One of the most-powerful naturally aspirated four-cylinder engines in the midsize segment – the all-new Ecotec 2.5L – makes its debut this summer on the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu midsize sedan. It’s so powerful that it has even higher output than the new Ford Fusion and Toyota Camry. This fall, it will be the turn of the introduction of the new Ecotec 2.0L turbo engine.
It has the highest horsepower of any previous V-6 offered in a Malibu. The SAE-certified 197hp (147 kW) and 191 lb.-ft. of torque (259 Nm) produced on the Malibu's Ecotec 2.5L is the most torque of any naturally aspirated four-cylinder in this segment. In comparison with rivals, it offers 19hp higher (14 kW) and has 21 more lb.-ft. of torque (28 Nm) than the 2.5L I4 engine of the 2012 Toyota Camry LE.
It also offers 27 extra hp (20 kW) and 21 more lb.-ft. (28 Nm) compared to the 2013 Ford Fusion's 2.5L four-cylinder. The Ecotec 2.0L turbo is SAE-certified at 259hp (193 kW) and 260 lb.-ft. of torque (353 Nm). It could sustain its peak torque from 1,700 to 5,500 rpm. This wide range offers an instant feeling of power in all driving conditions and it contributes to its 0-60kph acceleration in 6.3 seconds. Direct injection is used on its new engines to have better fuel efficiency and more power.
Of course, this engine helps boost global sales of the Malibu. The two variants will be available in the U.S., Canada, Israel and other markets, while rounding out an assorted North American powertrain lineup, which includes the segment-exclusive, fuel-saving eAssistTM technology in the Malibu Eco. It comes with start-stop technology with regenerative braking as well as a lightweight lithium-ion battery to offer an electric boost in some conditions, offering a GM-estimated 25 mpg in the city 37 mpg on the highway.
This fuel economy rating is better than any presently available non-hybrid midsize sedan. The 2013 Malibu is the first global midsize sedan from Chevrolet. Eventually, it will make its way to almost 100 countries on six continents. It’s already available in China and South Korea while sales will start this year in over 70 more countries such as in Canada, across Europe, Scandinavia, the Middle East, Africa and other markets in the Asia-Pacific region.
Ensuring that the Malibu offers safer travel for the occupants is the fact that the electronic chassis controls have been aimed at improving not only the handling quality but also the ride quality. This is of course, all under the electronic stability control system known as the StabiliTrak, which also has the full-function traction control. This system is activated should a situation occur where a high electronic intervention level is needed.
The StabiliTrak is triggered through a yaw sensor that detects the inputs. This sensor has been placed on the vehicle’s center area. What the StabiliTrak does is control the brakes on the different wheels, reduce the power on them, or sometimes both, to make sure that the driver continues to be in control of the vehicle. The StabiliTrak also has a number of advanced braking features that help the driver in certain conditions.
One of these is the Cornering Brake Control which is activated if the driver steps on the brake while the vehicle is going to a corner. Stability is important in this situation and thus the brake pressure applied on the wheels is different. Then there is the Brake Assist that can aid in cases of emergency braking situations. This allows for a higher deceleration than a regular brake system booster could offer.
For the Malibu Turbo, its brake system is composed of four-wheel discs measuring 11.7 inches (296 mm). The front utilizes vented discs with the rear having calipers in aluminum. In addition to the StabiliTrak, the brake system also has the anti-lock four-channel system which allows for better control under wet, and even icy, conditions.
Other safety features inside the 2013 Malibu Turbo are the 10 air bags equipped as standard. Other safety systems include the Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Alert, and the rearview camera system. It is no surprise then to know why this model was the first midsize vehicle to achieve double honors when it comes to safety. This model was chosen by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety as the Top Safety Pick of 2012.
In addition, it also was awarded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration with the 5-Star Overall Vehicle Score. To give owners even more peace of mind, all models are under the 5-year/100,000 powertrain warranty. It even has the bumper-to-bumper 3-year/36,000 limited warranty.