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Mike Stevens | Jul, 24 2012 | 12 Comments

Holden's new Malibu midsizer has come a step closer to its 2013 Australian launch, with the arrival this week of a handful of engineering vehicles.

The first Malibus to hit Australian roads in right-hand-drive, the arrival of the new cars follows a test programme carried out last year with left-hand-drive models.

While the earlier exercise formed part of GM's global development programme for the Malibu - sold elsewhere as a Chevrolet - these new cars are being tested and tuned with a focus on the Australian market.

Holden's engineering team, a major cog in the wider GM machine is responsible for fine-tuning the Australian models, along with the transmissions for both local and global models.

“Our engineers have paid close attention to the vehicle’s driving dynamics, ride and handling, suspension and comfort so Malibu will be sure to meet the discerning needs of drivers in this competitive segment,” Holden Director of Integration and Safety, Ian Butler said.

The local testing for the Malibu is being carried out both at Holden's Lang Lang proving grounds, and on public roads in Victoria.

The all-new Malibu is built on GM's Epsilon II platform, which underpins the likes of the Opel Insignia (coming to Australia this year), the US-market Buick LaCrosse and the dearly-departed Saab 9-5.

Shown here in its Holden trim for the first time, the Malibu features the familiar grille design already worn by the Cruze, but is otherwise unchanged.

Internationally, the Malibu is powered by a 193kW/353Nm 2.0 litre turbocharged engine - good for a 6.3 second run to 100km/h run, GM says - along with a 141kW/250Nm 2.5 litre Ecotec engine.

Watch for details on the locally-delivered Malibu to come in the next few months.

 
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