The new Impala is a very important product for GM and the Chevrolet nameplate. And they would like to show you how important it is by showing you keeping your digital information and physical items safe is on their priority list.

When the new Impala is launched later this year, vehicles equipped with the new Chevrolet MyLink system will get an additional feature: enhanced valet mode. Simply, it allows you to digitally lock your personal information stored in the MyLink system so those pesky professional parkers can’t snoop through your contacts and Ke$ha jams (the last bit might be a lie).

Behind the screen hides the real news, as the MyLink system innards are located elsewhere in the vehicle, allowing for a lockable cubby to store your small valuables and other important items. The cubby is locked when the valet mode is activated so your debit cards and toll passes don’t become street fare.

Press release below.

Lock It Up: 2014 Chevrolet Impala Offers Secure Info Storage
Redesigned flagship sedan offers hidden compartment behind PIN-activated faceplate

DETROIT, Mich. – Anyone who has ever felt trepidation about handing their car keys to a valet will appreciate the 2014 Chevrolet Impala. The redesigned flagship sedan offers a “valet mode” that lets someone unknown take the wheel but shields personal items and information from prying eyes.

The new Impala’s available 8-inch center stack display is an interactive touch screen for the next-generation Chevrolet MyLink system but doubles as a PIN-activated retractable faceplate over a secure storage bin large enough to hold valuables like a wallet, MP3 player and smartphone. Addresses and contacts stored on MyLink also remain PIN-protected.

“Valet mode is the kind of feature that Impala customers will appreciate,” said Chris Perry, Chevrolet vice president of Global Marketing. “It is one of many great new features on our newest MyLink and a small part of Impala’s overall technology package.”

Impala owners will be able to access valet mode through MyLink’s Settings menu via a four-digit code, much like on a hotel safe. A confirmation entry of the code simultaneously locks the bin and secures personal information.

Chevrolet customer clinic participants showed avid interest in valet mode, particularly young car buyers who valued MyLink’s information privacy protection feature. Impala’s hidden bin also addresses customers’ frequently expressed need for a secure place to keep personal items out of sight.

“We were able to move the MyLink system’s electronics to another location in the vehicle, effectively creating the space behind the touch screen,” said Matt Highstrom, General Motors human-machine interface designer.

In addition to privacy protection, Impala’s next-generation MyLink system allows for increased personalization. Owners can click and drag icons on the home screen located in the center stack, similar to operating a smartphone or tablet.

Using consumer research, including interviews and online voting, designers of the award-winning MyLink developed four specific graphic appearances or “skins,” selectable through the Settings menu, designed to appeal to distinct customer group personalities. They include:

  • Contemporary – Clean, simple interface that’s neither overly colorful nor busy, geared to busy moms and families.
  • Edge – Youth-oriented, dynamic feel with vibrant colors and pop culture-inspired icons.
  • Velocity – Sleek, with carbon fiber background appearance and glowing neon, aimed at driving enthusiasts.
  • Main Street – An all-around, crowd-pleasing design using primary colors.

These and other functions, including valet mode, will be rolled out to other Chevrolet models featuring the next-generation MyLink system.

“We can’t design a custom Impala interior for every customer, but we can give them the next best thing – an infotainment system that reflects their tastes and features that meet their needs,” said Matt Fuligni, design manager, Chevrolet User Experience.

The 2014 Impala will begin production this spring and eventually will be offered with three engine choices. A 3.6L V6 will be available at launch, starting at $30,760 including destination charges.

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