Everyone wants to drive a slick car, and it’s going to be hard to find one more slippery — meaning aerodynamic — than the new 2013 Malibu.
It’s achieving a drag coefficient comparable to a Corvette and nearly as efficient as the Volt electric car, Chevrolet says.
As a result, the new Malibu Eco — the more-expensive high-gas-mileage version of the Malibu — will achieve the best-ever fuel economy of a Chevy midsize car. When General Motors’ mild-hybrid eAssist system is included, the Malibu will get 26 miles a gallon in the city and 38 mpg on the highway. The all-new 2.5-liter Ecotec engine debuting on the Malibu next summer is expected to achieve more than 30 mpg on the highway, based on GM testing.
Aerodynamic design efficiencies and a new body style helped engineers find 60 places in which they can help make the car slip more easily through the air. The differences amount to about 2.5 mpg more highway-driving range.
The new Malibu’s coefficient of drag rating of 0.29 – the number used to indicate the aerodynamic drag force on a vehicle – is down from the current model’s 0.35 Cd. The higher the number, the greater the drag force a vehicle’s engine must overcome at any road speed. The Volt has a 0.28 Cd and the base Corvette coupe is .286.
“With the new Malibu, the design and aero teams collaborated to achieve maximum fuel efficiency for our customers without compromising the car’s visual appeal,” said John Cafaro, Chevrolet Malibu exterior design director. “The aero and aesthetic evolved simultaneously – working together, we sculpted the car in a way that makes it more slippery.”