• Jan 9, 2007
click on above image to view our updated gallery of the Malibu with an additional 29 live shots

We didn't think Ed Peper required corrective action nearly as badly as the Malibu, but "Fashion Police" star Bobbie Thomas was on hand this morning to give Chevrolet's general manager a fashion makeover in a quick skit that showed that, if nothing else, Peper is one hell of a good sport.

Kidding aside, Peper introduced the 2008 Malibu, a sedan that GM claims will lead the Chevrolet brand's effort to regain competitiveness in the passenger car market. In person, the pre-production interior is excellent, and we're quite anxious to see the production hardware. GM's official photography made the front fascia appear to be a bit bulky, but the shape looks much better in real life, and the exterior in general shows an attention to detail that we're just not used to seeing from the General's mainstream vehicles. Overall, we'd say that the design and styling will be a strong asset when battling it out in the hyper-competitive midsize sedan market.

Under the hood, you'll no longer find any pushrods, as the Ecotec four-banger is standard, while the "High Feature" DOHC 3.6L V6 provides additional motivation. A new six-speed auto is available with both engines, which is the first time such a trans has been paired with a four-cylinder in this segment.

Click on our updated high-resolution gallery to see more of the Malibu's official introduction. We've also included the official press release after the jump, as well as video released by GM of the Malibu being driven through the country.



For our comprehensive listing of everything from Detroit, click here.


VIDEO:

PRESS RELEASE:

2008 CHEVROLET MALIBU – FEATURE DETAILS

DETROIT The redesigned Chevrolet Malibu is based on GM's global midsize platform, which serves as the foundation for a strong body structure, precise build quality and refined driving dynamics. It is more than three inches (76 mm) longer than the current model, with a six-inch-longer (162 mm) wheelbase. These proportions create a wheels-at-the-corners stance that enables a smoother, more direct driving experience.

Performance comes from a family of powerful dual-overhead cam four- and six-cylinder engines, including a 2.4L Ecotec DOHC four-cylinder engine and a 3.6L DOHC V-6 with variable valve timing. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard with the V-6 and is offered with the 2.4L four-cylinder – a segment first.

Here's a look at Malibu's features in detail:

Driving experience

Malibu's long, 112.3-inch (2,852 mm) wheelbase and wheels-at-the corner stance enable sharp, responsive ride and handling characteristics that bring a trait that's rare to the segment: driving satisfaction. The balanced, four-wheel independent suspension system features a MacPherson strut front suspension design and multilink rear suspension. The front suspension uses aluminum control arms, which reduce unsprung mass impacts over bumps for a smoother ride. A direct-acting stabilizer bar provides a more immediate feel to steering inputs.

The rear suspension also features a direct-acting stabilizer bar, as well as monotube or twin-tube shock absorbers, depending on the model. The front and rear suspension systems are tuned for each powertrain combination, delivering tailored driving characteristics for all models. Hydraulic ride bushings and body control damping measures enhance the connected-to-the-road driving feel while supporting a comfortable ride.

GM's StabiliTrak electronic stability control system is standard on LT and LTZ models. It uses sophisticated vehicle sensors tied to the anti-lock braking system to help the driver maintain control during certain maneuvers. The new panic brake assistance feature provides full braking power when a panic-braking event is detected. This can reduce the braking distance, providing more control in helping to avoid a crash.

Steering response is precise and immediate, thanks to tuned steering systems designed for each model. Malibu models equipped with the 2.4L engine use a variable electric power-assist steering system, while V-6 models employ a hydraulic-assisted steering system.

A family of 16-, 17- and 18-inch wheels is offered with Malibu, all tailored with a tight wheel-to-body relationship. LS models come with 16-inch painted trim wheels; LT models come with 17-inch chrome trim wheels and LTZ models are fitted with 18-inch aluminum ultra-bright-finish wheels.

