i've pondered much how the front of the malibu could be fixed, but i just don't know. your chop is very nice, but the factory front just kills it. it's such an ugly front end that i can't even think of simple changes that would fix it. it needs a re-do from the A-pillar forward.
I was thinking about the front end of the malibu and if you are good with photoshop, I've always wondered what the front end would look like if you moved the front lights down between the crossbar and made the crossbar body colored.
Well here's a suggestion if you want to continue with the Maxx SS. Try extending the hatch area so that the roof comes just about all the way back, using the Nomad for cues. Include an integrated spoiler on the back of the roof to give it a far more sporty look. This would be quite a makeover, but it might look nice in an SS package. And yes, bring the rockers down.