Innovation: Design & Technology
Chevrolet Introduces CNG-Capable Bi-Fuel Impala
Wed, Oct 16 2013
- First bi-fuel full-size production sedan offered in North America
- Total estimated bi-fuel range of 500 miles
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Chevrolet today announced the 2015 Impala bi-fuel sedan – the only original equipment manufacturer-produced full-size sedan in North America capable of running on either cleaner-burning, mostly domestically produced compressed natural gas (CNG) or gasoline.
Compressed natural gas is less costly at the pump and significantly reduces carbon dioxide emissions compared to traditional liquid fuels such as gasoline. A separate CNG fuel tank, mounted in the trunk, enables the driver to switch between fuels at the push of a button. When the CNG tank is depleted, the system automatically switches to gasoline.
“The new bi-fuel Impala marries Chevrolet’s flagship sedan with unprecedented opportunity, offering a new choice for alternative-fueled transportation that burns cleaner from a mostly domestically sourced fuel,” said Dan Akerson, General Motors Chairman and CEO. “GM continues to demonstrate its commitment and leadership in energy diversity by building its presence in the gaseous fuel space, and specifically with CNG – one of the cleanest-burning fossil fuels available.”
Most of the natural gas used in the U.S. comes from domestic or other North American sources. CNG’s abundance makes it a viable economic alternative for drivers living in areas with easy access to CNG filling stations, and it currently costs significantly less than gasoline. A person who drives 24,000 miles a year can recoup the additional investment in the bi-fuel option within a few years at current prices.
CNG vehicles typically have 20 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions than gasoline-powered cars, according to the California Air Resources Board.
The bi-fuel Impala is expected to go on sale next summer to retail and fleet customers at Chevrolet dealers in the United States and Canada. It joins Chevrolet’s growing range of manufacturer-engineered and validated CNG vehicles, which includes the bi-fuel Silverado HD full-size pickups and fully dedicated CNG Express full-size cargo and passenger vans. All of these vehicles are backed by GM new vehicle and powertrain limited warranties.
“Along with the Chevrolet Volt, the new Cruze Turbo Diesel and all-electric Spark EV, this is another example of how GM is advancing its multi-faceted vehicle and global sustainability strategy,” said Akerson.
While EPA estimates on the vehicle are not yet finalized, an approximately eight gasoline-gallon-equivalent CNG tank mounted in the Impala’s trunk is expected to provide up to 150 miles of vehicle range for a total range of up to 500 miles.
The bi-fuel Impala is fitted at the factory with a port fuel-injected 3.6L engine that includes hardened intake and exhaust valves and valve seats, to support the long-term durability needed for CNG combustion. The GM-engineered CNG fuel system is added at a secondary manufacturing location by a GM supplier. Ordering CNG is the same as selecting any other option at the time of purchase
Redesigned for 2014, the award-winning Impala is new from the ground up, with muscular design elements that provide a nod to the past with modern styling. It is the 10th generation of one of the industry’s most enduring and popular nameplates. Impala has been America’s best-selling full-size sedan since 2004 with sales of more than 169,000 in 2012.
The bi-fuel Impala’s 3.6L V-6 engine has the highest horsepower output in the segment from a naturally aspirated V6 engine, engineered to give a satisfying feeling of immediate performance. When running on natural gas, the engine will deliver approximately 85 percent of the power produced with gasoline. The engine is matched with an advanced six-speed automatic transmission.
The Impala can seat five occupants and offers 10 cubic feet of cargo room in the trunk with the CNG fuel tank installed. The bi-fuel model will be available with 1FL and 1LT trims. Standard vehicle features include:
- Ten air bags – including head curtain side air bags and driver and front passenger knee air bags
- Air conditioning
- Audio system with color infotainment screen
- Bluetooth for phone
- Color driver information display in the instrument panel
- Four-wheel disc brakes
- Antilock brakes and StabiliTrak electronic stability control system
- Fuel-saving electric power steering.
Chevrolet’s MyLink infotainment system is available with the LT trim.
The bi-fuel Impala is covered by GM’s three-year, 36,000-mile new vehicle limited warranty and five-year, 100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty and vehicle emissions warranty, meeting all Environmental Protection Agency and California Air Resources Board emission certification requirements.
It will be built at GM’s Oshawa, Ontario, plant.
Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world’s largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4.5 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature spirited performance, expressive design, and high quality. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.
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