Chevrolet Impala CNG - deliveries in progress
The buyers are exclusively commercial and fleet customers. Individual drivers are not interested in such cars at this point, because the refueling infrastructure across the country isn't sufficiently developed, but given the pace at which CNG is gaining popularity, this could soon change. Meanwhile, the pioneering Impala Bi-Fuel will remain primarily a company car.
Speaking of company, the CNG system installed on the car dosn't replace the petrol fuel system, but instead accompanies it. The 3,6 l V6 engine can run on either fuel, generating 258 HP and 331 Nm in petrol mode and 232 HP/296 Nm on CNG. As for range, the methane-powered Impala is capable of traveling up to 150 miles (240 km) on CNG, plus additional 350 miles (560 km) on petrol, for a combined range of 500 miles
If a second generation is built, maybe the chassis architecture could be designed to enable reversing of today's range proportions of the Impala – a CNG-powered car doesn't necessarily need more range petrol than it offers on natural gas, but since the current model sits on the underpinnings of a petrol-powered car, not originally designed with alternative fuels in mind, little more could have been done. Also, in the future the Type 1 steel CNG tank will most likely be replaced with a lighter composite equivalent and perhaps integrated into the underbody so that it doesn't "steal" cargo space in the trunk. But for now, we wish the Impala a broad stream of orders in 2016!
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