Chevrolet Malibu, a classic of more than 50 years

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The 1964 Chevrolet Malibu.
In 1964 a liter of fuel in the United States cost about 10 cents and a movie ticket, $ 1,25. The Dow Jones Index closed the year at 874 and The Beatles made their historic appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show. It was also the year that Chevrolet launched the Malibu.

Elegant for its time, the Malibu debuted in the mid-60s as the first “mid-range” Chevrolet and was also one of America's first midsize cars. Until then, Chevrolet's passenger car lineup consisted of full-size models, championed by the Impala, as well as the compact Chevy II (Nova), Corvair and Corvette.

The Malibu, which owes its name to the area of ​​Los Angeles where the "beach culture" of the 60s was born, was the superior model of intermediate size, a format in which the Chevelle -as a basic model- and the El Path. It was hailed for its solid body-on-frame construction and dynamic coil-spring front suspension.

1st GENERATION (1964-1967)
Although initially presented as a high-end family sedan, the first Malibu was soon drawn into the muscle car wars of the 60s and shortly after its launch, the sports car Malibu SS appeared. In 1966, the Chevelle SS took over from Chevrolet muscle cars, and the Malibu remained the top model tailor-made for the growing number of residential customers looking for a spacious, yet efficient vehicle for their long commutes.

2st GENERATION (1968-1972)
Based on the original mid-platform, the dimensions of the 1968-1972 models were reduced to a slightly shorter wheelbase (284 cm) for coupes and convertibles, while sedans and station wagons had a more wheelbase. long (294 cm). Like the 1964-1967 models, the second-generation versions each year incorporated distinctive design features.

3st GENERATION (1973-1977)
The third-generation Malibu released in 1973 featured a new frame that maintained the previous 284 or 294-inch wheelbase. However, to adapt to the new federal regulations on impact resistance, the bodies gained about 12,5 centimeters in length and 2,5 in width. For a brief period, the European-style Laguna dethroned the Malibu as the ultimate mid-size model.

4st GENERATION (1978-1983)
Beginning in 1977, Chevrolet scrapped the Chevelle and reserved the next generation of more compact midsize vehicles for the Malibu, the name of which has been closely linked to the midsize vehicle since 1978. Equipped with V6 or V8 engines, these models were about a foot shorter and they weighed about 30 kilograms less. There was even a special package for police cars.

The ninth generation of the Malibu.

5st GENERATION (1997-2003)
After five years of fourth-generation models, the sun set on Malibu between 1984 and 1997, when it was reborn as a new front-wheel drive sedan with a four- or six-cylinder engine. It was named Car of the Year 1997 by Motor Trend magazine.

6st GENERATION (2004-2007)
The Malibu adopted GM's award-winning global architecture in 2004, moving on to offer more technology, efficiency and performance. In addition, the Malibu SS returned with a 3.9-horsepower 6L V240 engine. The Malibu range also included the five-door Malibu Maxx expanded sedan, which offered more cargo capacity and a number of innovations, such as the reclining rear seat, which could also slide 17,5 centimeters forward and back.

7st GENERATION (2008-2012)
Based on a refined, longer version of the architecture featured in the 2004 Malibu, the seventh generation models offered superior levels of refinement, performance and efficiency, as well as more advanced safety features, such as side curtain airbags, which they were included as standard. It was voted North American Car of the Year at the Detroit International Show in 2008.

8st GENERATION (2013-2016)
Chevrolet further refined the Malibu to offer greater efficiency, new connectivity options, comfort upgrades and a fresh, high-end aesthetic. It was the first vehicle in the segment with Start / Stop technology as standard and with a 2.0 horsepower 259L turbo engine, another milestone in a legacy of more than 50 years.

It grew 5,8 centimeters in length, reaching 4,92 meters in length and therefore an increase in the wheelbase of 9,1 centimeters, while the width remained intact. In terms of its mechanical section, the new Malibu offers a wide range of fuel-efficient gasoline engines and will even have a plug-in hybrid version. The combustion engines are a 1.5-liter turbo Ecotec that generates 160 horsepower and another 2.0 turbo that provides 250 horsepower, both mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission.


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Automundo is the blog about news from the automotive industry, motorsport and the culture of the region. Director: Diego Durruty.

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