2013 Chevy Malibu Eco

Most Fuel Efficient Chevy Malibu Ever

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The 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco with eAssist technology is the most fuel-efficient Malibu ever – delivering a GM-estimated 37 mpg on the highway, thanks to smart electric technology that doesn’t affect ride or performance.

The 2013 Malibu Eco is the first Chevrolet vehicle to feature eAssist. Along with specific aerodynamic enhancements, it achieves 12-percent greater highway fuel economy than current models equipped with the 2.4L engine.

“Malibu Eco’s eAssist system integrates regenerative braking with the latest lithium-ion battery technology, to give our customers significant fuel-efficiency gains,” said Steve Poulos, global chief engineer of eAssist. “Providing electric boost to the powertrain system during heavy acceleration and grade driving helps the transmission operate more efficiently. The engine’s start-stop and fuel shut-off during deceleration features add to the fuel savings.”

The eAssist system is made up of a 32-cell, 0.5-kW lithium-ion battery, an electric motor-generator and next-generation six-speed transmission. The system’s electric motor-generator is mounted to an Ecotec 2.4L four-cylinder engine, in place of the alternator, to provide both motor assist and electric-generating functions through a revised engine belt-drive system. The motor-generator is a high-performance, compact induction motor that is liquid-cooled for increased performance and efficiency.

The air-cooled 115V lithium-ion battery is integrated into a power pack located in a compartment between the rear seat and trunk. The power pack is surprisingly compact and lightweight, weighing only about 65 pounds (29 kg). It allows rear access to the trunk via the split-folding rear seat, unlike other hybrid competitors. Trunk space is slightly reduced from 2011 models, but still offers 14.3 cubic feet (405 liters) of storage for luggage, golf clubs and other large items. An electric fan cools the power pack, drawing air from a vent located in the package tray, behind the rear seat.

The induction motor-generator bolsters the engine with approximately 11 kW (15 horsepower) of electric power assist during heavy acceleration and 15 kW of regenerative braking power. This power capability enables the battery to capture energy during regenerative braking for improved fuel economy.

e Assist technology also allows for a numerically lower 2.64 final drive ratio. As a result, the Malibu Eco can travel 580 highway miles (965 km) between fill-ups, despite having a smaller (15.8-gallon / 59.9 L) fuel tank than other 2013 Malibu models (18.6-gallon / 70.4 L).

The system also enables the Ecotec engine to shut down fuel delivery in certain deceleration conditions, which saves fuel. While in fuel shut-off mode, the motor-generator unit continues spinning along with the engine to capture regenerative braking power and provide immediate and smooth take-off power when the driver presses on the accelerator. Then, as the vehicle comes to a stop, the motor-generator unit spins the engine, bringing it to a smooth stop – and properly positions it for a smooth and seamless restart.

“The battery system is designed to provide power assistance to the internal combustion engine, rather than storing energy for all-electric propulsion,” said Poulos. “It’s really an extension of the conventional internal combustion engine, not a replacement for it.”

Additional fuel-saving features include:

An aerodynamically optimized exterior, including underbody panels and electronically controlled shutters in the lower grille that close at higher speeds to push more air over and around the vehicle.
Lightweight components and systems, including an aluminum hood, aluminum rear bumper beam, low-mass carpet and dash mat and more, save approximately 130 pounds (58 kg) compared to comparably equipped non-Eco models.
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.
A power flow display in the driver information center – or the center console screen when equipped with the navigation system – indicates which of the following modes the Malibu Eco is operating in:

Battery charging – the eAssist motor is charging the high-voltage battery when the vehicle is slowing
Electric assist – the eAssist motor is providing electric power boost to the engine
Auto-Stop – the vehicle is stopped, the engine has automatically shut off and is ready to automatically restart when needed.
Driver-selectable modes are offered to enable maximum comfort or efficiency of the air conditioning system and include:

Eco mode – which maximizes the frequency and duration of Auto-Stop, while providing excellent cabin comfort
Comfort mode – reduces the frequency and duration of Auto-Stop to maximize cabin comfort.
2.4L Ecotec engine and next-generation six-speed

The eAssist system works with Malibu’s 2.4L Ecotec four-cylinder engine, which features fuel-saving variable valve timing and direct injection technology. It is rated at 182 horsepower (136 kW) and 170 lb.-ft or torque. That’s 13 more horsepower and 12 more lb.-ft of torque than the previous Malibu. – and it’s more power and torque than the 2012 Toyota Camry Hybrid, 2012 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, and 2012 Ford Fusion Hybrid.

The next-generation Hydra-Matic 6T40 six-speed transmission is designed to enhance powertrain efficiency.

