GM engineers have removed more than 60 counts—a count is 0.001 coefficient of drag—of wind drag from the 2013 Malibu as a result of the new Malibu’s shape and fine-tuning of the car’s exterior design. These aerodynamic improvements give customers up to 2.5 miles per gallon more on the highway, the company says.
Initial testing of pre-production Malibu vehicles in GM’s wind tunnel has recorded a low drag coefficient nearly as efficient as the Chevrolet Volt electric vehicle of .28 Cd.
Some of the Malibu’s key aerodynamic features that help improve fuel economy include:
11 counts: Outside rearview mirrors are specifically designed to deflect wind without “upsetting” the airflow.
10 counts: Rounded front corners—from the bottom of the fascia up through the headlamps—help air flow smoothly along the Malibu’s body sides.
7 counts: Shutters in the lower grill opening on select models open and close automatically to maximize aerodynamic efficiency. This increases cooling airflow to the engine under certain conditions, such as under high engine loads at low speeds, and reduces aerodynamic drag when extra cooling is not needed.
The new Malibu will be sold in nearly 100 countries on six continents. It is available in LS, LT, ECO and LTZ models in North America. Malibu production in the United States is scheduled to begin in early 2012 with the ECO model. Malibu will be built in multiple locations around the globe, including the Fairfax, Kan. and Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plants in the United States. Pricing will be announced later this year.