St. Louis Chevy Dealership | Jim Butler Chevrolet: Your St. Louis Chevrolet Malibu dealer

Aerodynamics of the 2013 Chevy Malibu-St. Louis

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

Aerodynamic design is a key contributor in helping the all-new Chevrolet Malibu Eco achieve the best-ever fuel economy of a Chevy midsize car – and the quietest driving experience ever in a Chevrolet.

The Malibu Eco with fuel-saving e Assist propulsion technology delivers a GM-estimated 25 mpg city and 37 mpg highway, while an all-new Ecotec 2.5L engine debuting in the Malibu next summer is expected to achieve more than 30 mpg on the highway.

Aerodynamic design efficiencies and a new body style helped engineers shave 60 counts of fuel-economy-robbing wind drag from the model it replaces, the equivalent of adding up to 2.5 mpg more highway driving range. In fact, during development, preproduction models of the all-new 2013 Malibu achieved a drag coefficient of .29 C d, equal to a Corvette and nearly as efficient as the Volt electric car at .28 C d.

The new Malibu’s C d rating of .29 – the number used to indicate the aerodynamic drag force on a vehicle – is down from the current model’s .35 C d. The higher the number, the greater the drag force a vehicle’s engine must overcome at any road speed. The new Malibu Eco model has a slightly higher C d of .30, due to its 17-inch wheels and low-rolling resistance tires.

“With the new Malibu, the design and aero teams collaborated to achieve maximum fuel efficiency for our customers without compromising the car’s visual appeal,” said John Cafaro, Chevrolet Malibu exterior design director. “The aero and aesthetic evolved simultaneously – working together, we sculpted the car in a way that makes it more slippery, applied innovative technologies like eAssist and active shutters, and we intentionally designed components such as the rear deck lid and outside rearview mirrors to help maximize fuel economy.”

Malibu aero engineers and designers conducted more than 400 hours of wind tunnel testing to ensure optimal fuel economy. In addition to saving fuel, the 2013 Malibu’s new shape, dimensions and sculpted forms reduce cabin noise, another priority for midsize car buyers. On top of a lower coefficient of drag, the new Malibu has a 4.5-inch-shorter (114 mm) wheelbase and 62-inch (1,574 mm) front and rear tracks that are more than two inches (51 mm) wider than the model it replaces.

“Aerodynamics is driven by science.” said John Bednarchik, Chevrolet Malibu lead aerodynamic engineer. “While car designers favor wheel flares, sharp creases and other details that add style to a car, what catches the eye may disrupt the airflow, creating unwanted air turbulence and increasing drag. The new Malibu balances design needs with aerodynamic efficiency to truly benefit the customer.”

For the first time on a Chevrolet midsize sedan, Malibu LS and Eco models feature active aerodynamics, which change body surface geometry on one or more parts of the vehicle.

Malibu’s active aerodynamics includes a pair of louvers, or shutters, in the lower grill opening of the front fascia. They open or close automatically to maximize aerodynamic efficiency. This increases airflow in certain conditions, such as high-engine loads at low speeds, while the shutters remain closed as often as possible to reduce aerodynamic drag.

While some active aerodynamics merely activate when traveling above or below certain speeds, the aerodynamic shutters in the Malibu have a GM proprietary algorithm that monitors several variables in real time – including engine load, vehicle speeds and ambient temperature – to determine if the shutters should be opened or closed.

When ambient temperatures fall below freezing, the active shutters operate in “ice mode.” By working with a thermometer that monitors outside air temperature, the ice mode will prevent movement of the aero shutters until ambient temperatures rise above the freezing mark. Sensors work with onboard computers to calculate when the ice mode is appropriate.

Four underbody panels (standard on Eco and LT models) – two in the mid-body area under the floor pan on either side of the center tunnel, and two in the rear area covering the fuel tank and rear area on either side of the exhaust – deliver about 10 counts of aero benefit. Constructed of black composite with wind-surfacing, the panels cover approximately half of the underbody. Underbody panels are more commonly found on premium-priced offerings and race cars.

“The underbody panels contribute significantly to the overall aerodynamic performance of the new Malibu,” said Bednarchik. “Customers will never notice the difference, until they check their fuel economy.”

