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2014 Chevrolet Malibu 2.5L base model with standard stop/start delivers 14% improvement in city fuel economy

The 2014 Chevrolet Malibu arriving in dealerships this fall will offer fuel-saving stop/start technology as standard on its 2.5L base model—the first midsize sedan sold in the US to do so. (Earlier post.) The Malibu delivers an EPA-estimated 25 city and 36 highway mpg (9.4 l/100 km and 6.5 l/100 km, respectively)—a 14% improvement in city fuel economy—at a starting price of $22,965, including an $825 destination charge but excluding tax, title, and license and dealer fees.

Stop/start technology helps customers conserve fuel by automatically shutting off the engine when the car comes to a stop, such as at stoplights. The engine automatically restarts when the driver takes his or her foot off the brake. During engine restarts, an auxiliary 12-volt battery powers electric accessories such as heating and air conditioning, power windows and radio.

The key was to apply the knowledge we gained from our eAssist technology. By leveraging knowledge from the stop/start system we use on eAssist, we were able to significantly improve city fuel ratings by 3 mpg, or 14 percent on Malibu’s entry-level 2.5L model, compared to the 2013 model.

—Todd Pawlik, Malibu chief engineer


Malibu’s stop/start system monitors—among other things—vehicle speed, climate control system operation and the force a driver applies to the brake pedal, to determine whether it is efficient to shut off the engine in certain driving conditions, such as stop-and-go driving.

Intake Valve Lift Control. In addition to stop/start technology, Chevrolet engineers incorporated valve-actuation technology known as Intake Valve Lift Control into Malibu’s 2.5L engine, which also contributes to improved fuel economy. (Earlier post.)

When the Intake Valve Lift Control system operates in low-lift mode, the engine pumps only the air it needs to meet the driver’s demand. The system switches to high-lift mode at higher speeds or under heavy loads, providing the full output capability of the engine. The variable intake valve actuation enhances efficiency and helps lower emissions, while also boosting low-rpm torque for a greater feeling of power at lower speeds.

A new six-speed transmission also makes its first appearance in the 2014 Malibu 2.5L. The 6T45 transmission includes improvements that reduce the energy required to pump transmission fluid, which enables additional fuel economy savings.


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