2013 Chevrolet Malibu production to start in early 2012

Article by Christian Andrei, on April 12, 2011

Two different teaser images have come out recently of the new 2013 Chevrolet Malibu. General Motors hopes to sell this model in about 100 markets throughout the globe. GM’s top executives decided that the production start earlier than initially planned to take advantage of the impact generated by reports that a car with a ‘Malibu’ name (which is linked to American pop culture) will be offered globally.

A source told Detroit News that the next-generation car will arrive four months earlier.

The original plan had been for production to start in the middle of 2012. GM spokesman Dave Darovitz said that it was because of GM CEO Dan Akerson’s powers of convincing that the date was moved over a quarter earlier. Darovitz said that Akerson asked that the program move more quickly.

The 2013 Malibu is slated to make its global debut at the Shanghai Motor Show and then at the New York Auto Show. The Malibu will be built on the shortened version of GM's Epsilon II platform, underpinning both the Buick Regal and LaCrosse.

In these teaser images, only the taillight and some of the interior have been revealed. But it’s expected that a grand version of Chevrolet’s signature grille will be seen at the front.

Chevrolet has taken the veil off its new 2013 Chevrolet Malibu at the 2011 Auto Shanghai, signaling the debut of a new version that features emotional design and outstanding ride, as well as advanced technologies and fuel-efficient powertrains. The carmaker is planning to simultaneously introduce the Malibu -- first global midsize sedan -- in the United States and China, and later to nearly 100 countries on six continents around the world.

Rick Scheidt, vice president for Chevrolet Marketing, remarked that the 2013 Malibu builds on the momentum of the current model, which managed to gain awards and amended consumer perception towards the brand by redefining what an American midsize car could be. He added that the new Malibu – when compared to the current version -- offers more style, content and features, as well as better fuel efficiency, craftsmanship, and dynamic capabilities.

In terms of exterior design, the new 2013 Chevrolet Malibu inherits the genes of its Camaro and Corvette siblings, thereby bringing a sporty sense to the family sedan segment, according to Bryan Nesbitt, executive director for GM exterior design and Chevrolet Brand Champion.

Compared to the current model, the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu features a wheelbase that is around 4.5-inch (114 mm) shorter as well as front and rear tracks – at 62 inches (1,574 mm) -- that are over 2 inches (51 mm) wider. Likewise, the latest version of the Malibu has a wider stance, broad shoulders and an integrated rear spoiler. It also features Chevrolet's dual-port grille, larger Chevrolet bow-tie badges both on the front and rear, projector HID headlamps and Camaro-inspired LED dual-element tail lamps.

Customers could choose from an array of 17-, 18- and 19-inch wheels. With a coefficient of drag (Cd) rating proximate to Chevrolet Volt's Cd of .280, Chevrolet expects the Malibu to be SAE-certified as one of the most aerodynamically efficient models in its segment. This is all thanks to the 2013 Malibu's new shape and design, which allowed to get rid of 60 counts of wind drag compared to its predecessor.

Further improving the aerodynamics and fuel efficiency of the Chevrolet Malibu, select models in North America were fitted with electronically controlled and integrated active aero shutters. When air intake is not or least needed, Malibu's active shutter system will automatically close airflow through the lower intake opening, and redirects it around the front of the Malibu and down the sides, thereby improving its aerodynamic performance. Opening and closing of the shutter depends on the temperature of the engine coolant and on vehicle. For instance, the shutters open when the Malibu is climbing a hill, pulling a trailer, or traversing city roads.

Likewise, the shutters close when the Malibu is at cruising highway speeds, during which engine cooling is less needed. On the other hand, the interior of the Malibu gets an all-new dual cockpit design that allows for a tempting, spacious and comfortable cabin environment. Since the new Chevrolet Malibu is now wider, it offers a more spacious cabin as well as more shoulder and hip room – thanks to almost 4 cubic feet (113 L) of extra interior volume.

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