Holden Malibu Features Local Design Input Photo:
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Trevor Collett | Jun, 13 2013 | 4 Comments

The all-new Holden Malibu not only features local suspension and damper tuning for the Australian market, there has also been significant Australian input into its styling.

Two local designers - Justin Thompson and Yan Huang from Holden Design - played key roles in the Malibu’s birth, contributing to the new midsizer's interior and exterior styling.

Thompson, Exterior Lead Designer for the newly launched VF Commodore said this week that elements of the VF's early design program eventually appeared in the Malibu's styling.

“Medium cars are often criticised for being bland and middle-of-the-road, so, with Malibu, we wanted to design a car that would stand out from the pack,” Mr Thompson said.

“We looked to Chevrolet’s heritage to inspire us for the future, and the result is a sporty family sedan that has a lean muscularity and athletic stance.”

Being a local, Mr Thompson was mindful that the Malibu could eventually wear a Holden badge. He said that it was critical that global cars work in multiple markets.

“There are also some fairly deliberate similarities between Malibu and the new VF Commodore. The rear end of Malibu was actually the first iteration of VF styling as we began to work on the VE replacement in the late 2000s," Thompson said.

"We also ensured that the unique front fascia for the Holden version fitted with the broader portfolio.”

Yan Huang led the interior styling team for Malibu while in the US.

“The design intent for Malibu’s interior was sporty, sophisticated and easy to live with,” Ms Huang said. “The result is a simple, uncluttered interior with plenty of clever storage options.”

The Malibu is also the first car in the Holden portfolio to include a hidden storage bin behind the seven-inch touch-screen and a one-litre bottle can be stored in each of the four doors.

Another useful interior feature is the pocket on the side console to store a mobile phone while charging.

“Malibu is the fourth Holden car to feature the MyLink entertainment system and integrating new technology into cars is a key focus area for interior designers,” Ms Huang said.

The 2013 Holden Malibu went on-sale this week, priced from $28,490.

MORE: Click here to read TMR's review of the new Malibu.

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