Future Vehicle: 2016 Chevrolet Malibu
- Camouflaged Chevrolet sedan caught testing against current Camry and Fusion
- Presumed to be prototype of next-generation Chevrolet Malibu
- Production model expected for 2016 or 2017 model year
Could this be the next Chevrolet Malibu? Although it's hard to tell with all the camouflage, we wouldn't be surprised if that's exactly what it is. The current Malibu just came out for 2013, but despite a strong overall demand for family sedans, it hasn't been selling the way General Motors had hoped. Getting the Malibu back to its winning ways will be one of Chevy's top priorities for the next generation, and it looks like the current Camry and Fusion are serving as early inspiration.
We considered the possibility that this test mule is actually a current-generation Malibu SS performance model in training, but as one of our editors astutely pointed out, the single muffler in back says otherwise.
The other shots, which show both exhaust outlets occupied, suggest a V6-powered Malibu LTZ, and the wheels on these test cars don't seem nearly aggressive enough for it to be an SS.
Indeed, aside from the dual exhaust cutouts, which provide a faint whiff of performance potential, the car has the look of a typical midsize sedan. The exterior styling also seems to be longer and lower than before, so there could be a dynamic new shape hiding beneath those protective layers. We look forward to sampling the new Malibu when possible and finding out what it's all about.
What it means to you: A new Malibu is coming to town, and if you don't mind waiting a couple years, it should be a considerable improvement over the current car. Look for the next-generation Malibu in dealerships by 2016 or thereabouts.