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.
“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.