In December 2009, GM showed a select crowd the finished, next-generation Malibu. Some of Brenda Priddy's sources were among the group, and they've confirmed for her that this is indeed the 2012 Chevy Malibu, seen here with much less camouflage on the front end. This version of the Malibu will be a global car, marketed around the globe under other aliases including the Holden Epica and Daewoo Tosca.
The Malibu will ride on the same short wheelbase version of the Epsilon II chassis that underpins the 2011 Buick Regal. The overall length of the Malibu will shrink compared to today's model, although insiders say the interior is roomier. Underhood the Malibu will offer either a 2.4L direct-injected four-cylinder or a 2.0L turbocharged Ecotec four mated to a six-speed transmission. Priddy says a hybrid version and all-wheel-drive option will also be available, but a 3.6L V6 is unlikely.
Malibu production is scheduled for the fourth-quarter of 2011, although Priddy says that could move up to next summer. Much like the Chevy Cruze rollout, production of foreign-market versions of the Malibu will start in China and Korea several months before U.S. production begins. GM will invest $257 million to get the Fairfax and Detroit Hamtramck assembly plants ready to build the 2012 Chevy Malibu for U.S. production.
Photos copyright Brenda Priddy & Company. Reuse or reproduction without copyright holder's consent is prohibited.
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