Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Sleeker Malibu might be an easier sell next to Ford's svelte new Fusion.

2014 Chevrolet Malibu sedan—At first, all I wanted to do with the new 'Bu was change the grille. I wanted to do away with the now-dated dual openings but didn't want to give it the new Impala's Camaro-like grille. The first thing I did was unify the openings and then I started leaning the ensemble forward and backward. I settled on this Mercedes-like proud front grille and hood shape. The opening textures would remain simple eggcrates and meshes as this upscale version sports. Then when I saw the way the new front end seemed defiant, almost leaning into the wind, the rest of the car seemed to want to be more aero. I gave it a 6-window greenhouse and introduced a few slight arcs to the fenders. I also dialed back the almost bug-like rear lights and cut-back trunk lid. That's the production car's biggest flaw in my opinion, the design of the rear of the car. I filled out the corners and sliced the taillights into a clean, modern shape. I also changed the contours of the rear bumper.

While no raving beauty—this is really a tall platform—I think my Malibu would stand up quite well with the Fusion and Altima and Camry. The new grille treatment would work on smaller as well as larger cars, too.

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