What happened to the Impala? It went from being a beloved large sedan with some muscle to a bargain basement rental at Enterprise.
Josh Byrnes made this render as a retrospective into the Impala (which you can read here:)
-and it looks fantastic. You know, depending on your definition of fantastic. Looks are subjective. But I think it looks quite good. Anyhow:
How did something like this:
A large, big block RWD sedan,
A FWD V6 snooze mobile that no one wanted, and thus has it’s writing on the wall? This render honestly has me in a twist.
Now to be fair, the Impala was always meant to provide large comfort at an affordable price point, that much hasn’t changed. But that’s the point. We no longer live in a market that values large, comfortable sedans. SUVs and Pickups have taken that crown from them. Once that side of the market started drowning Chevy should have been smart.
They should have made the Impala a Charger competitor. A ying to the Camaro’s yang. A partner in crime. A big block sedan with the potential for great comfort and speeds well above the posted limit if desired. But they didn’t play that game. They decided to let it languish as the sedans corner of the market crumbled, and here we are, about to say goodbye to a nameplate that’s lasted since the 50’s.
Now you could argue “Hey! Wasn’t that what the Chevy SS tried to do? No one bought it! It even came in a manual!”
And yes you’d be correct. Counterpoint: Chevy made no effort to advertise let alone let the public know of its existence, and its ho hum styling did nothing to help it’s case. Call the Charger whatever you want, heavy, brash, old as hell, but the Charger aced one thing that the SS could not: make a statement. The Charger, especially in Scat Pack and Hellcat trims, is seen as an aspirational product. Nobody except hardcore car nerds lusted after the SS. And that’s a damn shame. It was a great car. Just like the Impala could have been.
In the end though, I’m not going to miss the Impala. I’m going to miss its potential.