Chevrolet says that when combined with features like grille shutters and a lower ride height, it expects the Malibu Hybrid will post a combined fuel economy rating of more than 45 miles per gallon, which would best the hybrid trims of the Ford Fusion, Toyota Camry and Hyundai Sonata.
Electric power alone can power the car up to 55 miles per hour, and The Bowtie's first use of exhaust gas heat recovery will help maintain high hybrid performance in cold weather and be used to heat the engine and cabin. The Malibu Hybrid should go on sale in the Spring of next year, for now there's a press release below.
GM estimates combined fuel economy ratings to exceed 45 mpg
DETROIT, 2015-03-25 – Chevrolet's recent production announcement of its all-electric vehicle based on the Bolt EV concept, as well as the introduction of the 2016 Chevrolet Volt, will be joined by a strong hybrid version of the next-generation Malibu.
Using technology from the 2016 Chevrolet Volt propulsion system, Malibu Hybrid will offer an estimated combined fuel economy rating exceeding 45 mpg, higher than the combined mileage ratings of the Ford Fusion, Toyota Camry and Hyundai Sonata hybrid variants.
"The 2016 Malibu Hybrid will offer impressive fuel economy, exceptional driving characteristics and gorgeous styling," said Jesse Ortega, Chevrolet Malibu chief engineer.
"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 said.
An all-new direct-injection 1.8L 4-cylinder engine mated to a two-motor drive unit slightly modified from the 2016 Chevrolet Volt drive unit powers the Malibu Hybrid. The drive unit provides additional power to assist the engine during acceleration, for 182 horsepower (136 kW) of total system power.
The engine also features Chevrolet's first application of Exhaust Gas Heat Recovery, or EGHR, technology, which uses exhaust heat to warm the engine and cabin. EGHR improves engine warm up and assures consistent fuel economy performance in cold weather. Additional fuel economy benefits come from Exhaust Gas Recirculation, or EGR.
An 80-cell, 1.5 kWh lithium-ion battery pack provides electric power to the Hybrid system. The advanced lithium-ion based chemistry can power the Malibu hybrid at up to 55 miles per hour on electricity alone. The gasoline-powered engine will automatically come on at higher speeds and high loads when necessary to provide additional power.
Malibu Hybrid also shares power electronics from the 2016 Volt and a blended regenerative braking system, which provides maximum kinetic energy recovery during braking to be stored into the battery system to help maintain charge.
The Malibu Hybrid will be manufactured in Kansas City, Kansas, at the Fairfax Assembly plant from globally sourced parts. It is due in Chevrolet dealer showrooms in spring 2016.
Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world's largest car brands, doing business in more than 115 countries and selling around 4.8 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature engaging performance, design that makes the heart beat, passive & active safety features and easy-to-use technology, all at a value. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.