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by Tim Beissmann

The Chevrolet Malibu Turbo Performance concept has been previewed online ahead of its unveiling at next week’s 2012 SEMA aftermarket show in Las Vegas.

It’s difficult not to see hints of the Holden Commodore in the sporty concept, which is based on the Chevrolet Malibu Turbo production car that sits at the top of the all-new medium sedan range in the US.

The rebadged and localised version of the base car, called the Holden Malibu, will go on sale in Australia around the middle of 2013, filling the hole between the locally manufactured Holden Cruze small car and the Commodore.

The Malibu, which was unveiled last week at the Sydney motor show, will be available with a 2.4-litre petrol engine and a 2.0-litre diesel. Holden earlier this year said it would not rule out introducing the Malibu Turbo down under, but has revealed no plans to do so at this stage.

Like the production car, the Chevrolet Malibu Turbo Performance concept generates 193kW of power and 353Nm of torque (between 1700-5500rpm) from its 2.0-litre turbocharged direct injection petrol engine – putting it almost on par with the 210kW/350Nm 3.6-litre V6 in the Commodore SV6.

Chevrolet says the Malibu Turbo sprints from 0-100km/h in 6.3 seconds and has a top speed of 250km/h.

Enhancing the concept’s on-road ability is Chevrolet’s HiPerStrut front suspension and rear spring set-up, six-piston front brake calipers, and a cold-air intake system to help the engine draw in cooler, denser air.

Finished with a Berlin Blue Tricoat exterior paint job, the Malibu Turbo Performance concept sports a bespoke body kit, red front fog light surrounds and red inner exhaust bezels, black-tinted chrome accents, clear tail-light lenses, 20-inch alloy wheels wrapped in Pirelli P-Zero tyres, and unique Turbo badges.

The Jet Black/Navy Blue interior features leather and suede Recaro sports seats with red stitching, a flat-bottomed steering wheel, suede-wrapped gearshift boot and black chrome trim plates.

The Malibu Turbo Performance concept will line up alongside a host of bespoke aftermarket-tuned Chevrolet vehicles at SEMA from October 30.




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