DETROIT, March 25, 2015 — Chevrolet has announced its intentions to up its games in the mid-size hybrid auto segment, with further details on the strong hybrid version of the next-generation 2016 Malibu. The new strong hybrid Malibu will join the General Motors green line of vehicles, including the recent production announcement of the all-electric Bolt EV concept, as well as the all-new 2016 Chevrolet Volt.
The Malibu Hybrid will be using technology from the 2016 Chevrolet Volt propulsion system, providing an estimated combined fuel economy rating over 45 mpg. If this holds true in final form, it will exceed the combined ratings of the Ford Fusion, Hyundai Sonata and Toyota Camry hybrid variants.
Chevrolet Malibu chief engineer Jesse Ortega said, “The 2016 Malibu Hybrid will offer impressive fuel economy, exceptional driving characteristics and gorgeous styling.”
“Besides leveraging innovation from the Chevrolet Volt, the Malibu Hybrid also has unique features that help improve aerodynamics, like upper and lower grille air shutters to improve airflow and a reduced ride height, all of which help reduce fuel consumption,” Ortega added.
The all-new Malibu Hybrid will use a 1.8L 4-cylinder engine from the 2016 Chevrolet Volt. It is mated to a slightly modified version of the Volt’s two-motor drive unit. This drive unit assists the engine during acceleration, combining with the gas unit, for a combined 182 total system horsepower.
Further assistance in the quest for ever increasing mileage is provided by the Chevrolet’s first use of exhaust gas recovery, or EGHR, which uses heat from the engine’s exhaust to warm the engine and interior of the vehicle. Exhaust Gas Recirculation, or EGR, provides another fuel economy boost.
The Malibu Hybrid uses an 80-cell, 1.5kWh lithium-ion battery pack to provide electric power to the hybrid system. The advanced battery system can run the Malibu Hybrid at up to 55 miles per hour on battery power only. The gasoline engine will interact with the system at higher speeds and when high loads require additional power.
Continuing the technology trickle down to mainstream models, the blended regenerative braking system from the 2016 Chevrolet Volt also makes an appearance. This system provides maximum kinetic energy recover during braking to then be stored in the battery, increasing overall efficiency.
Chevrolet will be manufacturing the Malibu Hybrid in the heart of America, at the Fairfax Assembly plant in Kansas City, Kan. Expect to see this competitive shot over the bow of the green competition in dealer showrooms in the spring of 2016.