We've gotten an initial glimpse of the all-new 2016 Chevrolet Malibu that will be revealed at the New York Auto Show in April. Along with this moody but intriguing profile image - the first of several to be dribbled out over the next few weeks -- the automaker dropped a few hints about what we can expect to see in this much-needed makeover.

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Based on an entirely new platform that makes greater uses of high-strength steel, the 2016 Malibu will shed around 300 pounds in curb weight which should improve its already impressive handling and help it earn substantially better EPA numbers. Equally important, that transition will extend the wheelbase by nearly four inches - most of that dedicated to finally making the Malibu's rear-seat legroom competitive with benchmark rivals like the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry

"Gorgeous" styling

As for its appearance, Ed Welburn, General Motors' vice president of Global Design, describes the new Malibu's styling as "gorgeous," and displaying an elegantly balanced sense of proportion. "The roofline has been stretched rearward giving a more sleek profile, while the front wheels have moved forward and front and rear overhangs have been reduced. Along with the sculpted body side, these cues help Malibu appear more dynamic and sophisticated."

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Expected in showrooms by the end of the year, the 2016 Chevrolet Malibu can't arrive a day too soon. As noted in the wrap-up of our own long-term Malibu, in 2014, it was the only midsize sedan of the eight most popular players to suffer a decline in sales. And barring ongoing incentives, life in the not-so-fast lane isn't likely to get much better in 2015. However, by addressing the car's key shortcomings while giving it a dose of contemporary style and upgrades to its infotainment system and connectivity, Chevy is clearly moving the 2016 Malibu into a more competitive position. 

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