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Last week brought the best spy shots of the 2008 Malibu to date. We're pretty encouraged by what we've seen so far, which is much better than the boring rental-fleet staple that currently wears the moniker. Today, The GM Source has published a Chris Pauwels sketch (above) of what it's believed the next-gen Malibu will look like once it loses its anti-spy camo for good. Pauwels' work, readers may remember, last graced Autoblog when we published the 2008 CTS rendering he did for The GM Source. According to the site, that rendering is a "dead ringer" for the production CTS, and if the Malibu sketch is similarly spot-on, there's plenty to be enthusiastic about.

We're big fans of the Chevy SS Concept-inspired grille, and if the coupe-ish rear end that Chris predicts is accurate, then the new Malibu should look as good leaving as it does arriving. The GM Source states that it shares its architecture and powertrain choices with the current car, so don't expect anything radical there. No matter. The appearance overhaul should work wonders. Between this and the new CTS, the General could be sitting pretty when MY '08 rolls around.

[Source: The GM Source]

Editor's Note: The Car Connection has recently received a new photo of the '08 Malibu from Mrs. Priddy and Co. Included with it are details about a verbal altercation that ensued when a GM employee confronted the photog during the unauthorized photo shoot.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 9 Years Ago
      It looks like a supersize Cobalt. It's an update, but it's just not enough. Who in GM thought those massive Chevy emblems were a good idea? Every Chvevy car except for the latest Corvette (Which is amazing) looks terrible.

      The Pontiacs on the other hand look pretty sharp. The G6 Coupe has real appeal. So do the Sky and Solstice. Cadillac, as we all know, is cool. So the potential is there. I don't know how the design is divided up inside GM, but the potential is obviously there.
      • 9 Years Ago
      • 9 Years Ago
      On a less incidiary note...

      I took part in the "Rev-it-up" racing program this weekend in Miami, this year sponsored by Chevrolet. For those not familiar with the program, participants get to take out performance product on cone courses, and sit and generally experience performance cars. This year, the product was everything SS from Chevy, and the Vette.

      Let me just start by saying Chevy (and by extension GM) has made huge strides with their cars. By and large the plastics were of decent quality, fits and finsihes were nothing to be ashamed of and the driving was pretty good.

      That being said, its easy to see where the competition will continue to walk all over Chevy. The Cobalt, in SS guise was decent, but the interior was lower rent than a Civic or Corolla. The handling required a rough hand to extract the most from it, and interior room and stowage was limited.

      The Impala and Monte Carlo are still fairly tragic. While better built than ever, the designs are weak, the interiors very rental and the combination of heavy FWD V8 with a 4speed automatic and soft suspension does nothing for me. All the handling grip is mechanical, i.e through the tires. These big cars have a very long way to go.

      The Malibu Maxx SS however was actually pretty sweet. It had a unique look, a rorty engine with good shove, tight handling and lots of room for 4 big guys. I was impressed. Of course the highlight was the Corvette.

      NICE. The Corvette may still be a little ho-hum interior wise, but here's a great way to drive 400hp. Its fun, smooth and easy to get into. All SS products should feel like this.

      Then there's the Z06...

      Lets just say if you ever get to hear a Z06 launch, wait til it hits 4500rpm... all hell breaks loose and the scenery changes from a blur to hyperspace. Incredible. THATs what American engineering should be about. Only $65,000 and you get a fun ride thats easy to drive yet can easily warp your frame of mind. Awesome.

      So there you have it. With any hope GM will loosen the purse strings for their new designs and spend the money on getting the feel right. The ingridients are there.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Hey Larry, what year vehicle is that transmission failure in? How many miles? What model vehicle? And what failed?

      Hey, Finished.Law.School. Exactly what the fuck is your problem with the UAW. I've seen a lot of right out school laywers cause a lot of grief for clients. Feel bad because your sheepskin is not buying you a better position in life? A UAW woker might cause a problem with a car, but a wise ass laywer can screw you up for life. Perhaps the best failure would be a brake failure as you walk across the street. As they say it would be a start.

