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2013 Chevy Malibu debuts simultaneously in US and China; new 2.5L 4-cylinder direct injection engine and 6-speed automatic

The all-new 2013 Chevrolet Malibu made its global debut with simultaneous introductions in the United States and China—two of the nearly 100 countries on six continents where it will be sold. Product highlights for North American models include a new 2.5L four-cylinder engine and next-generation six-speed automatic to lead Malibu’s powertrain lineup, along with segment-best aerodynamics that are close to those of the Chevrolet Volt.

2013 Chevrolet Malibu LTZ. Click to enlarge.

The new Malibu exterior is anticipated to be SAE-certified as one of the most aerodynamically efficient cars in the segment, with a coefficient of drag (Cd) rating near Chevrolet Volt’s Cd of .280. Because of Malibu’s new shape and design, engineers were able to remove 60 counts of wind drag compared to the model it replaces.

Malibu also has electronically controlled and integrated active aero shutters (select models in North American markets) to improve aerodynamics and enhance fuel economy without sacrificing the exterior design. Malibu’s active shutter system automatically closes airflow through the lower intake opening when air intake is least needed. When closed, the shutter system enhances aerodynamic performance by redirecting airflow around the front of the vehicle and down the sides, rather than through it. Whether the shutter is open or closed depends 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 less engine cooling is required.

All-new 2.5L powertrain. An all-new Ecotec 2.5L dual overhead cam, four-cylinder engine with direct injection leads Malibu’s engine lineup in North America. New features include enhanced authority continuously variable valve timing, variable-displacement oil pump and electronic thermostat that save fuel, while delivering V-6-like performance.

GM estimates that the engine will be SAE-certified at more than 190 hp (141 kW) and 180 lb-ft of torque (245 N·m). The new engine has noise-reducing features such as a cast exhaust manifold, steel crank, low-noise timing chain and direct mount accessories that contribute to a quiet-cabin experience.

The 2.5L is mated to a Hydra-Matic 6T40 six-speed automatic with features designed to enhance powertrain efficiency. They include changes to clutch controls and hardware that improves shift response and time. These changes enabled engineers to specify higher gearing to improve cruising efficiency while maintaining acceleration performance and driveability.



They could use Hyundai's 2.0L ICE from 2011 Sonata's for better performance and lower fuel consumption.


They could put eAssist on the 2012 and actually get in the game.

Nick Lyons

eAssist's antecedent was in the earlier Malibu, so perhaps the new improved version will make an appearance here in time.

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