The Chevrolet Malibu, which will go on sale in Europe next year, was a star of the manufacturer’s Frankfurt motor show display today.
The mid-size saloon has already been seen in the US and China, but this is the first time it has been officially seen in Europe, where previous Malibus have not been sold.
Although the car will reach Europe, there is no news on whether it will actually go on sale in Britain. When the car was displayed at Shanghai in April, a Chevrolet UK spokesman told Autocar that it would gauge reaction to the car before deciding whether to introduce it to the range.
The Malibu – based on the Vauxhall Insignia platform and 4859mm long – will be available with a two-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine boasting 164bhp or a 2.4-litre diesel variant that has 169bhp. Manual and automatic transmissions will be offered.
It is intended to be the flagship of the maker’s range and Chevrolet Europe president Wayne Brannon is confident the new model will be competitive: “The Malibu will come on top of the seven new entries launched in Chevrolet’s centennial year. [It] is the brand’s new top-of-the-range offering, bringing proven value with a premium feel to Europe's midsize segment.”
Chevrolet claims the Malibu offers ‘excellent ride and handling characteristics’. It has a wheelbase of 2737mm, a track of 1577mm and features a MacPherson strut front suspension and a multi-link independent rear arrangement. It will be one of the most aerodynamically efficient cars in Chevy’s passenger vehicle line-up, with a drag coefficient of 0.28Cd.
Exterior design cues include Chevrolet’s signature dual-port grille, xenon or high-intensity discharge (HID) headlamps, large Chevrolet ‘bow-tie’ badges in front and rear, and new LED dual-element tail lamps, inspired by those on the Camaro. The Malibu will be offered with 17 or 18-inch wheels. Nine exterior colours and up to four interior colour combinations will be available, depending on the model selected.