Chevy Impala To Go Rear-Wheel Drive?

Current Commodore-based Lumina SS as sold in the Middle East and Africa

Even if General Motors survives its current financial woes, it has a serious problem on its hands regarding future products. Take the Chevy Impala for instance. Sure it’s not very exciting, nor is it much to look at, but its a top seller for GM and not something they would want to mess up – or do without.

GMinsideNews (GMI) is reporting that their sources inside General Motors are indicating a switch to a rear-wheel drive platform for the next Impala. The only problem is, this new version of the car wouldn’t be until 2015. Even worse, the current Impala is slated to stay in production until 2013, leaving a two year gap.

Worse still, just think how outdated the already long-in-the-tooth Impala will be four more years from now. Yikes!

According to GMI, this is how it will play out. The next generation Impala was supposed to be built on the RWD Zeta platform bu that was recently axed in a bid to cut costs. In Australia the Holden Commodore, which rides on the Zeta platform, will use a version of the Camaro’s platform starting in 2011. Once that Commodore is ready to be retired, both it and the next generation Impala will arrive (in 2015) sharing GM’s upcoming Alpha platform – much like how the current G8 shares most everything with the current Holden Commodore.

It sounds like a stretch to us, but as “world cars” are becoming more popular as automakers search for ways to save cash, there is certainly an economic argument for the report.

GMI says the use of the Alpha platform for both the Commodore and Impala in 2015 is under “serious consideration” by GM execs, but these days nothing is certain.

Case in point, just last week GMI reported that the Impala would get a long wheel base of the front-wheel drive Epsilon II platform (which is planned for the next generation Malibu).

[Source: GMInsideNews]