2016 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid tech revealed
While the all-new 2016 Chevrolet Malibu remains under wraps until its New York Auto Show debut, the division provided an inside look at the technology slated for the hybrid variant. Drawing on GM's latest Volt development program, Chevy has created an ultra-efficient midsize sedan that it says will deliver an estimated EPA combined figure in excess of 45 mpg - a number that would best its gas/electric segment rivals like the Ford Fusion, Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata and Toyota Camry hybrids.
One engine, two motors
The heart of the 2016 Malibu Hybrid is a 1.8-liter gasoline engine paired with a two-motor ancillary drive that shares much in common with the system found in the all-new 2016 Chevrolet Volt. The direct-injected Ecotec 4-cylinder will be the first Chevy engine to incorporate Exhaust Gas Heat Recovery (EGHR) technology. As its name implies, EGHR uses energy that would normally be lost to heat both the engine and the passenger compartment in cold weather, which further helps overall fuel economy. The Malibu Hybrid's two motors are directly fed by an 80-cell/1.5kWh lithium-ion battery pack located at the rear of the car. Collectively, the system churns out 182 horsepower and will allow the Malibu Hybrid to reach speeds of 55 mph in pure EV mode.
Chevy also looked to the new-generation Volt for the sophisticated power electronics to integrate operations of the Malibu Hybrid's gas/electric elements, including the blended regenerative braking system that replenishes the battery pack. Beyond its actual powertrain components, the car boasts a number of additional efficiency-enhancing tweaks, including upper and lower grille air shutters to improve airflow, a reduced ride height and low-rolling-resistance tires.
While the conventional side of the 2016 Chevy Malibu family goes on sale late this year, the new Malibu Hybrid won't hit showrooms until next spring. This greener version of the car will be built at the automaker's Fairfax Assembly Plant in Kansas City, Kansas.