PALO ALTO, California – Chevrolet is considering a sporty appearance package for the redesigned Chevrolet Malibu that could appear on the 2016 or 2017 model, Edmunds has learned.
“Chevy is taking a look at creating a Red Line series that goes across different models,” Jesse Ortega, Malibu’s chief engineer, told Edmunds.
Ortega said several Red Line concepts were unveiled in November at the 2015 Specialty Equipment Market Association in Las Vegas. The concepts showed the personalization possibilities for the Chevrolet Camaro, Silverado, Spark, Trax and Malibu.
Edmunds has learned that the response was highly favorable to the Malibu Red Line concept displayed at SEMA.
Some of the accessories that appeared on the concept will be available at Chevrolet dealerships. However, the automaker is determining whether a Red Line package should be offered as a separate appearance option that is added at the factory.
The silver-colored Malibu Red Line concept featured a black bowtie, rear spoiler, hash-mark graphics, grille surround and inserts. The concept also featured the Malibu nameplate in gloss black with red accents, red fog lamp bezels, tinted taillight lenses and windows, and 19-inch wheels with custom red accents.
The suspension was reworked to lower the concept car. However, that feature likely would not be offered as a factory option.
Shipments of the redesigned 2016 Malibu began in late November. All dealers are expected to have the new car by mid-January, according to Chevrolet. No timetable has been given as to when a decision will be made about the Red Line package.
Malibu competes with such vehicles as the Ford Fusion, Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata and Toyota Camry.
Chevrolet has used the SEMA show to test public reaction to its concepts. If the reaction is favorable, several concepts in past years have entered production.
For example, the automaker introduced the Chevrolet Impala Blackout Edition concept at the 2014 SEMA Show. That concept featured a black exterior, including body-color mirrors, 19-inch wheels with black accents, a black grille, black Chevrolet bowtie and black rear spoiler.
The favorable reaction to the concept prompted Chevrolet to introduce an appearance package with those features late in the 2015 model year on the Impala, called Midnight Edition. The package also is offered on the 2016 Impala.
Edmunds says: If approved for production the Red Line appearance package would offer Malibu buyers an attractive way to personalize their car.