The suspension systems are mounted to a robust chassis and integrated body structure that features a safety cage design and strategic placement of high-strength steel for outstanding structural integrity. The strong chassis and body structure enable more precise mounting of the suspension systems, a design trait that enabled engineers to focus on finer degrees of suspension tuning. A safety cage construction built into the Malibu's body structure is complemented with reinforced rocker sections, as well as a reinforced front body hinge pillar and roof pillars that were designed to improve impact protection. A magnesium cross-car beam unites the lower sections of the A-pillars. This not only helps protect passengers in side-impact crashes, but also serves as a solid foundation for the instrument panel. High-strength steel is used in strategic areas to augment overall structural integrity.

Powertrain

The 2.4L Ecotec DOHC four-cylinder engine is rated at 164 horsepower (122 kW)* and delivers an estimated 31 mpg in highway driving, which is projected to be as good as or better than the segment's current sales leader. It also is good enough to join the exclusive ranks of vehicles rated at 30 mpg or more – a club that will be tougher to join in 2008 because of revised EPA mileage test standards. GM has more "members" in the 30-mpg club than any other manufacturer.

The 2.4L Ecotec DOHC will be offered with all trim levels. LS and LT models are backed by a Hydra-Matic four-speed automatic transmission. Malibu LTZ models with the 2.4L engine are equipped with a new Hydra-Matic 6T40 six-speed automatic – the only four-cylinder/six-speed automatic combination in the segment.

The available 3.6L V-6 VVT is a sophisticated, all-aluminum DOHC engine that uses variable valve technology to produce 252 horsepower (188 kW)** while delivering an estimated 26 mpg in highway driving. It is mated with a Hydra-Matic 6T70 six-speed automatic transmission.

The Malibu's six-speed transmissions enable a strong balance between performance and fuel efficiency, with the six forward gears offering optimized performance at all rpm levels, as well as reduced rpm at highway cruising speeds. Lower rpm can enhance fuel economy and reduce cabin noise. The six-speed transmissions also feature Driver Shift Control (DSC), which enables the driver to shift manually with steering wheel-mounted controls.

All Malibu powertrain combinations are supported with GM's five-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Quiet, thoughtful environment

Malibu's strong structure serves as the foundation for an exceptionally quiet environment. Along with the robust chassis, which minimizes vibration and noise, the body structure uses noise-reducing materials, such as liquid spray-on sound deadener, laminated steel and composite wheel liners, to deliver one the segment's quietest, most refined driving experiences. Laminated "quiet glass" also contributes to a quiet environment.

The interior's attention to detail complements the quieting features, with an ergonomic design using materials that convey quality and value, including a cast skin material on the instrument panel. For the first time, the Malibu is offered with two-tone trim combinations, including Ebony and Brick, Cocoa and Cashmere and Titanium and Cashmere. There is also an all-Ebony combination, accented with a distinctive wood grain element that offers a unique, upscale appearance. LTZ models receive distinctive, black-chrome accents, a specific instrument layout and unique, two-tone leather seating surfaces.

Ambient lighting in areas such as the overhead console and door-pull pockets enhances the Malibu's inviting feel. The overhead console-mounted LED floodlights provide subdued lighting to the center console area between the front seats. A feeling of openness is enhanced with Malibu's available, panoramic sunroof, featuring four sliding panels that provide an opening that extends between the front and rear seats. The retractable glass panels tilt upward, so there is no loss of headroom inside the car.

OnStar

All 2008 Malibu models come with OnStar Gen 7, which features standard automatic crash notification service and OnStar Turn-by-Turn Navigation. It is the first factory-installed, fully integrated GPS navigation system from OnStar. Turn-by-Turn allows consumers to talk to a live adviser, who in turn sends complete step-by-step directions to customers' vehicles through their OnStar system. These audio directions automatically play through the vehicle's stereo as needed, triggered by the OnStar system's GPS capabilities. This enables drivers to be guided to their destination while keeping their hands on the wheel and their eyes on the road.

*Pending SAE certification.

