Next to the 2013 Malibu, Chevrolet also brought at the New York Auto Show the Eco version, a model that comes equipped with new fuel-saving eAssist technology. The new Eco version will be sold next to the Malibu LS, LT and LTZ version starting the summer of 2012.
"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. "The Malibu ECO’s 38-mpg highway estimate is comparable with those hybrids. Malibu ECO exemplifies Chevrolet’s drive to use technology that delivers high-value, gas-friendly performance. In fact, the Malibu ECO delivers the fuel economy of a compact car in a midsize sedan."
The eAssist system uses a state-of-the-art lithium-ion battery and an electric motor-generator to enable regenerative braking electric assist and start-stop functionality. With this system the new Malibu Eco will deliver an impressive 26 mpg on city driving and 38 mpg on the highway.
Hit the jump to read more about the 2012 Chevrolet Malibu Eco.
The exterior and the interior
The new Malibu Eco will be further distinguished by a standard Malibu models by an outside rearview mirrors designed to maximize aerodynamic efficiency, taillamps shaped for aero performance without design penalty, four underbody panels – more commonly found on premium-priced cars – cover approximately 50 percent of the lower portion of the vehicle and provide an aerodynamically clean flow path under the vehicle and standard 17-inch wheels and low-rolling-resistance tires engineered to improve fuel economy.
The Malibu Eco is powered by a 2.4 liter direct-injection four-cylinder engine that delivers a total of 180 HP mated tot he next-generation six-speed automatic transmission. The engine is combined with Chevrolet’s latest eAssist system that uses power stored in the air-cooled, lithium-ion battery to provide needed electrical boost in various driving scenarios, optimizing engine and transmission operation.
The eAssist system captures up to 20 HP of energy that would be normally lost during braking and uses it to recharge the lithium-ion battery. The system also shuts down fuel delivery in certain deceleration conditions, further improving fuel economy. While in fuel shut-off mode, the motor-generator unit continues spinning along with the engine to provide immediate and smooth take-off power when the driver presses on the accelerator. As the vehicle comes to a stop, the engine’s start-stop function is active when the motor-generator unit brings the engine to a smooth stop to position it properly for a smooth restart when the brake is released.
Equipped with the new eAssist system, the Malibu Eco can travel as much as 550 miles between fill-ups.
The new Malibu Eco will go on sale in the summer of 2012. Prices will be announced at a later date.
Chevrolet announced that the new Malibu Eco will target models like: Hyundai Sonata, Toyota Camry and Honda Accord. The Sonata features a new Hybrid Blue Drive - hybrid system that combines a 2.4-liter Theta II engine (169 hp at 6,000 rpm and 156 lb-ft of torque at 4,500 rpm) with a 6-speed automatic transmission and a 40 HP electric motor. The Camry Hybrid Camry combines a four-cylinder gasoline engine with an electric drive motor for a fuel economy of 34 mpg on the highway, its true not as impressive as the Malibu Eco. The Accord will be offered with a choice of two engines: a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine with 177 HP and a 3.5 liter V6 engine with an output of 271 HP.
eAssist technology improves the car’s fuel economy
Looks better on both exterior and the interior
Fuel economy is better than on the competitors
It takes too long to be put on sale