Along with the standard version of the all-new 2013 Malibu, the American automaker also introduced the ECO-flavored variant of its mid-size sedan at the New York Auto Show.
Chevy will call it Malibu Eco and estimates that, with the fuel-saving gear, the sedan will move 26 miles in the city or 38 miles on the highway for each gallon of gas consumed. According to officials, the Malibu ECO is the most fuel-efficient midsize sedan in Chevrolet’s 100-year history.
The Malibu ECO also has an Ecotec 2.4-liter combustion engine, equipped with direct-injection and mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. The output of the gasoline engine is rated at 180 horsepower (134 kW).
Reuss said the Malibu Eco will beat many conventional hybrids, including the Toyota Camry Hybrid and Ford Fusion Hybrid, based on GM’s mpg estimates. An official EPA rating hasn’t been assigned.
Sometimes called a mild hybrid, the eAssist system uses power stored in a lithium ion battery and an electric motor generator to give a boost to the 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine when the car accelerates.
A start-stop feature also saves fuel when the vehicle stops, while regenerative braking transfers electricity to the battery.
“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.”