**SAE certified. A new voluntary power and torque certification procedure developed by the SAE Engine Test Code committee was approved March 31, 2005. This procedure (J2723) ensures fair, accurate ratings for horsepower and torque by allowing manufacturers to certify their engines through third-party witness testing. GM was the first auto manufacturer to begin using the procedure and expects to use it for all newly rated engines in the future.



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  • 57 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      Well, I own two GM products, an 02 Alero and an 06 Chevy Express van. The Alero has about 50K on it and until last week, I had never spent any money on repairs, just routine stuff. The part I did have to replace was 135 bucks, so, five years old and one 135 dollar part. It has been reliable and trustworthy. My only complaint is the build quality of the interior plastics. But then again, it's an 02, things have changed since then. The Express van? Well, it's still pretty new, only 11K on it with no problems.

      Say what you want about the older GM stuff, the newer stuff rocks.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Wow, that rear end is just a rip off off the Infiniti M series. That car looks more Opel than Chevy Design. At least its a German Chevy
      • 8 Years Ago
      Not bad...I'd give GM credit for effort, but I'll have to see it and drive it. Looks much better than Sebring and Fusion, even better than Aura.
      I might even consider it if it weren't a Chevy. Problem is, The next Accord will totally trash the new Malibu. I don't even have to see it; we KNOW it will. That's the domestics' problem. Their stuff needs to be where Asia Inc. is going to be, not where they've been.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Lazerwizard should be preserved in a lab jar for future generations to study and maybe find a cure for "lame brainitis".
      • 8 Years Ago
      Despite what the idiotic, senseless and brainless GM-haters have to say (hell, what do they know about anything?)...the 2008 Chevy Malibu looks great! I love the styling...GM will have a big hit with the 2008 Malibu. So far they're on the right track, and this car will definitely help. The car looks elegant inside but even better on the outside. This car will be a very worthy contender in the mid-size class, and definitely looks like it has much more style and excitement than its rivals like the Accord, Camry, Sonata, etc. Can't wait to see one in person!
      • 8 Years Ago
      Looks like another nail in the coffin.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Infiniti called. They want their taillights back.
      • 8 Years Ago

      The dashboard design is a fresh look for GM and they should be applauded. But the execution is just awful. I can't get over the fact that this is a show car and that General Motors doesn't get how important details are. There must be three different shades of that reddish brown color on the dashboard alone. The seat piping looks like it's a different color alltogether. But, they did take the time to paint the brake rotors!

      If they care this little about how the show car looks, how excited should we get about the production model?

      Oh, The tail lights look rotten too. They look like ripped off Volvo lights, with afterthought '70s Malibu round sections stuck in.
      ronin
      • 8 Years Ago
      Looks like a great offering. This segment is getting so competitive, which only translates into better cars at good prices for all consumers.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I find it funny how the same people that said the Camry is ugly say how great this car looks! Put two photos next to each other and they look nearly the same: the bubble nose, the angled headlights, the same exact lines from the side, etc.

      Also, I think there needs to be a rule here that from now on if you say that Car X looks ugly then you need to say what car in the same class looks good so that people can get an idea of what you consider a good looking car in that class.
      Christopher
      • 8 Years Ago
      The new Malibu is a real nice looking piece for a mainstream sedan. It's way better looking than the outgoing model, and also much more attractive than the current Impalla. The show car's interior looked very nice but what were they thinking with the two tone medium gray/burnt orange color combination?! The layout was quite nice but the color scheme absolutely horrible. There were a few nice looking ones in the photo gallery though. The black/chocolate brown combination was very attractive, and so was the all black/wood trim combination. I'd like to see more wheel options available besides the 2 that were shown in the gallery, and i'm sure there will be. I also understand that engine choices will not be tied to trim level, with both the ecotec I-4 and the DOHC 3.6L v-6 available in all trim levels. Can't wait to see the Malibu SS
      • 8 Years Ago
      the only thing I wish they would have spend more time on is the tailights adn headlights, otehrwise good job by GM.

      still i'll pick the new Altima anyday over this
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