Successful in marketing the Sonic subcompact and Cruze compact cars, Chevrolet appears to be the verge of another product bulls-eye with the mid-sized 2013 Malibu. Set to be based on the GM’s new Super Epsilon II platform (debuting in North America as the basis of the Cadillac XTS), the latest full-sized Chevrolet is now entering the market with high hopes of covering the car sector with a robust product line-up. The Chevrolet Impala was thought to be top sedan prepared to profile the division’s four-door performance. As the market prepared for the 2013 Chevrolet Impala, General Motors’ lead brand has just announced a change to those perceptions.
Coinciding with a statement on Chevrolet’s 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup plans, the auto company has just dropped news that a different nameplate will be wearing sheetmetal of a new production car. While the complete demise of the Impala nameplate for street use has not been confirmed in the press statement released last Tuesday, Chevrolet is committing to a new identity in NASCAR. The 2013 Chevrolet car will be competing against new versions of the Ford Fusion and Dodge Charger body already shown publicly. With NASCAR allowing auto manufacturers more creative liberties in the design of vehicle bodywork, Chevrolet’s choice to rebrand their car.
Sporadically produced through seven decades (including the very run as a high-performance version of the Chevrolet Caprice sedan), the Impala name was first used by Chevrolet in 1958 as the premium equipped car in the brand line-up. Offering a big, powerful V-8 engine, it vehicle was a natural for NASCAR competition. Successful in stock car competition, the Chevrolet Impala’s racing activities would be interrupted with the Bowtie brand pulling factory support from the NASCAR ranks. Just like the original vehicles that wore the Impala identity, the 21st century Impala would receive extensive race track presence in the top stock car racing series. Replacing the coupe-derived Monte Carlo when the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series switched to a new spec racing vehicle, a Chevrolet Impala in the hands of Kyle Busch won the Bristol Motor Speedway event for the so-called ‘Car of Tomorrow’ debut in 2007. The announcement of the Impala discontinuation comes almost five years after that first win with the product reintroduction.
The decision to drop the Impala name from NASCAR Phasing out the V-8 engined Impala SS model in 2010, the Chevrolet Impala’s image has become an unexciting vehicle catering to an older-skewing demographic. With Chevrolet prepared to replace the nameplate in 2013, even the Impala’s pedigree in NASCAR could not protect the car from brand remarketing.
The presentation of the new Chevrolet vehicle for the street and the race track is expected later this year. Some reports say Chevrolet may consider a civilian version of the Chevrolet Caprice PPV recently being made available to law enforcement. Derived from a V-8 powered Australian Zeta platform car produced by General Motors owned Holden, this same vehicle was previously sold to consumers under the now-decommissioned Pontiac brand as the G8. If the rumours are true, a name other than Caprice will probably be adopted to the NASCAR stock car.
Information and photo source: General Motors