2013 Chevrolet Malibu Performance Concept

Just because you have a family doesn’t mean you have to resign yourself to the bland world of Accords and Camrys. That was the message Chevy was sending with the 2013 Malibu Performance Concept car – a souped up version of Chevrolet’s bread-and-butter volume seller.

Sporting a turbocharged engine, aggressive wheels and styling, and a matte blue finish, the 2013 Malibu Concept is a big middle finger aimed right at Honda and Toyota.

Not that there’s anything inherently wrong with Japanese family sedans, but they are about as exciting as a bowl of vanilla ice cream with vanilla sprinkles. The 2013 Malibu Concept is a Crepe Suzette, arriving at your table fashionably late and on fire.

What is it that makes this car so good? Let’s start with the chassis. For 2013, the Malibu has been upgraded from the Epsilon platform to the revised Epsilon II platform, which is shared with the current Buick LaCrosse and the upcoming 2013 Cadillac XTS and the 2014 Chevrolet Impala. GM has invested heavily in the platform, so you can expect it will have improved strength and ride quality if they are going to use it for the new Cadillac.

Under the hood is a turbocharged 2.0L DOHC 4-cylinder engine which produces 259 horsepower, a 62 HP increase over the 2.5L N/A 4-cylinder that comes in the base model. The turbo engine is the one part of this car that’s not a concept – it is available now in the 2013 Malibu.

A set of 20-inch wheels wrapped in Pirelli P-Zero tires help put that power to the pavement, while the 6-piston calipers will bring the car to a safe stop.

Beyond that, the Malibu Performance Concept also features a host of cosmetic changes. The matte blue paint, dual exhaust, and ground effects further distinguish it from its grocery-getting siblings. It even comes with Recaro racing seats and a two-tone leather and suede interior!

Chevrolet has not yet announced plans to offer the Malibu Performance Concept as a production car, but we sincerely hope they do. This car would help save the world from mid-size car blandness. You can bet that Honda and Toyota aren’t playing around with turbos and 20-inch wheels on their family sedans, and that’s why I’d pick a Chevrolet over those other cars.