2011 Chevrolet Impala LTZEnlarge Photo
It’s no secret that the 2012 Chevrolet Impala will be getting GM’s updated 3.6-liter V-6 engine and a six-speed automatic transmission. What we didn’t know until General Motors Insider broke the story was how much horsepower that 3.6-liter engine would yield.
According to the 2012 order guide for the Chevrolet Impala, the new six-cylinder engine will be rated at 302 horsepower, or just one horsepower shy of the previous generation’s V-8-equipped Impala SS. Chevrolet discontinued the Impala SS after the 2009 model year, and that car required a 5.3-liter, V-8 engine to generate 303 horsepower.
Perhaps most impressive is that Chevrolet will offer the 3.6-liter V-6 as the standard engine across all trim levels, including the base LS, the mid-level LT and the range-topping LTZ. Look for General Motors to use the same 3.6-liter V-6, possibly with a different horsepower rating, as an optional upgrade to the Buick LaCrosse.
While more horsepower and increased fuel efficiency from a smaller-displacement engine is a good thing, fans of the seventh-generation Impala still lament the move to a front-engine, front-drive configuration. Don’t look for General Motors to bring back the front-engine, rear-drive configuration any time soon, especially if the rumored civilian version of the Chevrolet Caprice Police Interceptor (which features a front-engine, rear-drive layout) is ultimately launched.