2013 Chevrolet Malibu and Malibu ECO

26 Apr 2011 | 2,205 views | No Comment
  Chevrolet's timing couldn't have been better when it announced an all new 2013 Malibu ECO model at the New York International Auto Show press days event. After all it was against the backdrop of gasoline prices cllimbing ever so steadily toward the $5 a gallon mark, and consumers are once more putting fuel economy at the top of their car shopping-lists. The 2013 Malibu Eco is being billed by Chevy as its most fuel efficient mid-sized sedan in the brand's 100-year hisory, featuring  eAssist™ “light electrification” technology. It's engineered to deliver an estimated 26 mpg in city driving and 38 mpg on the highway without compromising performance. ECO is based on the all-new, 2013 Malibu sedan, which will be sold in nearly 100 countries on six continents. Sales of the new Malibu begin with the ECO model in the United States in early 2012. The Malibu LS, LT and LTZ trim level offerings join the ECO in summer 2012. Pricing will be announced later. “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’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). Malibu ECO also features an aerodynamic exterior – including underbody aero enhancements – and electronically controlled shutters in the lower grille that close at higher speeds to push more air over and around the vehicle. These enhancements increase aerodynamic efficiency to boost fuel economy, Chevy officials say.  An ECO gauge in the cluster continuously responds to driving behavior, encouraging fuel-efficient driving, while an Auto Stop Indicator on the tachometer informs the driver when the engine is in start-stop mode.  “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.” 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, Chevy says. 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, Chevy says. 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. 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.  The Malibu ECO can travel as much as 550 miles between fill-ups, despite having only a 15.8-gallon gas tank.           The 2013 Malibu line as a whole is a lot more substantial looking, with an expensive looking exterior and an interior that is even nicer than the current model's cabin, which, when it was introduced, was a huge improvement over the prior model. The exterior design is muscular, and the dual cockpit interior has considerably more room and better materials.       The Malibu continues the industry trend toward even greater connectivity, with the new Chevrolet MyLink connectivity which  integrates online services like Pandora Internet radio and Stitcher SmartRadio. Once you get behind  the wheel, Chevy officials say, you'll notice sportier handling and a European influenced ride. And you'll be able to order optional  soft, ice-blue ambient lightingthat  reflects off of and complements chrome accents and ensures even, consistent illumination along the instrument panel and in storage pockets. The Malibu also has a number of storage areas, including a radio face that articulates up and down to reveal a six-inch deep, illuminated storage area behind its seven-inch touch-screen radio display – a U.S. first in a midsize car. Malibu will also offer a full range of the latest infotainment options, including new color radio systems and an available navigation system. Malibu will include Chevrolet’s new MyLink infotainment package at launch. It builds on the safety and security of OnStar and seamlessly integrates online services like Pandora® Internet radio and Stitcher SmartRadio®. MyLink integrates wireless connectivity through Bluetooth to enable hands-free use of selected smart phone apps while the device remains safely stowed. It features a high-resolution, full-color touch screen display designed to manage the number of steps required to complete a task. A news release says,"A global lineup of fuel-efficient and powerful four-cylinder engines complements the Malibu’s European-inspired driving characteristics. In addition to the ECO’s Ecotec 2.4L engine, the Malibu’s North American lineup also features an all-new Ecotec 2.5L dual overhead cam, four-cylinder engine with direct injection. " It adds that the engine has "new features, including enhanced authority continuously variable valve timing, variable-displacement oil pump and electronic thermostat that save fuel while delivering V-6-like performance. It is estimated the engine will be SAE certified at more than 190 horsepower (141 kW) and 180 lb.-ft. of torque (245 Nm). Both engines are mated to a Hydra-Matic 6T40 six-speed automatic with features designed to enhance powertrain efficiency."

Leave your response!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This is a Gravatar-enabled weblog. To get your own globally-recognized-avatar, please register at Gravatar.

aj on twitter aj on facebook