2013 Chevrolet Malibu ECO


The new generation Chevrolet Malibu is everything the old one wasn’t! It’s a good-looking, fuel efficient, practical and well-engineered midsize sedan.

Speaking of economy, the car will be getting Chevrolet’s latest fuel saving technologies in a separate ECO version. They also offer an ECO version of the Cruze. These cars feature the eAssist “light electrification” technology, which is engineered to deliver an estimated 26 mpg in city driving and 38 mpg on the highway without compromising performance. Malibu’s 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. It is efficiently sized, weighing only 65 pounds (29 kg).

The systems function is complemented by clever aerodynamic engineering with underbody aero enhancements and grille shutters that make the car cut through the air more efficiently.

Chevrolet Malibu ECO 2013 2013 Chevrolet Malibu ECO

Details of the system in Chevy’s press release below:

“Malibu ECO exemplifies Chevrolet’s drive to use technology that delivers high-value, gas-friendly performance,” said Scheidt. “In fact, the Malibu ECO delivers the fuel economy of a compact car in a midsize sedan.”

eAssist details

Chevrolet Malibu ECO’s eAssist system is mated to a 2.4L Ecotec direct-injection four-cylinder engine and next-generation six-speed automatic transmission. The 2.4L engine is efficient and lightweight, featuring dual-overhead cams, direct injection, continuously variable intake and exhaust timing and electronic throttle control, as well as a lightweight aluminum cylinder block and cylinder head. It is rated at an estimated 180 horsepower (134 kW) and is a variant of the same engine that was recognized as one of Ward’s Ten Best Engines in 2010.

Along with the Ecotec 2.4L and six-speed transmission, the eAssist system uses power stored in the air-cooled, lithium-ion battery to provide needed electrical boost in various driving scenarios, optimizing engine and transmission operation. An advanced 115V lithium-ion battery and latest-generation 15-kW motor-generator unit help increase fuel economy through:

  • Regenerative braking, which provides up to 15 kW of electricity to charge the battery
  • Providing up to 15 hp (11 kW) of electric power assistance during heavier acceleration
  • Using electricity instead of gasoline when stopped, with automatic and smooth engine start-stop functionality
  • Aggressive fuel cut-off during deceleration down to zero mph for added fuel savings
  • Intelligent charge/discharge of the high-voltage battery.

The eAssist system captures up to 15kW 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.

A hill-assist system captures brake pressure to help keep the vehicle stationary when eAssist’s start-stop function is activated on a moderate or steep grade, allowing the driver to accelerate more smoothly from a stop.

Chevrolet Malibu ECO’s eAssist power pack brings together the lithium-ion battery, the integrated power inverter and 12V power supply. It is located in the trunk, behind the rear seat. The electric motor-generator is mounted to the engine in place of the alternator to provide both motor assist and electric-generating functions through an engine belt-drive system. The motor-generator is a high-performance, compact induction motor that is liquid-cooled for increased performance and efficiency. An electric fan cools the power pack, drawing air from a vent located behind the rear seat.

Thanks to eAssist technology, which also enables a numerically lower final drive ratio, the Chevrolet Malibu ECO can travel as much as 550 miles between fill-ups, despite having only a 15.8-gallon gas tank.

Aero efficiency

Chevrolet Malibu ECO – and the entire 2013 Malibu lineup – was designed to be aerodynamically efficient, with a coefficient of drag near the standout performance of the Chevrolet Volt extended-range electric vehicle.

Aerodynamic design engineers removed about 60 counts of wind drag from the new Malibu, compared to its predecessor. Malibu spent hundreds of hours in GM’s wind tunnel, fine-tuning the form to maximize fuel efficiency. For example, engineers shaped Malibu’s front corners so that air runs close and uninterrupted along the body sides to the rear of the vehicle.

Chevrolet Malibu ECO is among the first in the midsize segment with a fuel-saving, active shutter system in the lower grille. The Malibu ECO’s active shutter system automatically closes airflow through the lower intake opening when air intake is least needed. When closed, the shutter system enhances aero performance by redirecting airflow around the front of the vehicle and down the sides, rather than through it. The shutter is open or closed based on engine coolant temperature and speed. For example, the shutters open when the car is traveling up a hill, pulling a trailer, or in hot city driving; the shutters close at highway speeds when engine cooling is less required.

Other aerodynamic features on the Chevrolet Malibu ECO include:

  • Outside rearview mirrors designed to maximize aerodynamic efficiency
  • Taillamps are 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
  • Standard 17-inch wheels and low-rolling-resistance tires engineered to improve fuel economy.

About the all-new 2013 Malibu

The Chevrolet Malibu ECO is part of the all-new, 2013 Malibu lineup – Chevrolet’s first global midsize sedan – which gives customers more style, fuel efficiency, content and features, craftsmanship, and dynamic capabilities rivaling high-end sedans. Product highlights for North American models include:

  • Expressive exterior design with a wide, athletic stance
  • Segment-best aerodynamics – close to those of the Chevrolet Volt extended-range electric car – that enhance fuel efficiency and reduce wind noise, including active electronic shutters on select models
  • All-new, Chevrolet-signature dual-cockpit interior that is more spacious, features premium materials and is engineered to be the quietest in the midsize segment
  • New Chevrolet MyLink connectivity seamlessly integrates online services like Pandora® Internet radio and Stitcher SmartRadio®
  • European-influenced ride and handling traits
  • New safety features and technologies including up to 10 air bags, ultra-high-strength steel, lane departure warning/forward collision warning and rearview camera system.

 

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