      The car looks pretty good on paper. Will it sell? We all know it will, just depends on the number.
      • 9 Years Ago
      I think that looks awesome, build it like the picture and I'll buy one
      • 9 Years Ago
      "The GM fanboi crowd will never see the tons of unsold trucks, understand the last fire sale's consequences, or have a grasp on how broke GM really is. For them, this latest sketch/iteration of one of Chevy's rental fleet is another positive sign - not sure why, but hey, they want to believe that somehow the rules of finance will be suspended to save GM. Uh-huh."

      Very true.

      The new Malibu external is honestly attractive, albiet a little bland. But Accords and Camrys don't sell because of aesthetics, either--they sell based on a blend of ergonomics, comfort, handling, fit and finish. GM fanbois like to create a false dichotomy and say that those who don't like domestics are import fanboys. Not at all--would you be able to tell me with a straight face that a Malibu has the same narrow panel gaps and plastic grain? I hope not, because if you do you're blind. Camry, as much as I loathe them and would never own them, are well-made. It's understandable why they succeed, and has little to do with hype, media bias, or racial bias. I could care less about ethnic pride when I could potentially be spending thousands more in repair/maintenance.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Its good to see that General Motors is finally taking something other than its highly touted GMT-900 platform seriously. While anything is better than the current Malibu, the new one actually looks like its got something going for it. The new, aggressive shnoz and the 'one-bar grille' also slapped on the GMT-900 Chevy's gives the car a more powerful presence. Out back I like the raked glass and coupe-like end. That said, its going to take a lot more than simple aesthetic improvements to detract from the popularity of the Camry, Accord and increasingly the Sonata. To that end, its disheartening to see that GM is going to take no action. To echo Steven T, I must say that its going to take a lot more than plastic and steel to beat the Japan's better engineered and fabricated sedans.

      On a slightly different note, I have a quick something for a few of the All-American Sympathiezer crowd on this blog.
      Richard Warren: You claim that "Something else, have you noticed that the American plants are better in efficency, that's right and that's no bullshit." Yup, uh huh, absolutely right! Toyota has been an aspirational company in terms of its ability to efficiently and properly manufacture vehicles. So you must be right - because its not like Toyota is not a domestic company. Infact, its got stars and stripes and All American Iron plastered all over it. I suggest you rephrase your statement to the following: "Something else, Im just going to spray some random bullshit for the hell of it, so you might just want to skip this". Seriously, who in their right mind claims that American factories beat the Japanese in terms of efficiency...
      Josh Oliver: You say that "It's odd how GM puts forth vehicle after vehicle that either matches the competition or trounces it, yet....it's "still just not that good enough."". Whats really odd is that youve got your head burried in the sand for the last 65 years. Either that, or your idea of competition involves dog piss. Yup, some GM cars match that. Frankly, the only vehicles that a sane automtive enthusiast will concede to be better made by GM are the GMT-900s, and thats only because Toyota hasnt updated its Tundra/Sequoia just yet.
      Davey in D: Thanks for enlightening us on the ins and outs of the car market. Next time, maybe you should just follow your own ideas and "Shut the Hell Up". Or, do everyone a favor and check out the Q2 results at:
      Youd be surprised. Can you believe it? Looks like nobody wants to buy GM's "great cars"! What a thought. Had that occured to you? Or is it just that us 'ignorant' bums manage to get the hard facts before you do?
      • 9 Years Ago
      I think, by now, we should all recognize that the UAW has helped put US auto manufacturers where they are now. Even if it isn't happening anymore.

      My cousin's brother in law was a UAW member in the early 80s. He gleefully tells stories about how they'd do their passive aggressive fighting. He used to tell us how they'd fight back if their manager cut their break short - for every five seconds the break was cut they'd mess up one vehicle on the line. If the manager gave them 14 minutes instead of 15 the next 12 cars would be a lemon.

