2013 Chevrolet Malibu to be manufactured in South Korea and China

Article by Christian Andrei, on April 30, 2011

Chevrolet is working on the details of how it will roll out the new Malibu model, which was introduced last month. It’s expected that this plan will boost Chevrolet’s share in the markets of numerous countries. GM also made an earlier statement that it had decided to produce the Malibu in South Korea. This means that the country will become the third production hub for the model, after that of China and the US.

Production is slated to start in 2012 and it will be built in China by the end of 2011. In South Korea, the model will be manufactured in Bupyeong, Korea, one of the first cars that will replace the GM Daewoo nameplate with the Chevrolet brand. Russ Clark, Chevrolet product director, said that the assembly lines will build the first models this fall.

Clark also said that Korea would be the key sales market for the new Malibu, which is expected to raise the brand’s global presence.

It will continue with its growth path while expanding its lineup for the consumers in Korea. It’s possible that Malibu will get new dimensions compared to the previous-generation.

The new version is expected to be shorter and winder than the outgoing model. GM will put in a 2.5l four-cylinder engine that’s mated to a six-speed automatic, generating 190hp and 245 Nm of torque. GM has grand plans for the Malibu, which will bring the Chevy name to over 100 markets on six continents.

While the official debut of the new 2013 Chevrolet Malibu was done during the 2011 Auto Show in Shanghai, it was in fact officially introduced not just in China but also concurrently in the U.S. The choice of these two was not by chance as these are the two countries, out of almost 100 countries that span 6 continents, where Chevrolet’s new offering will be sold. Considered as the brand’s first midsize sedan, its ride performance, use of advanced technologies, powertrains that are fuel-efficient, and expressive design, are sure to entice a lot of customers, whether they’re from New York or Shanghai, or even all the way from Sao Paulo or Sydney.

Chevrolet Marketing’s vice president Rick Scheidt revealed that the new Malibu has managed to leave an important mark and thus was able to change how people looked at the brand. The Malibu, he added, has redefined what is meant by an American midsize car. VP Scheidt said that the Chevrolet Malibu is not only able to deliver on the intangibles of the present Malibu but it offers a whole lot more like better dynamic capabilities and craftsmanship than even most high-end sedans.

It also shows more style, has more features and content, and is fuel-efficient compared to its rival’s offerings. Meanwhile, Chevrolet Brand Champion and GM exterior design executive director Bryan Nesbitt shared that since the exterior of the Chevrolet Malibu has the same design DNA as that of the Corvette and the Camaro, it brings a sporty sensibility to this family sedan class. By having an integrated spoiler in the rear, broad shoulders, and wider stance, the Malibu gets a more aggressive look and a high level of athleticism. Its wheelbase is shorter by 4.5 inches (114 mm) while both the front and the rear tracks measure 62 inches (1,574 mm), wider by 2 inches (51 mm) compared to the previous model.

There are also other design cues that can be seen on the exterior like the projector HID headlamps and the brand’s dual-port grille. There are also the bow-tie badges located on the front and rear, both of which have been made larger. Finally there is the use of the dual-element taillamps on the rear that has LEDs and was clearly inspired by the Camaro.

Complementing all these design cues is the availability of the new wheels in the 17-inch, 18-inch, or 19-inch format. Chevrolet revealed that it expects the exterior of the Malibu to get SAE certification as the most aerodynamically efficient model in its class. It is anticipated that its coefficient of drag or Cd rating would be nearer that of the Volt which is at 0.280. When compared to the model that it will be replacing, the Chevrolet Malibu has less than 60 counts of wind drag. Engineers were able to do this by giving this model a new design and shape.

This model will also have active aero shutters integrated to it and is electronically controlled. This helps improve the model’s fuel economy and enhance its aerodynamics but without resulting in any compromise to the exterior design. This feature though will only be available on selected models for the North American market.

What this active shutter system does is that when the least air intake is needed, it immediately closes the airflow on its lower intake opening. Once closed, the system is able to improve the car’s aerodynamic performance since the airflow is not directed to go through it but instead it passes to the front of the vehicle and then down to its sides.

In order for the system to know if the shutter should be opened or closed, it looks at the current speed of the vehicle as well as the temperature of the engine coolant. Suppose the car is pulling a trailer, travelling on a hot day, or even going uphill, the system opens the shutter to allow engine cooling. When cruising on the highway, there is less need for engine cooling and so the shutters are automatically closed.

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