GM claims that the new Malibu has been developed with a "blank slate approach" and the new sedan will sit upon an "entirely new architecture".
The new car will tip the scales about 135 kilograms lighter than the current car thanks to the extensive use of high-strength steels. It will also ride on a wheelbase that's about 10 centimetres longer than the car that's currently on sale.
According to Ed Welburn, GM's vice president in charge of design, the new Malibu has "gorgeous styling" and that, compared to the current model, the new car's "roofline has been stretched rearward giving a more sleek profile, while the front wheels have moved forward and front and rear overhangs have been reduced".
Despite less than enthusiastic reviews, the current-generation Malibu (above) has sold reasonably well in the US, with 210,951 sold in 2012; 200,594 retailed in 2013; and 188,519 moved out the door in 2014. That's still roughly half the rate of the Toyota Camry in US, where 404,886; 404,484; and 428,606 were sold in those years.
That contrasts sharply with the situation in Australia. The Holden version of the Malibu (below) only found 74 new homes in February this year, dwarfed by the 1767 Camrys that headed out the collective showroom door.
The next-generation Malibu will go on sale in the US from the end of 2015.
Expect a steady stream of teasers and info about the new Malibu in the weeks leading up to its reveal, with GM promising a tidbit at least once a week.