front-wheel-drive and with only V6 engine options.
The 9th-generation Impala was then introduced in 2006. It was based on the GM W platform which it shared with the Buick LaCrosse. Like its predecessor, the 9th-generation Impala was a car that appealed to moms and dads because it was large, comfortable, practical, fuel efficient, and safe. It also had an enormous trunk. GM also sold many 9th-generation Impalas to fleet operators and government agencies. This generation saw the brief reintroduction of the SS model; it had a 303-horsepower 5.3-liter V8 engine.
The 10th-generation Impala debuted in 2013 for the 2014 model year with a bolder, sleeker, and beefier look that resonated with many Impala enthusiasts. It is also a front-wheel-drive, 4-door sedan, and its engine choices include a 2.4 L/2.5 L 4-cylinder engine or a 3.6 L V6 engine. This generation is the most refined of all the Impala generations. Its platform delivers greatly reduced levels of road noise and vibrations, and its Active noise cancellation technology helps to keep the cabin quiet. The top models of this generation can also be had with features and accessories like a MyLink infotainment system with an 8-inch touchscreen, an 11-speaker Bose audio system, a wireless phone charger, power-adjustable, heated and ventilated front seats, heated power-adjustable steering wheel, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and much more.
If you have any of the generations of the Chevy Impala, you can now protect, enhance, and uniquely style it with the latest parts and accessories here at GrokAuto. For example, you can enhance its exterior with larger alloy wheels, a body kit, and a rear spoiler. You can also personalize its cabin with custom seat covers, an aftermarket steering wheel, aftermarket sport front seats, sun shades, floor mats, monogrammed mats, and much more. Here at GrokAuto.com, we believe in demanding the new! New tech, new products, and new experiences. Whatever your next passion project is for your Impala, we can help you make it a reality.