Marketing campaigns may have insisted Chevrolet was as American as baseball, hot dogs, and apple pie, but the spies at Motor Trend recently caught the brand's next-generation Malibu midsize sedan undergoing testing in Europe.
There's perhaps a good reason for the Malibu's foreign foray. In keeping with the move to make Chevrolet a true global brand, the Malibu will be sold around the globe, much like its smaller Cruze and Aveo siblings. Outside of North America, the car is slated to replace the Daewoo-built Epica, and will likely wear that nameplate in certain markets.
Reportedly built upon the same Epsilon II platform that underpins vehicles like the Buick LaCrosse and Regal, the new Malibu may ride upon a slightly shorter wheelbase than the current car. The car's overall shape isn't a radical break from today's Malibu, either. Headlamps appear to travel farther up the hood line than before, but GM's typical test-car composite housings give us little insight into the configuration of the production units. Predictably, Chevy's signature split grille is plainly visible, despite the attempt to mask the Malibu's nose with camouflage. Out back, squared-off taillights echo those of the Camaro, while the third brake light has been moved from the package shelf to the trunk lid.
We look forward to seeing the Malibu's new wardrobe when the car launches within the next year or two, but in order to remain relevant in today's competitive midsize market, we hope the car includes technological or fuel economy gains to accompany its new sheetmetal.
Source: Motor Trend