Chevrolet Introduces 2013 Malibu ECO with eAssist Technology

ECO eAssist PowerFlow screen

In brief: Chevrolet has introduced the 2013 Malibu ECO, which is the company's most fuel efficient midsize sedan to date.

Vehicle in the news

Make/Model: Malibu ECO
Manufacturer: Chevrolet

The word

ECO eAssist PowerFlow screen

The Malibu ECO features GM's eAssist light electrification technology, which is engineered to conserve fuel through a number of vehicle electronics and driver information displays. Coupled with the 2.4L Ecotec engine, the car is capable of 26mpg in the city and 38mpg on the highway - on par with similar mid-sized sedans that are hybrids.

Utilizing the EcoBoost technology, Chevy is aiming to make extremely fuel efficient vehicles without the need for full electrification (full hybrid or plug-in). This means a lower cost vehicle overall and a replacement for standard gasoline offerings currently on the market.

The Ecotec 2.4L engine is coupled to a 6-speed transmission. The eAssist system uses a 0.5kWh battery (115V) and small 15hp motor to add boost to acceleration, taking weight off the engine, as well as to provide regenerative braking, saving both brake wear and power.

Several other additions include aggressive fuel cut-off during deceleration down to 0mph, stop-start, and battery management to clutch the alternator to save engine load.

The deceleration cut-off is a new technology several companies affiliated with GM, such as Chevrolet and Suzuki, have been utilizing. It shuts down fuel delivery to the engine during certain deceleration conditions (such as fast slow-downs after exiting a freeway), allowing the engine and motor to continue turning, but not delivering fuel to the engine so its weight assists in slow-down, but doesn't use fuel to do so. This continued cranking also allows the engine to immediately begin accelerating when fuel is added if the driver presses the acceleration - creating a seamless slow-down to acceleration experience.

Other improvements include utilizing the electric motor as a hill-stop when stopped on a hill and then beginning to accelerate upwards. This creates a smoother motion, saving energy over the usual transmission brake.

And so ...

All in all, this is an interested new mockup from Chevrolet that should begin to hit showrooms late next year.

Photo credits: GM

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