Aggressive features and new suspension give the Malibu the sporty stance it deserves

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.

Exterior

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.

2017 Chevrolet Malibu Blue Line High Resolution Exterior
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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.

Interior

2016 Chevrolet Malibu
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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

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.

Conclusion

2017 Chevrolet Malibu Blue Line High Resolution Exterior
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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.

  • Leave it
    • * Not the best color choice
    • * Interior needs more features
    • * Just a concept for now

Press Release

Chevrolet previewed the Malibu and Cruze RS hatchback Blue Line concepts today ahead of their Nov. 1 public debut at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas.

Blending equal parts style, performance and function, they demonstrate the lifestyle and personalization possibilities of the brand’s latest vehicles — all with sophisticated aesthetics. Both of the concept vehicles feature Genesis White exteriors accented with blue-tinted windows and 18-inch concept wheels painted slate blue metallic.

2017 Chevrolet Malibu Blue Line High Resolution Exterior
- image 692357

“The Chevrolet Blue Line Series concepts integrate accessories that offer greater personalization choices for customers,” said Roger McCormack, director, 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.”

The production and concept accessories were developed in Chevrolet’s design studio alongside the vehicles.

“Chevrolet accessories bring a level of value and peace of mind that can only come from parts that are designed, engineered, tested and backed by the same team that developed the vehicles,” said McCormack. “It’s a level of integration that enhances the sporty appearance of the vehicles.”

Malibu Blue Line
The Blue Line concept combines design accents with performance parts, for a more athletic stance and sporty look.

2017 Chevrolet Malibu Blue Line High Resolution Exterior
- image 692356

The Genesis White exterior offers a transitional look, appearing bright white in some light and light gray in other conditions. In addition to the slate blue metallic 18-inch concept wheels, Chevrolet Accessories include:

Ground effects kit with a rear diffuser
Black grille insert
Black Chevrolet bow tie emblems
Rear spoiler
Suspension lowering kit
Floor liners with premium metal badging
Illuminated doorsills
Sport pedal kit

The new suspension lowering kit includes springs that lower the ride height 0.4 inch (10 mm) for a sportier stance and more responsive handling. It is designed for models equipped with the available 2.0L turbocharged engine, which is rated 250 horsepower and matched with an all-new, available nine-speed automatic transmission that offers efficiency and refinement enhancements over the previous six-speed automatic transmission.

The concept also features a concept Chevrolet Performance brake kit (painted Harbor Gray Metallic) and additional custom touches that include tinted headlamp and taillamp lenses and polished exhaust tips.

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