2017 Chevrolet Malibu Blue Line
Aggressive features and new suspension give the Malibu the sporty stance it deservesby Ciprian Florea, on
Redesigned for the 2016 model year, the Malibu became a better looking and more upscale sedan. Aimed at the very popular Toyota Camry and Honda Accord, the overhauled sedan also received new engines with enhanced fuel economy, winning two extra mpgs with the optional, turbocharged 2.0-liter engine. Now with a sportier appearance and a high-tech interior with increased space, the Malibu continues to enjoy the success of its predecessor, while bringing new customers into Chevrolet showrooms.
At the 2016 SEMA Show, GM is showcasing a new concept car based on the existing Malibu. Dubbed Blue Line, the show car is actually a production model fitted with Chevrolet Performance parts inside and out. Most new features are newly designed and not yet available to customers, but Chevy will probably have them on sale starting in 2017. The Malibu Blue Line joins a similar concept based on the Cruze RS hatchback at the SEMA Show and previews some of the accessories that customers will be able to purchase in the future.
"The Chevrolet Blue Line Series concepts integrate accessories that offer greater personalization choices for customers,” said Roger McCormack, director of Accessories and Performance Parts Marketing. “Each vehicle wears production and concept accessories thematically linked under the Blue Line Series banner. We look forward to gauging public reaction at the SEMA Show and other venues."
There’s no word as to whether Chevrolet is planning a sportier version of the Malibu, but it could happen in the near future. Until then, let’s have a closer look at the Blue Line concept.
Continue reading to learn more about the Chevrolet Malibu Blue Line.
2017 Chevrolet Malibu Blue Line
The production-ready concept received quite a few extra goodies on the outside. The first thing that catches the eye is the Genesis White paint, which offers a transitional look between bright white and light gray, depending on lighting conditions. The white exterior is highlighted by blue-tinted windows and double five-spoke wheels finished in Slate Blue Metallic. The rims measure 18 inches and feature a concept design that will likely go into production in the future.
The first thing that catches the eye is the Genesis White paint, which offers a transitional look between bright white and light gray, depending on lighting conditions.
Paint and wheels aside, the Malibu Blue Line also comes with a black grille, black "bow-tie" emblems, and tinted headlamp and taillight lenses. A "ground effects" kit adds a more prominent front splitter, side skirts, trunklid spoiler, and rear diffuser for a sportier look. The sedan is rounded off by a pair of polished exhaust tips for a high contrast against the black diffuser.
Note: Standard Chevrolet Malibu pictured here.
The interior of the so-called concept car is pretty close to the standard model, gaining only three extra features. The standard door sills have been replaced with illuminated units, while the floor has liners with premium metal badging. The sedan also received a sport pedal kit to go with the more aggressive exterior. It’s not that much compared to the exterior and I think Chevrolet should’ve come up with a more bespoke cabin. Still, the features are nice and add value to the Malibu, moving it closer to the more premium offerings in this segment.
Drivetrain updates are limited to the suspension and brakes. The sedan features a new suspension lowering kit that include springs that lower the ride height by 0.4 inches. This gives the Malibu a sportier stance and more responsive handling. Chevy says that the suspension setup was designed for models equipped with the optional 2.0-liter engine, so it’s safe to assume that the Blue Line gets its juice from the turbocharged four-banger. The unit sends 250 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque to the wheels through the eight-speed automatic that replaced the previous six-speed for the 2016 model year. Stopping power was also upgraded by means of a Chevrolet Performance brake kit.
Like most of GM’s concept cars for the SEMA Show, the Malibu Blue Line is actually a production car fitted with existing and upcoming Chevrolet Performance and Accessories parts. The exterior features just enough upgrade bits and pieces to make the Blue Line stand out next to the standard sedan, and it’s safe to say that this is the sportier current-generation Malibu with factory-made upgrades. Most of these features will most likely become available through Chevrolet Performance in 2017, but it would be interesting to see Chevy offer a range-topping Malibu using the same exterior and maybe an "RS" badge.