Chevy Impala 2004 Redesign

SylviaSylvia Member Posts: 1,636
edited March 2014 in Chevrolet
Fall of 2003 seems like a long way off for the Impala faithful!


  • magnetophonemagnetophone Member Posts: 605
    Please tell me they redo the interior!
  • machiavellimachiavelli Member Posts: 260
    I haven't heard much about this. Do you have any more information? Is it a total re-do or just a mid-cycle "freshening"? Knowing GM and their long cycles, I'd have to guess "freshening".
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Administrator Posts: 11,127
    V6 power & FWD this time around. For more info, visit the 2004 Impala Preview page.

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  • magnetophonemagnetophone Member Posts: 605
    Ugh! What an insult to the "SS" name! a front-wheel-drive 3800 V6? That's basically just a Regal GS...which looks a lot nicer.
  • machiavellimachiavelli Member Posts: 260
    So it's not an 'all-new' car, just another engine option for the current Impala.
    I didn't think it would be an all-new car. Hopefully, they will at least "freshen" the whole Impala line at the same time they bring this out, new interior, etc...
  • hvan3hvan3 Member Posts: 630
    Things I like to see on the somewhat "new" 2004 Impala SS

    1) Matching color side moldings
    2) Improve on the cheap leather seats
    3) Bigger wheels and tires (confirmed by Edmunds)
    4) More horsepower (confirmed by Edmunds)
    5) Improve quality of the interior dashboard
    6) Make sunroof/leather as standard
    7) Redesign the rear tail lights

    That's about it. I think the SS should at least match the domestic entry level luxury car of the Chrysler 300M.
  • moondawg55moondawg55 Member Posts: 1
    Why oh Why! don't Chevrolet use the 3.5L "Shortstar" from the discontinued Oldsmobile Intrigue? Where will GM put this motor?
  • machiavellimachiavelli Member Posts: 260
    On the scrapheap.
  • jpstaxjpstax Member Posts: 250
    Thanks for the nice compliment about the Regal GS. I own a '98 and my wife owns a '00. On the plus side of the SC3800, you can add lots of mods to increase HP & torque. I'd wait and see what Chevy does. I read where they did install a detuned LS1, and RWD, but apparently the engine bay was too cramped. Maybe Bob Lutz killed the idea. The L-67 is a powerful and very reliable engine. I think Impala people will eventually love it, just like Regal GS & Pontiac GTP owners do.
  • wyoimpwyoimp Member Posts: 87
    The LS1 fit wasn't the problem, nor was it de-tuned. It just had too much torque and wasn't ready for production / everyday driving.
    I agree with the LS-67 having alot of potential. Unfortunately too many people are unwilling to make the paradigm shift from RWD to FWD. Same goes with all the rest of the newer v.s. the older, more familiar automotive technology.
    Isn't it amazing how much better car ran and performed once the bugs were worked out of meeting Pollution requirements and incorporating electronics? The drawback is there aren't that many competant mechanics / technicians who know how to properly troubleshoot these newer systems. A pinched wire or bad ground takes patience and system knowledge to find and fix. In the meantime we pay parts that are needlessly replaced.
  • jpstaxjpstax Member Posts: 250
    I don't mean to nitpick, but I thought the engine Chevy tried to install in the Impala was the same LS1 found in the Z-28. Isn't that a de-tuned motor (only 305, instead of the 345 ponies the 'Vette gets)? If that's true, then why does Holden sell a de-tuned LS1 with their Commodore SS (same basic body style as the Impala)?
  • machiavellimachiavelli Member Posts: 260
    The US model Impala has nothing in common with a Holden Commodore. The Impala is FWD, the Commodore is RWD. The Commodore is more closely related to the old Cadillac Catera.