Significant internal transmission changes to clutch controls and hardware provide reduced spin losses while improving shift response and time. The added electric power provided by the eAssist system allows for higher gearing to improve steady state efficiency without impacting acceleration performance or driveability. The system’s ability to provide some electric assistance at cruising speeds allows the driver to accelerate lightly or ascend mild grades without the transmission downshifting. Automatic Grade Braking keeps the transmission in a lower gear when decelerating or coasting on a downgrade, helping to improve brake wear performance.

An auxiliary, electric-driven transmission oil pump is added to the 6T40, which keeps the transmission primed and the fluid flowing when the engine shuts down at a stop. That keeps the transmission ready to perform when the driver accelerates, for a seamless, uncompromised driving experience.

“It’s a very integrated powertrain system, with no compromises in driving performance, shift quality or ride and handling,” said Todd Stone, Malibu lead development engineer. “We believe this combination points to the future of vehicles powered primarily by an internal combustion engine.”

2013 Chevy Malibu aims for World Class Safety

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  • Ten standard air bags on full Malibu lineup, including knee air bags
  • Pedestrian protection design for global markets
  • Most advanced braking system ever in a Chevrolet midsize sedan
  • Sixty-five percent of structure constructed of high-strength and ultra high-strength steel
  • Available, segment-exclusive Forward Collision Alert and Lane Departure Warning technology (late availability on Malibu Eco)

Midsize sedans are among the hardest-working family haulers on the road. That’s why Chevrolet designed the all-new, 2013 Chevrolet Malibu with advanced technologies designed to protect the driver and passengers before, during and after a crash.

The first Malibu sold in nearly 100 countries on six continents was engineered to provide the most advanced safety technologies of any Chevrolet midsize sedan. It is equipped with more standard and available safety features than many competitors’ models, including advanced braking and chassis control technologies and a structure comprising 65-percent high-strength and ultra high-strength steels. Malibu also is designed to provide pedestrian impact protection in the global markets where it will be sold.

Forward Collision Alert and Lane Departure Warning systems will be available on Malibu next summer and later on Malibu Eco. These important crash-avoidance technologies are generally found on cars costing far more.

“ Malibu customers around the world will quickly recognize that Chevrolet takes their safety and security very seriously,” said Garett Kraus, safety performance integration manager for the Malibu. “Consumers demand high levels of protection in an affordable family sedan, and this car provides it.

“We’ve designed the 2013 Malibu to be one of the safest cars in its class, and we expect it will achieve high scores in government and insurance industry crash testing in all regions where it is sold.”

In Europe, the Malibu has already received the highest-possible rating (five stars) in European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP) testing. In South Korea, Malibu received the highest safety evaluation in the Research Council for Automobile Repairs (RCAR) test conducted by the Korea Insurance Development Institute. The ranking means Malibu buyers in Korea could qualify for up to a 30-percent discount on auto insurance.
Ten air bags will be standard on the full Malibu lineup – more than on current midsize sedans by Hyundai, Honda and Ford. Eight air bags will be standard on the Malibu Eco when it launches, including knee air bags that help reduce the risk of lower body injuries in a severe crash.

Avoiding crashes

Safety and chassis engineers reach beyond engineering for crash protection, and are developing and refining technologies that can help prevent collisions from happening in the first place.

The Malibu features standard StabiliTrak electronic stability control, which includes full-function traction control; and an advanced, four-channel anti-lock braking system. These technologies are designed to provide more precise vehicle control and shorter stopping distances.

When a special sensor detects a driving situation that requires a higher level of electronic intervention – such as in wet or icy conditions – StabiliTrak will apply the brakes at the individual wheels, reduce power or do both to help the driver keep the vehicle on its intended path. The system incorporates braking features that assist in a variety of conditions, including:

Cornering brake control activates when the car is braking while cornering. Brake pressure is individually varied among all four wheels to keep the car stable
Panic brake assist helps the driver in emergency braking situations, providing greater stopping ability than would be possible from the regular brake booster
Brake fade assist automatically increases braking pressure under repeated, heavy braking
Electronic brake force distribution helps ensure that the optimal amount of braking force is simultaneously applied to all four wheels for maximum stability during heavy braking
Hill assist keeps the brakes engaged momentarily on a hill when the driver switches from the brake to the gas pedal.
The Malibu’s anti-lock braking system consists of four-wheel discs with 11.7-inch (296 mm) vented front discs and aluminum calipers. They are tuned to provide a strong, confident feel and deliver the best braking performance ever in a Malibu. In fact, the 2013 Malibu can stop from 60 mph in 134 feet (41 m). That’s eight feet (2.4 m) shorter than the current model’s 142-foot (42.3 m) performance (models with 17-inch wheels compared).

Forward Collision Alert and Lane Departure Warning

Malibu also combines two segment-exclusive crash-avoidance technologies that, when engaged, use flashing lights and chimes to alert drivers to potential front-end impacts or lane departures.

