Chevrolet is all set to debut the next-generation Malibu in New York next week and we’ve just received word they’ll be adding a hybrid version of the all-new Malibu.
A hybrid option of the Malibu fits in well with Chevrolet’s recent push for more EV products, i.e., the pure electric Bolt concept unveiled in Detroit and the new Chevrolet Volt. Chevrolet says the Malibu Hybrid is expected to yield a combined fuel consumption of 5.2L/100km. If the Malibu Hybrid really does attain those numbers, it’ll be beating out the hybrid variants of the Ford Fusion, Hyundai Sonata and the Toyota Camry. That’s some serious bragging rights in the highly contested mid-size segment.
Powering the Malibu Hybrid will be an all-new direct-injection 1.8L 4-cylinder, mated to a two-motor drive unit, similar to the 2016 Chevrolet Volt drive unit. The drive unit will provide additional power to assist the engine during acceleration. This engine and dual-motor drive unit combination will be good for 182 horsepower of total system power.
The new engine also features Chevrolet’s first application of Exhaust Gas Heat Recovery, or EGHR, technology. This tech takes the heat the exhaust generates and sends it on into the cabin and engine.
If you’re Canadian, then you already know how cold it is inside the cabin first thing in the morning. Having the new EGHR tech speeding up engine and cabin warm up time is definitely a good selling point in Canada. The EHGR also helps to maintain consistent fuel economy performance in cold weather.
The new 80-cell, 1.5 kWh lithium-ion battery pack takes care of electric power in the system and can propel the Malibu to 90 km/h on electricity alone. At higher speeds and loads, the Malibu automatically switches over to the gas engine, as expected.
Chevrolet is really pushing to revitalize the Malibu and an advanced, good-looking hybrid with class leading fuel consumption is definitely a step in the right direction.