There’s little debate from anyone that the current Chevrolet Impala needs to move off the W-body platform that debuted in 1988. The Sleuth hears that parent General Motors will do exactly that within the next three years as the new Impala rolls out. Word around GM’s tech center in Warren, Mich., is that it will arrive in late 2013 on the same platform as the forthcoming Cadillac XTS sedan, which is the car that will replace the STS. That platform — GM’s Global Epsilon platform — is developed in Europe and will allow Chevy to drop the 3.5-liter and 3.9-liter V-6 engines in favor of a new 3.0-liter turbo V-6 that will provide more power and better fuel economy than the current offerings. Expect that engine to also land in several future GM models. The Sleuth also hears that a plug-in hybrid Impala will enter the mix as an option. Expect evolutionary, not revolutionary design changes.
Compact on the way for Nissan’s luxury brand: Infiniti will debut a new premium compact car at the auto show in Geneva, Switzerland, that runs March 2-16, the Sleuth hears. The new model, which will go global within 18 months, will ride on the same platform that will underpin a few Renault vehicles in Europe. The Infiniti version will be a two-door coupe and power is expected to come from Mercedes-Benz’s 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder developing about 200 horsepower. Word is that Infiniti wants the sub-G concept to “take the Japanese performance brand down a new road, to a new future.” Expect lots of hot product news out of Infiniti as it seeks to redefine itself as a global player.
More Tesla models on the way: One of the hottest electric-vehicle companies in the world will begin deliveries of its new sedan during the second quarter of 2012, with three new models set to follow closely behind, the Sleuth has learned. Tesla is working on a new minivan, coupe and large sport utility vehicle. The key to the new model range — including the Model S sedan — will be the company’s Lotus-derived technology known as Versatile Vehicle Architecture that will allow Tesla to develop four distinct models on a single architecture. The Model S will be followed by an electric minivan dubbed the Model X that will likely debut at this fall’s Frankfurt Motor Show in Germany before making regular production in 2014 or 2015.