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Chevrolet Details New Malibu's Engine

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author photo by Jeffrey Archer September 2011

When the new 2013 Chevrolet Malibu goes on sale next year, it will initially be offered solely with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine producing 190 horsepower. The automaker recently announced details of that motor, promising new levels of refinement, quietness and fuel efficiency.

Although technically a new engine, the 2013 Malibu's 2.5-liter is based on GM's existing 2.4-liter Ecotec four-cylinder, which powers several current models including the GMC Terrain, Buick Regal and Lacrosse, and even the outgoing Malibu. That means the automaker didn't have to reinvent the wheel when creating the engine, though several crucial changes have improved and modernized it.

Most importantly, the engine has been revised for increased fuel efficiency. Although the new 2.5-liter engine produces 21 more horsepower than the outgoing Malibu's 2.4-liter, Chevrolet promises it will be every bit as efficient, returning over 30 miles per gallon on the highway. That impressive fuel economy figure comes from a host of updates including direct injection technology, aluminum-intensive architecture and composite plastics designed to save weight.

Chevrolet is also touting improvements made to drop the engine's noise levels and increase its refinement. According to the automaker, nearly a dozen key elements combined to reduce the 2.5-liter's noise intensity by 40 percent over the outgoing 2.4-liter. Any remaining noise was pushed into a higher frequency range, resulting in sounds that are more pleasant to the ear.

"The refinement and quietness of the 2.5-liter are impressive," said General Motors noise and vibration engineer Tom Slopsema. "No fastener, cover or internal engine part was left unexamined in our quest to make this an engine that surpasses the benchmarks in the industry."

While it's not clear if Chevrolet will offer another available engine in the 2013 Malibu, it's possible that the current model's 252-horsepower 3.6-liter V6 won't make a comeback. Several automakers including Hyundai and Kia have phased out six-cylinder powerplants in their midsize sedans in favor of turbocharged four-cylinders, which produce better fuel economy despite similar power. We'll find out whether or not Chevrolet decides to make a similar move as the new Malibu's early 2012 launch date approaches.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Chevrolet Details New Malibu's Engine - Autotrader