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General Motors Co. said Wednesday it will show the next-generation 2016 Chevrolet Malibu early next month at the New York International Auto Show.

The automaker said it used a “blank slate approach” for the Malibu that has a new architecture, including a longer wheelbase that increases rear legroom and interior space. The new Malibu also is expected to be 300 pounds lighter than the current midsize car, which will help fuel economy and handling.

The midsize car segment is highly competitive, though some sales in the segment have shifted crossovers as consumers have changed preferences and gas prices have fallen. Malibu sales last year totaled 188,519, down 6 percent from 2013 and sales through February this year are down 11.7 percent to 25,849.

“Malibu’s gorgeous styling is the result of a masterful understanding of proportions,” Ed Welburn, GM vice president of global design, said in a statement. “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.”

GM said the car will have more connectivity and advanced safety features. The 2016 Malibu will go on sale by the end of 2015.

Also in New York, GM will show its new Cadillac CT6 luxury sedan and will debut a new 2016 Chevrolet Spark. Chevrolet said it will show five new cars in 2015.

mburden@detroitnews.com

(313) 222-2319

Twitter.com/MBurden_DN

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