      While you can doubt that this happened, and you can certainly make a strong point that it doesn't happen any longer, it's probably a good reason why we're here today. Along with various gas crisises, poor management, bad engineering, and a general misunderstanding of what the American public wants to drive.
      • 9 Years Ago
      #2 and #3-
      Well, I sure don't hear you guys saying that the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry look like rental cars, despite the fact that both of those cars have unexciting and predictable styling- gee, do I sense a blaten anti-GM bias? Bear in mind that in the family sedan segment, those vehicles aren't intended to look very exciting, they're designed to be safe, reliable and comfortable transportation. And many of today's family sedans do those things well, the Malibu included. And despite what you two think, the styling appears to be pretty nice anyway.

      #1- I do agree with you, Ford could be facing more trouble with sales due to the '08 Malibu. The Fusion looks nice and has been a good seller so far- but the family sedan segment is very important in the car market and Ford has to keep the Fusion competitive with continuous improvements, updates and re-designs when needed. But given Ford's total lack of direction and terrible decisions, Fusion sales might end up taking a backseat to the Malibu or many other cars in its segment.
      • 9 Years Ago
      GM makes great cars and those of you that continue to bash just show your ignorance, do any of you drive cars? Most of you sound like a bunch of kids that have nothing better to do than sit all day on your computers. This survey came out today, GM leads more catagories than any other manufacturer.

      If you don't know what you're talking about "Shut the Hell up."

      • 9 Years Ago

      "Why else and how else can you explain Korean and Japanese auto companies trumping US manufacturing in this sector?"

      You are aware, are you not, that the majority of vehicles made on the face of this planet are made by union members? Other than China, and some states here in the US.

      To blame the problems of the domestic auto industry on the UAW is a simplistic viewpoint.

      Management decides:

      What to build
      How to market it it
      How to advertise it
      How the corporation is run
      What the stockholders get
      Where to build the plants
      Who supplies the parts for the vehicles
      What division gets sold off and at what price
      Decides what funds get funded
      Decides on the CEO compensation
      OK,s piss poor engineering and design
      Signs dealership agreements
      Hires the managers in charge of the plants
      Decides on the content of the vehicle
      Decides what chances to take for liability
      Hires and promotes the same cookie cutter-old boy network
      Determines what shall be badge engineered
      Sits back and allows market share to dwindle and does nothing
      Signs off on those UAW negotiations year after year after year
      Decides what to outsource
      Decides what technology to promote
      Who decides on buyout options for employees

      Let's see, the union membership screws the badge engineered, poorly engineered, poorly designed parts together.

      Management then turns around, and blames the union for it's high legacy costs, that THEY SAID YES TO, because they were too weak over the years to say no. If you have problems in a plant with union workers, you change the plant manager, enforce the rules of the company, within the guidelines laid out by the union (THAT MANAGEMENT SIGNED) of the union and fire the bastards causing the problems to help create a good situation for the good workers.

      Something else, have you noticed that the American plants are better in efficency, that's right and that's no bullshit. Keep in mind that that efficiency can be caused by not equipping the plants with modern equipment, just as much as if the work force is not efficient. And who lays out those plants? Management.

      Management signed off on the job banks, remember that? So who is stupid? Management for saying yes or for a person to take advantage of it? Both, I'd say.

      Then what about the dear old stockholders? They allow the same old manager, good ole boy network to run on and on, so long as they get theirs, it's OK.

      Yep, I believe more and more you actually did finish law school. Typical laywer, looking for someone to blame other than your client sitting there saying "It wasn't me!"

      The real shame is this, BOTH sides forgot that it takes a well oiled team to compete and win.
      • 9 Years Ago
      ford might be in trouble when this comes to market, but think of all the new features they're puting the o7 model, navigation, sport package, all-wheel drive, siruis satillite radio, better i-pod integration, none of those are offered on the malibu even on the current model.
      but if the honda accord next generation is in fact based on the 4-sports concept then the fusion, the new malibu, camry, and altima are in trouble
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