2008 Chevy Malibu
Click to enlarge

GM has followed up its preview of the new 2008 Malibu's interior with a first look at the car's front end. Sporting what is described as thew "new face of Chevrolet," the Malibu is endowed with the same style of horizontally-split grille that first appeared on Chevy's 2007 GMT900 utility vehicles -- Avalanche, Tahoe, and Suburban. It's nicely detailed, with the mesh elements bordered by chrome surrounds, and we rather like the muscular ridges that extend from the grill area back onto the hood. The three below-the-bumper openings are also laterally bisected.

It's a huge upgrade over the existing Malibu, and it won't ever be confused for the Saturn Aura built alongside it at GM's Fairfax, KS assembly plant, even though they'll share many proportions. The photo also helps clear up a bit of an internal debate we've been having here at Autoblog over how GM would position the Malibu compared to the Aura. We believe that the flashier, European-themed Saturn is going to be the slightly more "upmarket" car of the two, though the Chevy will offer up some pizazz of its own with its optional two-tone interiors.

Now we really want to see what the rest of it looks like.

(Press release after the jump)

[Source; GM]

Interior view:



PRESS RELEASE:


Cheverolet Releases Sneak Peek of 2008 Malibu

DETROIT, Mich. – Chevrolet today released an advance image of the exterior of the all-new 2008 Malibu, which will be unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January and will arrive at Chevrolet dealerships later in 2007. The photo was released in conjunction with the announcement of a $208 million investment in the Fairfax, Kansas Assembly plant to prepare for production of the car.

The image reveals a partial shot of the front of the car featuring a dual-port grille, which is described as representing the "new face of Chevrolet."

"The 2008 Malibu design is expressive and brings new proportions and a fresh perspective to the mid-size market," said Ed Peper, Chevrolet General Manager. "The new Malibu boasts a poised, wheels-at-the-corners stance with a longer hood and shorter deck appearance that conveys motion, agility and attitude."

Chevrolet previously released a sneak peek of one of the car's available two-tone interiors, which demonstrates a much more upscale look and feel with more premium materials and a new level of refinement in the extremely competitive mid-size car segment.