    wyoimp is right, as far as I know - the small block V8 will fit in the Impala, but it would have so much torque steer, it would be impractical. There is definitely a limit as to how much power you can put through the front wheels and still have decent handling.
  • wyoimpwyoimp Member Posts: 87
    If you go to GM Power Train Website you'll find that LS1 means the 5.7 family of engines. They can be anywhere from 285HP/320 ft/lbs to 354HP/350ft/lbs. I agree that LS1 has always meant the horsepower figure getting close to or exceeding 1HP/CI. Same as you can buy Good Wrench 350's well in excess of 350HP.
    As for the 5.7 in the 2000 Impala SS prototype, all that Hot Rod magazine mentioned was the high torque factor and the risk of some part(s) breaking.
    Looking at the Power Train Website, the two transaxles that GM makes 4T60E handles 280HP/400ft/lbs and the 4T80E handles 305HP/461ft/lbs. The 80E is for the Cadilacs but is only a 3 speed automatic. Which answers some of the comments about the FWD Caddies being sluggish in comparison to other vehicles. Nothing is mentioned about Manual transaxles. I think THRASHER or SLP sell parts to beef up the 65E transaxle. Hot Rod has also mentioned the VORTEC 4300 223HP/267ft/lbs (Marine Engine version) is basically a 350 with two cylinders missing and has parts out there to modify it also.
    What's this got to do with the 2004 Impala? If there is to be a fire breathing, tire smoke burning Impala SS in FWD form. The minimum must be the L67 3.8L V-6 Supercharged 240HP/280ft/lbs or try Cadilac's Northstar L37 300HP/285ft/lbs. Otherwise its going to have be a Holden Commodore or some other Chevy that is available internationally now but not sold here domestically. How about converting the W body to RWD? There is the hump from the exhaust system that lends itself as a driveshaft tunnel. Plus install a modified Camaro suspension / powertrain. Just trying to see what's in GM's parts bin. One can dream ;-)
  • jpstaxjpstax Member Posts: 250
    Thank you for the information and the above link. I guess Impala lovers will have to settle for the L-67 and FWD until Chevy gets their act together. Still 270 ponies isn't all that bad. Police departments will probably order the car because of the extra power. Although I read that high speed chases aren't too good for the SC.
  • moonbaseonemoonbaseone Member Posts: 1
    Hello everyone. I am new to the board and found it trying to decide if I should get the 2003 Impala with Sports Appearance.

    Any ways, I have a '99 Chevy Lumina and while I really like the car and have no problems with it, I kinda want something new. I was thinking of the new Impala, but kept thinking that for a new car, I really want more horses than what the 2003 offers.

    I am going with the Impala b/c 1) I am a longtime Chevy fan, 2) I have had two Chevy cars that were really good cars with no problems, and 3. I am tall(6' 9"), and the Impala has enough room for me to be comfortable. And, seeing as it's a Chevy, it should be a pretty decent car. Also, my car and the new impala has more headroom than most SUV's I looked at.

    But, in my research, I see the 2004 Impala will get more horses and will be redesigned alittle. I also read somewhere that in about 3 years, GM will add it to their "Midsize Luxury" or "Widetrack" series. But, I don't want to wait that long for a new car.

    So, I might go with the 2004. But, The 2003 is off.

    Thanks and sorry for the long post

  • lanceg1lanceg1 Member Posts: 3
    Heres a quote from

    "2005 Chevrolet Impala: Shifted to mid-lux platform for redesign. Rear drive considered. "
  • hvan3hvan3 Member Posts: 630
    <<2004 Impala will get more horses and will be redesigned alittle. I also read somewhere that in about 3 years, GM will add it to their "Midsize Luxury" or "Widetrack" series. But, I don't want to wait that long for a new car.>>

    Lets put it this way. The 2004 Impala will be introduced next summer. You're only 12 months away. Patient is a wait it out.
  • petra02petra02 Member Posts: 33
    On AutoWeek and on TheCarConnection, there's pictures of an upcoming Chevrolet Concept called, for now, the "SS". Does this point the direction for the Impala [in the long term, not 2004], or is it meant to raise awareness for GM's performance tuners? Or it could, as some people have hoped, be a hint for a Camaro in the future. Comments?
  • ehaaseehaase Member Posts: 328
    Impala won't be redesigned until 2006 and will remain on an improved version of its current W body platform. It will probably use GM's new High Feature 230 hp OHV V6.

