2013 Chevrolet Malibu to receive a new 2.0-liter turbocharged engine

Article by Christian Andrei, on December 14, 2011

The 2013 Chevrolet Malibu that is slated to launch next year will be available with a turbocharged engine, according to General Motors. During a Chevy event, Russ Clark, Chevy’s director of marketing for mid-sized and performance cars and compact crossovers, said that the new 2.0-liter turbo will join a new base 2.5-liter Ecotec four-cylinder engine used in the redesigned Malibu.

Previously, GM had announced that it will soon release a new 2.5-liter engine, which will make its debut in the Malibu and will probably be used throughout GM’s lineup. The turbo engine will appeal to those who are looking for something more powerful.

It’s expected that there would be many consumers who would be missing the six-banger, which is available in the existing Malibu but is on its way out due to the redesign. At the start, the redesigned Malibu will only be offered in the Eco trim level, which will come with a 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine combined with a six-speed transmission as well as the new mild hybrid system from GM.

Beginning in February or March, just the Eco version of the 2013 Malibu will be on sale for about six months, until the other engine offerings become available later. GM CEO Dan Akerson asked for this staggered release.

He urged product developers to hasten the introduction of the redesigned Malibu and this engine intended for the Eco version that became ready for production earlier than the other units.

With the launch of the Eco trim level in the first-quarter, GM will be able to present the sedan before its major rivals in the competitive mid-sized sedan market. The launch of the redesigned Ford Fusion, Honda Accord and Nissan Altima are set to take place in 2012. In the fall, new generations of the top-selling Toyota Camry and the Volkswagen Passat made their debut.

When compared to its predecessor, the new Chevrolet Malibu rides on a shorter wheelbase (minus 114 mm or 4.5 inches). However, the Malibu features wider front and rear tracks (plus 51 mm or over 2 inches) at 1,574 mm (62 inches). This gives the Chevrolet Malibu a broad shoulder and a wider stance – an aggressive look as further emphasized by its integrated rear spoiler.

Riding on wheels available at different sizes (17 inches, 18, inches and 19 inches), the new Malibu still features dual-port grille bordered by projector HID headlamps. It also comes with larger Chevrolet bow-tie badges on the front and rear as well as new Camaro-inspired LED dual-element taillamps. The executive director for GM exterior design and Chevrolet Brand Champion, Bryan Nesbitt, said that the new Malibu injects sporty sense family sedan segment by featuring an exterior that shares the design DNA of its Camaro and Corvette siblings.

Chevrolet expects SAE to certify the Malibu as one of the most aerodynamically efficient cars in its segment, having a Cd (coefficient of drag) rating near that of a Chevrolet Volt (.280). Chevrolet was able to realize this by giving the Chevrolet Malibu a new shape and design, which effectively eliminated 60 counts of wind drag compared to the previous model.

Select Malibu models in North America are specified with electronically controlled and integrated active aero shutters that help improve both aerodynamics and fuel economy sans any compromise on its exterior design. This shutter system could automatically restrain airflow through the lower intake, opening when it is least required, depending on engine coolant temperature and speed.

By doing so, airflow is redirected around the Malibu’s front and down its sides, instead of through it. When there is a need for engine cooling – like when the Malibu is pulling a trailer or traveling up a hill – the shutters open to allow airflow. When less engine cooling is needed – like when the Malibu is moving at high speeds – the shutters open and makes the car more aerodynamic.

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