One of Chevrolet’s stalwart nameplates, the Malibu, reached a milestone this week, with production of this model passing the 10 million mark since the vehicle was first introduced in 1964. Chevrolet says that more than 90 percent of these 10 million cars have been sold in the U.S., China, and South Korea, though the car is currently sold in 25 markets globally.
As you’d expect from a vehicle with such a long history, the Chevrolet Malibu has seen plenty of highs and lows throughout its many generations. When it first arrived on the scene, the Malibu was a very different car than the front-wheel-drive family sedan we know today. Originally a version of the midsize, rear-wheel-drive Chevrolet Chevelle, the Malibu that was introduced in 1964 offered as sedan, coupe, convertible, station wagon bodystyles. Second and third generations of the Chevelle and Malibu came around in 1968 and 1973, respectively, and the Chevelle name was eventually dropped when the fourth generation Chevrolet Malibu arrived in 1978. This new, significantly smaller Chevrolet Malibu was part of GM’s broader downsizing efforts, and continued until 1983.
The Malibu name then took a long hiatus, with Chevrolet cycling through a few different front-wheel-drive sedan models including the Celebrity and the Lumina through the rest of the 1980s and 1990s. In 1997, the Malibu returned as a smaller, front-wheel drive sedan to slot in between the compact Cavalier and midsize Lumina. The car was then redesigned again for 2004, when Chevrolet introduced a new Malibu Maxx station wagon variant. The seventh-generation Malibu then debuted in 2008 and was praised for being fully competitive with Japanese family sedans like the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry. The current Chevrolet Malibu, introduced in 2013, was not as well-received, and slow sales meant that GM accelerated the timeline for the redesign, giving the eighth-generation car one of the shortest model cycles in the car’s history.
The Chevrolet Malibu’s future holds a brand-new 2016 model with a new powertrain, more dramatic styling, and plenty of new technology features. A new gas-electric full hybrid variant also joins the lineup, using a parallel hybrid drivetrain with certain elements taken from the Chevrolet Volt.
Check out the gallery below for photos of the Chevrolet Malibu through the years.