The new 2013 Chevrolet Malibu – which debuts this week at auto shows in Shanghai, China, and New York – will have Camaro-style looks, a bigger interior and higher fuel economy when it hits the road in the first quarter of 2012.
The primary mission for the new Malibu is very straightforward, if very difficult: Win in the competitive American mid-size segment.
“The current Malibu has…changed the way people think about Chevrolet,” said Rick Scheidt, vice president of Chevrolet marketing. “This all-new Malibu delivers on the intangibles of today’s Malibu but gives customers even more: more style, fuel efficiency, content and features, craftsmanship, and dynamic capabilities rivaling high-end sedans.”
Here’s what’s new:
• All-new exterior designed to stand out around the world
• All-new, dual-cockpit interior with more room, more quietness, more premium materials and content, and greater craftsmanship
• All-new, fuel-efficient, 2.5L four-cylinder Ecotec engine with next-generation six-speed automatic powertrain
• All-new, aerodynamically efficient shape and active shutter system save fuel and reduce wind noise
• All-new Chevrolet MyLink in-car infotainment system integrates online services like Pandora Internet radio and Stitcher SmartRadio
• New radio face that articulates up and down revealing a six-inch-deep hidden storage compartment, a first for a U.S. midsize sedan
• New safety features including 10 air bags, lane departure/forward collision warning system and a rearview camera system
The 2013 Chevrolet Malibu will come with a “sporty, sophisticated and easy to live with” interior, that will feature an all-new dual cockpit, intuitively located controls and ample storage space.
The Malibu now offers a new 190-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine only. The direct-injected DOHC Ecotec engine is expected to make 180 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission will be the only gearbox available to U.S. buyers.
A familiar MacPherson strut in the front and a multilink rear suspension system in the rear that we see in other Epsilon II vehicles such as the Buick Regal and Opel Insignia is also present on the 2013 Malibu.
The 2013 Malibu also aims to be a leader in safety for its segment with 8 standard airbags and two optional head/thorax second row airbags, giving the car a grand total of 10 available safety pillows.
The traditional Chevy “dual-cockpit” interior carries on, and here, the car will again be available in LS, LT, and LTZ trim levels, with a new, touch-screen radio display that pops open to reveal a 6-inch-deep storage compartment.
The car, which was engineered to use mostly the same parts globally, may sell in 100 markets with about 400,000 deliveries a year, said Michael Robinet, vice president of IHS Automotive. The car likely will be built in Hamtramck, Michigan; Kansas City, Kansas; and internationally inChina, South Korea and Uzbekistan, Robinet said.
No price was announced, but it likely will be more than the current Malibu base price of $21,975 excluding shipping.