Two weeks ago, the US Patent and Trademark Office released patent filings of what seems to be the next-generation Chevy Malibu. A few days after, we colored in those schematics, which gave us a better idea of the 2012 Malibu’s exterior styling. The latest in the “catch the 2012 Malibu” spy shot game comes to us from eagle-eyed Car and Driver spy photographers, who caught a camoed’ version of the next-gen ‘Bu.
From the pics, we can see a bit more rake to the beltline, complimented by a slight crease in the body side. That said, the new model’s exterior will most likely see the majority of changes in the front and the rear. While C&D’s spy photographers couldn’t snap a picture of the front of the car, they did catch the tail. It’s no secret that the back of the current Malibu is widely seen as the area that needs the most work – and it looks like the new model will rectify this. From these spy photos and the USPTO schematics, it looks like the tail of the new Malibu will receive Camaroesque ornamentation. What’s more, the top of the trunklid seems to have a flat, ducktail-like shape – similar to the controversial design aesthetic pioneered by BMW.
In the end, we may end up with a 2012 Malibu that does not look like a completely different vehicle on the outside, but rather one with most of the changes occurring beneath the skin. It will be shorter, slightly wider, and a tad taller than the outgoing model, joining the Buick LaCrosse and Regal on GM’s global Epsilon II platform (which is an evolution of the current vehicle’s Epsilon I underpinnings). The top trim levels will most likely use GM’s HiPer strut system recently unveiled on the 2011 Buick LaCrosse.
Expect to see vastly improved materials on the inside of the car, not that the current model’s interior is anything to sneeze at. We look forward to seeing many more spy shots of the next-gen Malibu as it gets closer to its introduction, which will most likely be at the 2011 North American International Auto Show. Until then, we’ll be here to bring you the latest in the spyshot game![Source: Car and Driver]