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The Chevrolet Malibu Performance Concept shows "what could be" at SEMA

While the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu is in a segment of sedans that is often forgotten at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas, the 2012 show brought about the Malibu Performance Concept – showing how incredibly sporty this midsized sedan could be with a few aesthetic changes and some Chevrolet Performance accessories.


The Chevrolet Malibu Performance Concept is based on the new 2013 Malibu Turbo which derives its power from a turbocharged 2.0L engine that churns out 259 horsepower and 260lb-ft of torque. This drivetrain makes the 2013 Malibu unquestionably the most engaging vehicle to wear the Malibu name in many, many moons but for this performance oriented SEMA Show concept, Chevrolet Performance has added a Concept cold air intake package that should add a little more power. Helping this sporty concept sedan handle better than a standard production model is a Chevrolet Performance Concept HiPer Strut suspension system and stiffer rear springs while a concept brake package featuring 6-piston calipers with 2 piece cross drilled rotors for better stopping power.

Where the Chevrolet Malibu Performance Concept really stands apart from both other Malibu sedans and the majority of the rest of the segment is in the unique body kit. This package adds an aggressive ground effects package that includes a front splitter, a rear diffuser and rocket skirts for a lower stance over the custom 20” aluminum wheels finished in a dark mirrored shade that GM calls “Knight Rider Chrome”. Chevrolet designers then added a custom lower grille area, custom fog light grilles painted Blaze Red, dark headlight bezels and a frenzy of dark chrome to give the front and a very menacing countenance. Out back, joining the unique rear diffuser is a set of clear tail lights, a large-ish (for the segment) rear wing and a pair of exhaust openings that share the Blaze Red trim from the fog light housings. Finally, the exterior package is finished off in an absolutely gorgeous matte Berlin Blue Tricoat paint that really brings the whole package together as well as some unique Turbo badging on the doors.

The interior also gets the high performance treatment with a set of Recaro front race buckets trimmed in Jet Black leather with Navy Blue suede inserts featuring red accent stitching. The flat bottom steering wheel, the door panels and rear seats offer a similar leather and suede design with red stitching scattered throughout the black and blue interior.

While this is something that I’ve not often said about the Chevy Malibu – this is one fantastic looking sport sedan. The natural lines of the 2013 Malibu work incredibly well with the ground effects package for a look that is distinctly aggressive but it is still subtle enough that it wouldn’t be an outlandish production package. Chevrolet has, in the past, offered a performance themed package such as the “Maxx SS” package although those station wagons were a far cry from anything resembling a performance model. The SS name seems to be reserved for the Camaro and the upcoming Chevrolet SS Performance sedan so it doesn’t seem likely to see a new Malibu SS packing this type of package but considering how clean this concept looked at the 2012 SEMA Show – this could attract those buyers who want an affordable, powerful and efficient sport sedan. The Malibu Performance Concept looks great as a show car but we will have to keep our fingers crossed for anything resembling this in a production model…Although it would be pretty awesome if they did bring a vehicle that looks like this concept…even if only in terms of the exterior appointments.

You can check out the Chevrolet Malibu Performance Concept sedan in the images on the right side by clicking any of the thumbnails.