With the Malibu posting so-so sales in a segment dominated by Very Good Cars like the Ford Fusion, Honda Accord, Toyota Camry and Hyundai Sonata, Chevrolet apparently felt it needed to step up its family car game, and it looks like they’re going to do just that: the new car will be based on new architecture, allowing designers to stretch the car’s wheelbase by nearly 10 cm, and cut 135 kg(!) from the curb weight through the use of high-strength steel.
That extra distance between the front and rear axles will give the new Malibu one of the longest wheelbases in its class, which should translate into best-in-class (or close to it) rear-seat legroom, correcting one of the main drawbacks of the outgoing car.
Weight is also a problem for the current Malibu, whose 1571 kg makes it a porker next to class leaders. If Chevrolet really can cut 135 kg from that number, though, the car would go from heaviest to a family-car featherweight (among automatic tranmission-equipped models) at a svelte 1436 kilos. The benefit there, of course, is a potential reduction in real-world fuel consumption.
Chevrolet says it plans to release more details about the car each week until its early-April reveal, and given what we know so far, we’re actually curious to see what other surprises Chevy has up its sleeve for this car.