HomeNews and EventsChinese-based EV Concept May Replace Chevrolet Malibu

Chinese-based EV Concept May Replace Chevrolet Malibu

The FNR-XE hints at future design language and possible entry into U.S. market

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Did you know the Chevrolet Malibu is still in production? I knew the Impala had been axed due to poor sales (sign of the times for sedans in America), but I also had thought the Malibu experienced the same fate. The Malibu is Chevrolet’s only traditional sedan in the American market, which is somewhat mind-boggling considering how Chevrolet’s bread-and-butter family car was THE quintessential American car, achieving over a million in sales at its peak.

So, what does the future look like for Chevrolet’s classic Malibu sedan? GM Authority gives us a hint.

Chevrolet’s been working on an EV sedan for the Chinese market, with the spoils of this effort manifesting itself as the FNR-XE concept. The current chatter from GM president Mark Reuss is that a vehicle based on the concept car may come to America as a Malibu replacement.

“This one’s coming a little bit later, and this is a Chevrolet version of it. It’s a ‘Car-D’ primarily for the Chinese market, and we’ll see the desirability as we clinic this,” said General Motors boss Mark Reuss to Investor Day attendees. “It’s a little bit further out, but this is a pretty dramatic low-roof, sedan-like proportion that we’re just beginning to design and engineer. It’s really quite a statement from a design standpoint, but we’ll see how it goes.”

The FNR-XE concept was unveiled several weeks ago in China during GM China Tech Day 2022 in Shanghai, part of a strategy that will include 15 EVs in China by 2025. This is the first Chevrolet concept based on GM’s future Ultium Battery and Ultium Drive technology, as well as the first Chevrolet EV concept that’s a sedan.

Ultium technology is GM’s modular approach to EV development. “Our team accepted the challenge to transform product development at GM and position our company for an all-electric future,” GM chairman and CEO Mary Barra has said in the past. “What we have done is build a multi-brand, multi-segment EV strategy with economies of scale that rival our full-size truck business with much less complexity and even more flexibility.”

Currently, there are three Ultium-based vehicles in the market: the Cadillac Lyriq, GMC Hummer EV and BrightDrop Zero 600 commercial van. For 2023, we can expect more with the Chevrolet Silverado, Equinox and Blazer EVs.

Diego Rosenberg
Diego Rosenberg
Lead Writer Diego Rosenberg is a native of Wilmington, Delaware and Princeton, New Jersey, giving him plenty of exposure to the charms of Carlisle and Englishtown. Though his first love is Citroen, he fell for muscle cars after being seduced by 1950s finned flyers—in fact, he’s written two books on American muscle. But please don’t think there is a strong American bias because foreign weirdness is never far from his heart. With a penchant for underground music from the 1960-70s, Diego and his family reside in the Southwest.

2 COMMENTS

  1. I find this whole discussion rather interesting. The Impala was a great design and for the first time in history for an American car was named by Consumer Reports as the best full sized sedan. The Impala which was redesigned in 2014 was a great car that had no support from GM management. As far as I am concerned as a person who has only owned Chevies since 1967 will never buy another one if all they offer is SUV’s. We have 3 vechicles in our family, one is a Chevy Traverse. I don;t need or want two or 3 Suv’s. I like sedans. One SUV is enough. So until they bring back sedans I am not buying any more new cars. I will simple keep what I have or buy low mileage used Chevy Impala’s.

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