Chevrolet’s eighth-generation Malibu still feels relatively recent, but the automaker is already developing a heavily restyled model for the 2016-2017 model year. A prototype of the new Malibu was recently spotted testing alongside a current-generation model, giving us a small hint at the big changes in order for the new midsize sedan.
AutoGuide notes the rearward sloping roofline of the prototype is slightly reminiscent of the Audi A7 and we have to agree. The overall all look is sleeker, with a lower hood and front section, more sharply raked A-pillars and a shorter greenhouse. The heavy camouflage makes individual styling features hard to pick out, but Chevrolet’s two-tier grille can be seen in close-up pictures of the front fascia.
General Motors’ Epsilon 2 platform will be carried over with the new model, as will the 2.5-liter four-cylinder base engine. Just as Ford did with the fusion, the V6 engine will likely be replaced with a smaller turbocharged four-cylinder, in this case, a 1.5-liter unit from GM’s new line of Ecotec motors. The range topping engine is expected to be an updated 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. AutoGuide says an eight-speed transmission will be available from launch, with GM and Ford’s co-developed nine-speed front-wheel drive transmission appearing at a later date.
Check out the spy photos here.