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Stop/start technology will be standard on the 2015 Impala base 2.5-liter ECOTEC engine, an addition that improves the vehicle’s city fuel economy by nearly 5 percent. The Impala comes standard with a four-cylinder engine, which currently accounts for more than 30 percent of Impala retail sales. It offers customers higher mpg city ratings and a more affordable entry price into the segment than six-cylinder competitors.
Stop/start shuts down the engine in certain driving conditions to reduce fuel consumption. The technology is becoming more prevalent worldwide. A recent report from Navigant Research predicted worldwide sales of vehicles with stop/start technology will grow from 8.8 million in 2013 to 55.4 million in 2022.
The Impala becomes the second vehicle in Chevrolet’s U.S. lineup to feature stop/start technology, following the segment-first standard inclusion in the 2014 Malibu introduced late last year. The technology helps improve the Malibu’s city fuel economy by 14 percent. Chevrolet engineers developed the stop/start in the Impala from extensive experience with GM’s eAssist system and the accompanying algorithms that allow engines to engage and disengage subtly.
“Stop/start system customer research indicates they want the engine to start up as quickly and smoothly as possible after a stop,” said Mark Meyers, Chevrolet Global Vehicle Performance manager. During the development of this technology, a team of software engineers was created. The Center for Excellence focuses on advancing stop/start technology and making its operation seamless to the customer.
The smart software also prevents the system from engaging if the car does not reach 6 mph since its last start, a welcome feature in stop-and-go-driving conditions. The system also considers cabin temperature, humidity, battery charge and other factors when deciding if the engine should come to a stop.
Hardware revisions also have been made. The noise and vibration team worked closely with drivetrain engineers to revise motor mounts to provide the greatest isolation possible from the cabin. Additionally, the team included a larger heavy-duty starter motor to assist with the additional ignition cycles.