Malibu’s Forward Collision Alert technology includes a forward-facing camera on the windshield that monitors vehicles ahead. Above 25 mph, a green light in the instrument panel indicates the system has detected a vehicle ahead, and a collision alert can occur.

If the driver follows a vehicle very closely, a red tailgating display is lit. If the driver approaches a vehicle too rapidly, red lights flash on the windshield and a rapid series of beeps sounds.

Lane Departure Warning uses the same forward-facing camera to detect lane markings, and alerts the driver when the car strays into another lane.

When the system is engaged and the Malibu is traveling at 35 mph or more, a green light in the instrument panel indicates the system has detected lane markings ahead and a lane-departure alert can occur. If the driver crosses the left or right lane without signaling, left or right speakers sound and an amber light flashes.

Forward Collision Alert and Lane Departure Warning will be available later in the model year on Malibu, with later availability on the 2014 Malibu Eco.

The Malibu also features available an available rear video camera(on LT and LTZ models) to help prevent Malibu drivers backing into other vehicles or objects at low speeds.

With the rear video camera, a camera mounted on the center high mounted stop light (CHMSL) projects real-time images of the area immediately behind the vehicle onto the touch screen display.

Other key standard crash-avoidance technologies include:

Electronic steering and premium handling : Malibu’s ZF steering gear technology provides precise steering responsiveness and control that complements the vehicle’s premium sport handling.
Daytime Running Lamps : They make the Malibu more visible to other vehicles and to pedestrians and cyclists.
Tire pressure monitors : Underinflated tires are a leading cause of tire blowouts and cause premature tire wear. Malibu’s tire pressure monitors transmit tire pressure readings from each wheel so the driver can ensure they are properly inflated. A graphic on the driver information center shows real-time tire pressures.
Protection in the event of a crash

In the event of a crash, Malibu provides a strong structure that is 20-percent stiffer than the model it replaces. It comprises 65-percent high-strength and ultra-high-strength steels, full-length frame rails, a reinforced safety cage and impact-absorbing crush zones. This structure is designed to absorb the energy created in a crash and help preserve the structural integrity of the occupant compartment.

Welded tubular-section members frame door openings and support the roof, and steel members provide additional impact protection in the doors. This combination of a single-piece door aperture and door-beam reinforcements helps resist intrusion in side impacts.

Ten air bags on full Malibu lineup, new pedal release

Air bags work with lap and shoulder belts to help keep occupants properly positioned in a crash to avoid injuries from secondary collisions (between the occupant and the interior of the vehicle) and intrusion from another vehicle or object.

Malibu Eco – the first Malibu model to arrive in dealer showrooms early next year – will have eight standard air bags, including:

Dual-stage driver and front passenger air bags
Driver and front passenger knee air bags mounted under the instrument panel
Front seat-mounted chest/pelvis air bags
Full-length head curtain side air bags in the roof rail for head protection and to help retain occupants in the event of a rollover.
Rear seat-mounted chest/pelvis side air bags become standard on all Malibu models next summer.

New to Malibu is a standard pedal release system. In a severe crash, the brake pedal is designed to break away to help protect the driver’s feet and lower legs from injuries.

Other standard occupant protection features include three-point safety belts in all five seating positions, with pretensioners and load limiters for the driver and front passenger. The LATCH (Lower Anchors and Top Tethers for CHildren) system helps make it easier to properly secure child seats.

Designed to protect pedestrians

In many of the global markets where Malibu will be sold, large numbers of pedestrians share the road with cars.

To meet global standards for protecting pedestrians against head injuries in the event of a crash, the Malibu uses energy-absorbing materials in the hood. Other energy-absorbing techniques for protecting pedestrians in the event of a collision include the strategic use of air space between the hood and hard objects underneath – such as the battery and engine block – that could injure pedestrians.

Six months of OnStar provides post-crash care

The Malibu is equipped with six months of OnStar Directions & Connections service, including Automatic Crash Response. In the event of a collision, built-in vehicle sensors with an injury severity predictor automatically alert an OnStar advisor, who is immediately connected into the vehicle to determine if help is needed.

The advisor can use GPS to help locate the vehicle and send emergency help to the scene – even if there is no answer.

Security features on Malibu

Malibu also includes several security features, including segment-exclusive power rear child security locks and remote keyless entry with a panic alarm to sound for help or scare off an intruder. OnStar adds remote door unlock, horn and light activation, stolen vehicle location and stolen vehicle slowdown technologies.

Other important peace-of-mind features include an anti-theft alarm with a passive engine immobilizer and segment-best 24/7 roadside assistance as part of Malibu’s exclusive 5-year, 100,000-mile powertrain warranty.