Brian from Cheers & Gears, the GM aficionado site, sent us a link to a forum thread that is definitely of interest. Keep in mind that there's no official confirmation of any of this yet, so we're taking it with a grain of salt until we hear it from someone at GM. With that established, let's dig in.
The word from one of C&G's posters who is apparently in the know is that the next-generation, Zeta-based Impala has been delayed and will now launch in June 2010 instead of 2009 as originally planned. According to the insider, no reason has been given for the delay (if it's true), but speculation is rampant. Some think the delay is posturing in the face of new fuel economy proposals moving through Congress, while others believe that funds are possibly being diverted to the Chevy Volt program. One theory we thought sounded viable is that Chevy wants the two-mode hybrid version of the Impala to debut at the launch of the new car and not one year later, so moving the launch date back a year would line them up nicely.
[Source: Cheers & Gears]
GM Product Czar Bob Lutz revived our hopes for a bevy of Zeta-based RWD vehicles, including the Impala, earlier this week when he confirmed that plans to produce these vehicles were moving forward despite the pending fuel economy proposals and swirling political battles, but that drivetrain lineups would likley change. Obviously, we're all eager to eschew the W-platform and get on to the good stuff that the Zeta promises to offer. If the rumor is true, only three more years to go.
GM would appear to be fine regardless, as the current Impala is an incredible 20.6% up in sales for the year so far with 28,171 units sold last month (the Toyota Camry sold 37,911 and the Honda Accord 28,926 in April, just for comparison's sake).