|2013 Holden Malibu Sedan|
The new Holden Malibu offers an all-new 2.5-litre direct-injection four-cylinder "Ecotec" petrol engine and a mild restyling of the American Malibu's face (see official GM/Holden photo above), ditching the signature twin-port Chevrolet grille for a traditional Holden one (with perhaps a touch of Opel?). The interior, dashboard, and rear end styling are near carbon copies of the Chevrolet. A 2.0-litre turbocharged motor in the Chevrolet Malibu Turbo, is rumored to be a "go" for the Australian market. Furthermore, the Cruze models 2.0 liter 155 horsepower diesel motor is also rumored to be under review by Holden. Holden's engineers are said to have recalibrated the suspension and the six speed automatic transmission (the only gearbox to be offered) shift points of the American Malibu to handle the "wide range" of Australian roadways.
The Malibu fills a gaping hole in Holden’s range between the small Cruze and large Commodore (aka the current Caprice PPV in the USA - in long wheelbase form) created when Holden discontinued the thoroughly unpopular Epica sedan in 2011, finally giving Holden a serious competitor to the Toyota Camry, Mazda6, Honda Accord, and the Ford Mondeo/Fusion sedans. Now the question becomes can Holden secure sufficient market share in this highly competitive marketplace - after a year of abandoning the same market after fielding a sub-par model (the Epica). Hard to say....
[Edited 2012-07-23 20:59:01]
[Edited 2012-07-23 21:07:21]