The 2014 Chevy Impala debuted at the New York International Auto Show 2012 on Wednesday with a thunder of hooves and a look back at the iconic car's history, but the final product may just be another member of the herd of American sedans.
2014 may be the best Impala, but it may not sell 1 million, said Mark Reuss, President of GM North America, after driving the new Impala onto the stage for its introduction.
Chevy at one time sold as many as one million Impalas a year in its glory days as a muscle car. The Impala was an icon of the muscle era, Reuss said.
As a demonstration of its muscle car heritage, the Chevy team brought several classic Impalas, the 1965 and 1966 models, onto the stage and showed images of the aggressive, classic sport cars on the screen.
The new Impala, though, as with its recent predecessors, does not live up to its muscle car heritage -- at least in looks. The 2014 Impala is still a fairly staid sedan, although a wide grill and lots of chrome do give it a certain flair that has not been present recently.
This car looks a lot more expensive than it is ... and we did not need to borrow from somebody else's luxury brand, Reuss said of the trim and styling of the Impala.
The 2014 Impala is decked out with leather and technical features like blue tooth integration, forward collision braking and lane drift alert. However, Chevy's trumpeting of its 37 mpg rings a bit hollow in the era of the Volt.
When designing the 2014 Impala, Chevy sought to communicate an essence that was easily recognizable. A sedan that had reach ... and was boldly sculpted, Chevy designer John Lafaro said.
However, while Chevy's presentation was surely meant to communicate the idea that the Impala is a family sedan with the soul of a muscle car, what it really did was underscore that no matter what they say, it is just an American family sedan that won't turn any heads on the street.
A muscle car, the 2014 Impala is not, but a serviceable, utilitarian car? Probably.