Our European spy photographers have managed to scoop the next-generation 2016 Chevrolet Malibu undergoing testing. This may seem a surprise considering the current eighth-gen model had only just been launched in Malaysia, but the fact is that the American D-segment fighter is already three years old – and has already gone through its midlife facelift in the US – so it’s rapidly approaching time for a full revamp.

Despite the heavy camouflage, the new car’s more athletic appearance is immediately apparent, borrowing more than a few cues from its handsome Impala full-sized sibling. The roofline is sleeker and lower-slung than the current Malibu’s, and slopes at the rear to create a fastback look not unlike the Audi A7 Sportback.

At the front, the facelift’s polarising full-length split grille looks to have been retained, while the rear is graced with wraparound tail lights and dual exhaust outlets. As with the Impala, there are a number of swage lines along the side that appear beneath the camo, which serve to break up the bodyside and make it look less slab-sided.

Spy-Shots of Cars

Under the skin, the next Malibu is expected to make use of a revised version of the current car’s Epsilon II platform – our spies corroborate that the development mule is noticeably wider in track and longer in wheelbase than before.

Given that the current car features a number of different engine choices to suit the multitude of different regions it is sold, it is unclear which powertrains will be offered with the new Malibu, but it is expected that at least the newer direct-injected 2.5 litre naturally-aspirated and 2.0 litre turbocharged Ecotec petrol four-cylinder mills of the facelifted car will soldier on.