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In response to increasingly strict fuel consumption and emissions standards future General Motors mid-size sedans will be offered exclusively with 4-cylinder engine options – starting with the 2012 Chevy Malibu.
The development comes from GMInsideNews‘s sources working on the next generation of mid-size sedans. The plan actually began with the current Buick Regal, which is currently offered with two 4-cylinder options. Even the upcoming high-performance Regal GS model will get a 4-cylinder.
There’s no word on exact what engines will be offered in the new Malibu, which is due out some time in late 2011. Possibility’s include the obvious Regal powerplants, which include the 182-hp 2.4-liter direct-injection engine and the 220-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged engine.
Four-cylinders have long been the volume models in the mid-size sedan category, but Chevy will be one of the first to drop the V6 entirely. The current Hyundai Sonata is offered exclusively with 4-cylinder engines.
If you’re eager to know what the upcoming 2012 Chevy Malibu will look like, thanks to some new patent drawings, we now have a pretty darn good idea. Sort of. You see, the sketches were recently filed by General Motors with the U.S. patent office for an unnamed Chevrolet sedan. In other words, this could any any number of models, but with the Malibu set to arrive next year as a 2012 model, it’s a safe bet.
What the photos do show is a more muscular appearance that takes the current ‘Bu’s styling to a new level. The Malibu, we should remind you, was the first to get Chevy’s new front end, which is now seen across the rest of the product line, so the 2012 Malibu is likely to inspire all other future Chevys as well.
The windows appear to be a bit smaller with a higher belt-line, giving a more aggressive (300C-like) look, while the rear end is most certainly inspired by the Camaro.
Chevy has already shown a select few an early version of the 2012 Malibu and with the auto show season about over, if the car doesn’t make an appearance at the New York Auto Show in just a few weeks time, we don’t expect to see it until the end of the year at either the LA or Detroit shows.
GALLERY: 2012 Chevy Malibu Patent Drawings
The General holds private event, attendees tweet on 2012 Chevy Malibu, Cadillac XTS flagship and new ATS 3 Series fighter
If you’re a car junkie, Twitter is the place to be today. Ahead of a webcast tomorrow morning by GM CEO Fritz Henderson, the General arranged for a select few media to meet with its PR folks and get a preview of what the New GM has to offer.
Many of those folks have been tweeting on Twitter and so we have a good idea of what’s going on. In a press release from earlier today, GM said that Fritz will unveil a new model during the webcast. The only problem is, the tweets cover so many new models that we don’t know which one it will be.
Some of the biggest stories of the day include a new Cadillac model named the ATS, which is aimed at taking on the BMW 3 Series (yes pulease)! And it would be offered as both a coupe and sedan. Other Cadillac news includes a story we ran earlier today about the new CTS Coupe and CTS-V Coupe coming in May. Tweets also covered a story we ran several weeks back about the DTS replacement being called the XTS and using the LaCrosse platform – meaning AWD will be optional.
As for the Buick brand, there will reportedly be a new model added to that lineup – a mid-sized sedan due out in the next 24 months. This will no doubt the the Chinese market Regal, a story we reported on several weeks back as well.
In Chevy news, those lucky enough to be at the General’s party today got to glimpse the 2012 Malibu, well ahead of its unveiling. Additionally Bob Lutz still isn’t done getting peoples’ hopes up, saying that the Pontiac G8 might still have a life at GM.
[Source: Twitter via Autoblog]