Chevrolet today announced its CNG-capable Impala would be priced from $38,210 including $825 destination fee, and availability would begin fourth quarter this year.
The 2015 model year car will be available in both a base LS trim, and higher-up LT trim, and capable of gasoline or CNG operation.
Both will use a 3.6-liter V6 with hardened valves and valve seals which enables better wear resistance when running on CNG instead of gasoline.
Both utilize a trunk-mounted CNG tank that provides 7.8 gas-gallon equivalent capacity. Estimated city range is 150 miles, and highway range is not yet finalized by the EPA. Total gas-plus-CNG range is estimated at 500 miles in the city according to GM’s testing.
The chief advantages touted for CNG is it is cheap and clean. It costs about $1.25 on average for the equivalent of one gallon of gasoline. It emits very little, and is one of the cleanest fuels available.
The CNG tank occupies 8.8 cubic feet in the trunk yielding total volume of 10.0 cubic feet. On a comparable 2015 Impala trunk space is 18.8 cubic feet.
Chevrolet intends this large-sized sedan to be sold to both retail and fleet customers. The company is aiming to add to the Impala’s value proposition for fleets, thus improving market share, but you can buy one too as an ordinary consumer.
At least you may when it’s made available. Unknown at the moment is the exact timeline but the car will eventually be sold in all 50 states.
Starting price for the upper level LT trim is $40,460 according to Chevrolet spokesman Chad Lyons.
Lyons also helped clarify the price premium to opt for “bi-fuel” or CNG/gasoline capability on an apple-to-apple basis between the bi-fuel and a comparable 2015 Impala.
The upgrade to the LS will carry a premium of $10,475 over a nearest-to-comparably equipped Impala LS. Upgrading from an upper-level LT version will cost $9,500.
Why the difference? Because the base 2015 LS gasoline-only Impala comes standard with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, and the bi-fuel version comes with a 3.6-liter V6. This upgrade to V6 costs $975 more in and of itself.
The base gas-only LT Impala however includes a 3.6-liter V6, the same size and displacement as in the bi-fuel car, but this is not the exact same engine as the bi-fuel car.
Put another way, base price for a gas or bi-fuel is as follows:
LS: $27,735 (gas only); $38,210 (bi-fuel)
LT: $30,960 (gas only); $40,460 (bi-fuel)
Comparing the 3.6-liter gas-only engine to the 3.6-liter CNG/Gas engine shows some power output tradeoffs in return for CNG’s clean burn capability.
Output for the regular 3.6-liter V6 gas engine (non-CNG capable) is 260 horsepower, 247 pounds feet of torque. For the bi-fuel 3.6-liter V6 engine, output is 230 horsepower, 218 pounds-feet of torque.
“The Impala nameplate has recently seen market share growth, and critical acclaim for its design, functionality and low cost of ownership. Now, with the addition of bi-fuel capabilities it will also help customers reduce fuel costs and greenhouse gas emissions,” said Ed Peper, U.S. vice president, GM Fleet & Commercial.
Please also see our write-up when the car was announced last October.