    Perhaps by the end of the decade Impala will move to a RWD platform, possibly an improved version of GM's V body platform (Holden, Catera, etc.), but this is nothing more than hopeful thoughts.
  • craigindccraigindc Member Posts: 21
    agree with you completely re your wish list. However, how much redesing do you want on those tail lamps? Only thing wrong is the red plastic panel. Doesn't work on anything except the red and black Impalas. Have you seen the body-colored panels on the new "Sport Appearance" Impalas? They look great and it remains true to the Impala (Corvette inspired) heritage.
  • dmauly2kdmauly2k Member Posts: 6
    Why not take the 4.0L V-8 from the soon to be discontinued Oldsmobile Aurora and drop it in the Impala to make the Impala SS. The Aurora is the only car in GM's lineup to use that engine, and it is going to go to waste when Oldsmobile closes its doors. Please GM, do something right for once and listen to the people who know about cars.
  • magnetophonemagnetophone Member Posts: 605
    People who "know about cars" don't shoehorn a V8 into a front wheel drive platform that isn't very solid or secure to begin with.
  • johnclineiijohnclineii Member Posts: 2,287
    And just what is this front wheel drive platform that you imply isn't very solid or secure to begin with? I am CERTAIN General Motors would disagree with you.

    This platform is used for police and taxi service.

    It is hardly NOT solid and secure...
  • dmauly2kdmauly2k Member Posts: 6
    First of all, the Olsmobile Aurora IS a front-wheel drive car,as is the Impala, so there wouldn't be a problem modifiying the engine and placing in there. Second of all, the Impala happens to be one of the best sedans GM has in its line-up right now; the body and suspension happen to be very capable of handling a V-8.
  • magnetophonemagnetophone Member Posts: 605
    I don't see many Impala taxis or police cars in Texas - they're all Ford Crown Victorias. While I am not claiming that Crown Vics are golden, the Impala is an old, cushy design and while it sells well, is not in my opinion deserving of a V-8. A front wheel drive V-8 goes against any reasonable sense of driving pleasure, STS and DTS included.

    nearly any car is "capable" of handling a V8. It's a shame GM always puts its good engines on platforms that can't cope.
  • dgonzalez13dgonzalez13 Member Posts: 110
    If my Imp is not worthy of a larger engine, i just may take it out to a field and shoot it. I am crying on the inside as i laugh at some of these posts on the outside.

    For now, I drive my Imp with a smile till the day I get my V-8 powered Super Impala. I love the car and am happy with the v6 in it already. A v8 would just be icing on the cake, and if i had the money i would go back for seconds and thirds of this fun car.
  • magnetophonemagnetophone Member Posts: 605
    Well, people's opinions on what constitutes a proper platform varies, plain and simple.
  • johnclineiijohnclineii Member Posts: 2,287
    The Impala platform is NOT old and cushy. It was designed for police service, and dates WAAAAY back, all the way to CY 1999, model year 2000. The Impalas of the 90's and before have no relationship to the current model.

    That is FACT. Not opinion.
  • dgonzalez13dgonzalez13 Member Posts: 110
    I am hoping for a better engine. really good v6 or v8. I'd love to see the column shifting stay as an option and though i have heard of a leather bench seat for the front being available i havent seen it yet. I know, this probably sounds like any standard Buick, but I love the styling of the impala. The rear lights are different from most other cars on the road, and the car does look like a Lumina in an Elvis Jumpsuit. but there is nothing wrong with Elvis in my book and i hope the redesign doesnt drastically change the "creased" metal on the hood and fenders. Sharp lines give it a look I really like.
  • magnetophonemagnetophone Member Posts: 605
    Well, opinions are opinions. I think it's one of the ugliest cars on the road, bar none
  • magnetophonemagnetophone Member Posts: 605
    Also, if I'm correct, the platform the Impala is on dates back to the mid 1990's...
  • dgonzalez13dgonzalez13 Member Posts: 110
    So what would you like changed to make it not so ugly in your opinion? Add something to the discussion.
  • magnetophonemagnetophone Member Posts: 605
    The front, the rear, the interior, and the rear quarter. I guess that's almost the entire car!

    The car is a strange mix of uncontinuous lines...the front looks like an angry cartoon and the rear looks like a bad acid trip (at least that's what Edmunds said, and I agree.)
  • ehaaseehaase Member Posts: 328
    The Impala platform dates back to 1988, when the FWD W body Regal, Grand Prix, and Cutlass Supreme debuted.
  • johnclineiijohnclineii Member Posts: 2,287
    And has been both freshened and completely redone several times. That's about like saying the Ford Taurus platform dates back to 1986.
  • magnetophonemagnetophone Member Posts: 605
    Not really. The Taurus dates back to 1996.
  • csandstecsandste Member Posts: 1,866
    "The car is a strange mix of uncontinuous lines...the front looks like an angry cartoon and the rear looks like a bad acid trip (at least that's what Edmunds said, and I agree.)"