Measured as 0.001 coefficient of drag, a “count” is a precise measurement of aerodynamic drag generated by a vehicle. Reducing aerodynamic drag reduces the energy wasted overcoming pressure drag – due to the difference in pressure in front of and behind the vehicle – and improving overall efficiency.

In addition to the underbody panels, key aerodynamic enablers in the 2013 Malibu include:

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
10 counts: Tire deflectors positioned forward of the front tires act as “mini-air dams” to minimize wind disruptions
7 counts: The closed upper grille on select models pushes wind to the sides of the Malibu
7 counts: Outside rearview mirrors are specifically designed to deflect wind without “upsetting” the airflow
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
5 counts : The front air dam redirects airflow to minimize aerodynamic disruptions
5 counts : The notch angle of the vehicle – the angle from the top of the rear glass to the trailing edge of the decklid – was optimized to reduce wind drag
2 counts : An integrated decklid spoiler incorporates a crisp, trailing edge that helps separate air from the rear of the Malibu.
Vehicle aerodynamics remain a primary driver of overall fuel economy, especially at highway speeds.

“Roughly 60 percent of the power used at highway speeds is used to overcome air resistance,” said Malibu aerodynamic engineer Suzanne Cody.

The 2013 Malibu is expected to be among the first cars in the industry to be tested under J2881, the Society of Automotive Engineers’ (SAE) new recommended test procedure for aerodynamic reporting. Under these new industry guidelines, automotive manufacturers will follow a recommended procedure for measuring and documenting the aerodynamic performance in a full-scale wind tunnel of passenger vehicles. Similar SAE procedures for assessing and reporting horsepower and torque are already in place.

Chevy Malibu named “Best Buy” and “Top Safety Pick”

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

DETROIT – The 2011 Chevrolet Malibu sedan was recently named a 2011 Consumers Digest Automotive “Best Buy” and a Top Safety Pick for 2010 by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The two awards add to Malibu’s growing list of more than 40 industry honors since it was launched all-new in 2007 as a 2008 model.

“It’s been a consistent winner for us,” said Ron Chaudoin, general manager of Lou LaRiche Chevrolet in Plymouth, Mich. “Whether it’s safety, availability, price point or lease offers, the Malibu just satisfies a majority of customers.”

The Malibu is the only mid-sized car in the industry to win the Consumers Digest award for the third consecutive year. Consumers Digest “Best Buys” are based on behind-the-wheel assessment, safety ratings, ownership costs, warranty, price, comfort, ergonomics, styling and amenities. They reflect Consumers Digest’s view of which vehicles offer the most value for the money. The Malibu won the award for 2009, 2010 and 2011 model year vehicles.

To determine how well a vehicle protects its occupants in a crash, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal, or poor based on performance in high-speed front and side crash tests, a rollover test, plus evaluations of seat/head restraints for protection against neck injuries in rear impacts. In addition, the winning vehicles must offer electronic stability control. The Malibu received a “good” rating in all four Institute tests.

“The Chevrolet Malibu offers consumers a tremendous value, impressive fuel economy, class-leading safety features, and an unexpected amount of standard features that separate it from the competition,” said Jon Hahn, Chevrolet Malibu marketing manager.

The Malibu is Chevrolet’s and General Motors best-selling car in the U.S., representing nearly 10 percent of GM total vehicle sales and about 13 percent of Chevrolet total sales this year. Over the last two years Malibu has grown in total sales from 161,568 in 2009 to 187,250 through November this year. Malibu also has increased market share within the mid-car segment over the last two years from 8 percent in 2008 to 11 percent currently.

The 2011 Malibu is offered in LS, LT and LTZ models. All models have a standard, fuel-efficient, four-cylinder 2.4L Ecotec engine mated to a fuel-saving six-speed transmission that deliver 33 mpg highway. A 252-horsepower 3.6L V-6 is available on 2LT and LTZ models. All Malibu powertrains are backed by GM’s five-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, the best and most comprehensive in the industry.

The Chevrolet Malibu is the only midsize sedan with standard OnStar Turn-by-Turn navigation. Also standard on all models are four-wheel anti-lock brakes; StabiliTrak electronic stability control; AM/FM stereo with CD player and MP3 playback; XM Satellite Radio; OnStar 9.0 with six months of Directions and Connections service; power height driver seat adjuster with power lumbar; Remote Keyless Entry and cruise control.

View Jim Butler Chevy’s 2011 Chevy Malibu Inventory!