Chevrolet Impala
 Chevrolet Impala
 Chevrolet Camaro

Chevrolet is upgrading the V6 engines in its Impala family sedan and sporty Camaro.

For the 2012 model year, the Impala is getting a new direct-injection 3.6-liter V6. The new motor will produce 302 horsepower and 252 ft-lbs of torque. That's a significant improvement over the current car's standard 3.5-liter, 211 horsepower V6, or the optional 230 horsepower 3.9-liter V6.

The new engine will be mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, which is also a big step up over the current car's four-speed. Both the new engine and transmission will be standard equipment for the 2012 model. The current generation Impala was introduced in 2006, and these enhancements are a welcome improvement.

Last month we also reported that the 2012 Camaro would get an updated V6 engine (related to the Impala's new motor). Chevy said the motor would give the Camaro more power without impacting the car's fuel economy.

Now Chevrolet reports that isn't the case. The 2012 Camaro will get its 11 horsepower boost as promised, but Chevy says the updated motor will actually improve fuel economy by one more mile per gallon.

The improvements come partly from a revised manifold that improves the flow of the car's exhaust. This allows the engine to work more efficiently, and also allows engineers to mount emissions equipment closer to the engine. According to Chevy, this means the car will produce lower emissions, too.

The Camaro's engine will also get a new cylinder head. Together the two upgrades will shave about 13 pounds off of the car, an impressive gain for changing two small parts.

author photo

J. Mark Sternberg is an automotive journalist, car enthusiast and writer with a degree from the University of Arizona. Mark is a devoted Formula 1 fan and also enjoys boating, flying and attending the occasional track day.

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