2013 Chevrolet Malibu ECO
What a fitting way for Chevrolet to celebrate Earth Day – introducing the 2013 Malibu ECO, the most fuel-efficient mid-size sedan in its history, at the opening of the 2011 New York Auto Show.
ECO is based on the all-new 2013 Chevrolet Malibu mid-size sedan, a four-door, five-passenger front-wheel drive global vehicle that will be sold in 100 markets across six countries. Sales begin in the U.S. in early 2012 with the ECO, followed by Malibu LS, LT and LTZ trims later in the summer. Pricing hasn’t been announced, but expect it to be reasonable.
“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, Chevy’s marketing vice president. “The Malibu ECO’s 38-mpg highway estimate is comparable with those hybrids.”
How good is ECO’s fuel economy? Chevrolet says ECO will deliver an estimated 26 mpg city/38 mpg highway as a result of specially engineered eAssist “light electrification technology.”
According to Scheidt, the Malibu ECO delivers “high-value, gas-friendly performance,” basically the “fuel economy of a compact car in a mid-size sedan.”
The eAssist system in the Malibu ECO uses a state-of-the-art air-cooled lithium-ion battery and an electric motor generator that enables regenerative braking electric assist and start-stop functionality. Chevy says the system is sized right, and it weighs just 65 pounds.
The Malibu ECO’s eAssist system is mated to a 180-horsepower 2.4-liter Ecotec direct-injection four-cylinder engine and next-generation six-speed automatic transmission. Chevy says this engine is a variant of the same engine that was recognized as one of Ward’s 10 Best Engines in 2010.
ECO sports aerodynamic exterior features:
- Underbody aero.
- Shutters in the lower grille that electronically close at higher speeds to push more air over and around the vehicle, thus increasing aerodynamic efficiency and improving fuel economy. Malibu ECO is among the first in the mid-size segment with a fuel-saving active shutter system in the lower grille.
- Aerodynamic outside rearview mirrors.
- Taillamps shaped for aerodynamic efficiency without any design penalty.
- A total of four underbody panels (commonly seen only on premium cars) covering approximately 50 percent of the lower vehicle, providing an aero clean flow-path.
- Standard 17-inch wheels and low rolling-resistance tires – specially engineered to increase fuel economy.
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