After much buildup Chevy has finally revealed the new 2012 Malibu ahead of its debuts this week at the Shanghai and New York Auto Shows. Nearly three-inches wider and with a big new grille, the Malibu cuts an imposing look more along the likes of what we’re using to seeing from the full-size sedan segment. Boxy flared rear fenders show a design influence from the Camaro, as do square taillights.
The Camaro theme also continues inside with gauges inspired by the iconic sports car. But this is no retro machine with a high-tech color flip-screen built into the dash that is used for the new Chevy MyLink telematics system used to operate many of the car’s high-tech features.
The car’s added width results in improved room inside the vehicle says Chevy, plus there’s more rear legroom too. The added width also translates to improved handling. With a MacPherson strut front end and multi-link rear GM claims, “It has been engineered to be best-in-class and on par with more expensive sports sedans.”
Powering the car is a new 2.5-liter direct-injection 4-cylinder making 190-hp and 180 lb-ft of torque, mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. During the car’s reveal, it was announced that a version of the Malibu will get more than 35-mpg.
GM has indicated that the Malibu will only be available as a 4-cylinder mode, but look for a more potent turbocharged 4-cylinder within the next year.
And because the Malibu is a family car it will come with plenty of safety equipment including 10 airbags and OnStar, plus an optional rearview camera and lane departure warning system with forward collision alert.