The all-new 2013 Chevrolet Malibu achieves new standards in a lot of areas, but perhaps none is as important as this: Leveraging GM’s innovative eAssist “light electrification” technology, the Malibu ECO model is the most fuel-efficient mid-size sedan that Chevy has ever built. The new ’Bu is expected to earn EPA ratings of 26 mpg city and an amazing 38 mpg highway. That’s a better highway fuel-economy performance than offered by some subcompacts—and some hybrids, too.
There’s no secret here, just the hard work of Chevy engineers, who painstakingly designed the Malibu ECO’s exterior to be nearly as aerodynamic as that of the groundbreaking Chevrolet Volt. As just one example of their work, the Malibu ECO will showcase the first use of electronically controlled lower-grille shutters in the mid-size segment. The shutters stay open for improved engine cooling during low speeds or when the car is under a heavy load—such as when it’s traveling uphill—then close at highway speeds to help the Malibu ECO slice through the wind more efficiently.
But the real key here is eAssist, which uses regenerative braking to provide up to 15 kW of electricity to an air-cooled, lithium-ion battery. That electricity then allows a cutting-edge motor-generator to deliver up to 15 extra horsepower to the driver during heavy acceleration. Further enhancing fuel efficiency is an advanced stop/start setup that can shut off the fuel supply and rely on electricity to power the car’s systems during deceleration or when the vehicle is stopped.
““The Malibu ECO is a smart choice for customers who want excellent fuel economy without the price premium of popular hybrid sedans,” said Rick Scheidt, vice president of Chevrolet marketing. “It exemplifies Chevrolet’s drive to use technology that delivers high-value, gas-friendly performance.”
The 2013 Chevrolet Malibu ECO will introduce the completely redesigned Malibu family to the U.S. market early in 2012, with the rest of the lineup expected to reach dealerships in the summer of next year.
Via: Chevrolet in the news
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