Chevy will attempt to remedy the Malibu with some minor tweaks.
December 6, 2012
By: Nick Saporito
Earlier this week General Motors CEO Dan Akerson confirmed what many already knew: that the company is planning to refresh Chevrolet's midsize sedan within the next year. The revisions are said to be in line with what the company refers to as a mid-cycle enhancement, meaning the changes will be lesser than a typical redesign. GMI has been told that the changes will likely include a revised exterior design and at least one new potential engine offering.Originally Posted by Article Update
Despite being fairly new on the market, the 2013 Malibu is already wearing an old Chevrolet design theme. Starting with the new 2013 Traverse and upcoming 2014 Impala, Chevy is ditching the traditional cross-bar grille design in favor of a softened variant of it. Sources familiar with GM product planning have stated that the refreshed Malibu will borrow cues from the new Impala and other recent Chevy products to bring the look in line with the rest of the brand. Specifically, the Malibu will receive revised front and rear fascia designs. The car's sheet metal is expected to remain largely unchanged.
Perhaps the most interesting change is the alleged addition of a 1.6-liter turbocharged engine. The 1.6-liter turbo has been in use in Europe for some time now, and GMI confirmed months ago that the engine was going to come over stateside. It is quickly sounding like the revised Malibu will be one of the first applications of the engine in North America.
In Europe the 1.6-liter turbo makes just under 200 horsepower and around 170 foot-pounds of torque. While the fundamental engine will be the same in North America, sources have said to expect the 1.6-liter to gain start/stop technology that allows the engine to shut off while the vehicle is stopped.
It is unclear if the 1.6-liter turbo, if utilized for Malibu, will replace the current 2.5-liter or 2.4-liter engines in the 2013 Malibu.
Ford's recently launched 2013 Fusion, a Malibu competitor, utilizes a turbocharged 1.6-liter as well. In Ford's application the engine generates 178 horsepower and 184 foot-pounds of torque, and also encompasses start/stop technology.
Details surrounding interior changes, if any, are largely unknown at this time. Sources have indicated that the Malibu will be the recipient of the next-generation Chevrolet MyLink infotainment system, which is debuting on the all-new Impala and trucks next year.
The refreshed Malibu has been planned for well over a year. GMI sources have indicated that the car would launch as a 2015 model, though Akerson's comments suggest the car has been pushed up to launch next year.