    And so do I. The second generation Lumina was actually not bad looking. Same with the 95 Cavalier. Chevy replaced them with the Impala/Monte that is extremely uncoordinated, especially the Monte. The Cav. was crude but rather pretty. The 02 freshening brings out the same hideous styling cliches that the Monte Carlo had.

    The post Bob Lutz Chevy looks like it has a lot more going for it, but they need to bring new product on line fast. If the money spent on the Cavalier re-do could have produced the new platform three months earlier, they made a real bad deal.
  • pluto5pluto5 Member Posts: 618
    Judging from some of their reviews they must be dropping acid all over themselves.
  • rbodkinrbodkin Member Posts: 2
    I think the new Chevy Impalas are a great design. Everyone is saying the back looks like a bad acid trip but if you take a good look and think back you'll will notice that it looks very similar to back of the '62 Impala. The sides have the clean look of the '65's. I love my 2002 Impala car I have ever owned! I just wished the SS had come out sooner!
  • pluto5pluto5 Member Posts: 618
    The back of the 03 Impala doesn't look any worse than the back of the Corvette--another big expanse of plastic. Moreover, the fit and finish on the 03 LS is excellent IMO. Don't confuse it with the base sedan, though, which is really a completely different vehicle IMO.
  • 3871338713 Member Posts: 26
    What does a "bad acid trip" look like anyways? I can't say I've ever seen one....
  • 02lssport02lssport Member Posts: 75
    I also love my 2002 Impala LS Sport. It is one of the best looking big cars around IMO. It has a nice sporty appearance and good performance. For the price of the car and what you get it can't be beat. I just wish it had the option for a really high end sound system and 6 disk changer but the stock system is not bad.
  • sweetbriarsweetbriar Member Posts: 1
    Actually, no matter what the stylist does, he (or she) is darned if he does and darned if he don't. They all look like jellybeans to me nowadays, American, Japanese or German. So what? It's a result of fuel efficiency requirements. My wife objected to buying a four door so I agreed to buy her wheels for that "sport" appearence she was after. She chose a 2000 Impala program car with the 3.4L. Great car. Plenty of pep. Gas mileage second to NONE. Not German, not Japanese ...NONE can match the fuel efficiency. And put a blower on the 3.4 and it will outrun most of them for way less than half the money. Which brings up a good point ...most of the suggestions on this board would improve the performance ...but would raise the cost of the car accordingly. Why would anyone want to wreck the deal we have now?

    If anyone wants performance, let them also buy a Z06 or even any lesser used Corvette. That's what my wife did ('95 6-spd) before she bought the Impala which is why I pooh-poohed her "sporty two door" desire. I bought her $300 Sears 16" aluminum wheels for my end of the bargain. They look nice, at least as nice than the LS ...and NO silly "wing".
  • mateyomateyo Member Posts: 22
    I think Autoweek...that the SS concept car shown in Detroit -- the red, swoopy, Corvette-ish sedan -- would be the style of the Impala whenever it is completely redone. Now that's something I'd like to see!
  • atbearatbear Member Posts: 322
    Yeah, that is A thought.. but no confirmation... they need to do something with that Chevy SS concept.. that sucker is one hot car!!
  • jpstaxjpstax Member Posts: 250
    Well Chevy finally made the announcement for the new 2004 SS models. Here is the Edmund's link:
  • pluto5pluto5 Member Posts: 618
    If I wanted 260 hp I would buy a vet.
  • atbearatbear Member Posts: 322
    "If I wanted 260 hp I would buy a vet."

    That sounds pretty rediculous to me...
    not to mention that the Impala has awesome safety ratings. I got into a collision on the interstate with a Ford Explorer going 60MPH and I just had to replace my bumper.. Impala is safe!
  • alpha01alpha01 Member Posts: 4,747
    but damage (or lack thereof) does not necessarily equate to occpant safety.

This discussion has been closed.