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Chevrolet Offers Tease of New Malibu

Classic American sedan getting Shanghai preview.

by on Mar.31, 2011

Chevrolet offers a hint of what's coming with the launch of the all-new Malibu sedan.

Chevrolet is getting ready to roll out an all-new version of its Malibu sedan – but in an interesting turn reflecting the realities of the new automotive world order, the new 2012 model will be making its formal debut not at the upcoming New York Auto Show but at the year’s big motor show in Shanghai – with an appearance at the Big Apple’s Jacob Javits convention center to follow.

The teaser shot shown here provides a glimpse of the new car’s taillights, which also reflect some of the realities of the new GM, a more intriguing, squared-off shape, influenced by the Camaro, populated by what appear to be LED bulbs.

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Along with a more modern and – one hopes – more visually appealing design, General Motors reveals that the new sedan will be a bit wider than the outgoing Malibu.  That’s all the more noteworthy considering it will ride on the smaller Epsilon II platform which, for those familiar with GM nomenclature, is shared with several other global models, including the new Buick Regal.

Though Chevrolet might long have bragged about being as American as baseball, hot dogs and apple pie, it seems, the 2012 Malibu was developed with a global audience in mind, and will eventually be offered in over 100 countries.  About the only place you won’t be able to find one will be in Antarctica.

“The all-new, eighth generation Chevrolet Malibu will transcend time zones and embrace the diversity of cultures around the world,” suggests a press release from Chevy.

As with the Buick Regal, Chevy is going the four-cylinder-only route with the new Malibu, which is expected to mean a 2.4-liter, naturally-aspirated EcoTec, as well as a 2.0-liter turbo.  When it launched, the Buick sedan was given exclusive use of a high-output version of the smaller powertrain, so it remains to be seen if the new Malibu will match the Regal GS model’s 255 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque.

Meanwhile, the new Chevrolet Malibu may also get a hybrid system similar to the new Buick eAssist, and even all-wheel-drive.

The upcoming update of the Malibu is significant considering how quickly it follows on the introduction of the last version, which won the much-coveted North American Car of the Year trophy in January 2008.

Oh, and for those who can’t cough up the cash for a flight to Shanghai, Chevy is taking yet another step to reflect the world’s changing realities: it will also debut the Malibu on its Facebook page on April 18th, and as long as you’re a member, you won’t need a visa.

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