2016 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid Detailed Ahead of New York Debut

Volt technology comes to the Malibu.

When the 2016 Chevrolet Malibu midsize sedan debuts next week, it will also be offered with a hybrid powertrain derived from that of the 2016 Chevrolet Volt. This marks the return of a hybrid Malibu, as Chevrolet discontinued the last Malibu eAssist hybrid after the 2013 model year. It's also the first full-hybrid variant of a GM sedan, as the company's Chevrolet Malibu eAssist and Buick LaCrosse eAssist were mild hybrids, in which the electric motors couldn't drive the car independently of the gas engine.

General Motors claims the 2016 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid will exceed 45 mpg combined, which would make it a class standout ahead of the Ford Fusion (42 mpg), Toyota Camry (41 mpg), and Hyundai Sonata (38 mpg) hybrids, but lagging slightly behind the stellar 2015 Honda Accord Hybrid, which achieves 47 mpg combined.

The 2016 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid achieves this impressive fuel economy through the use of a direct-injection 1.8-liter inline-four engine, paired with two electric motors derived from those in the upcoming 2016 Chevrolet Volt. The motors can drive the car at up to 55 mph on electric power alone, with the gasoline engine kicking in at higher speeds or during hard acceleration. Combined, the motors and gasoline engine provide 182 hp.

Electricity is stored in a 1.5-kWh lithium-ion battery pack, which is charged by regenerative braking technology that is also derived from the Volt. To reduce the amount of aerodynamic drag compared to gasoline models, Chevrolet lowered the Malibu Hybrid's ride height and added upper and lower grille shutters.

The 2016 Malibu Hybrid also marks Chevrolet's first use of Exhaust Gas Heat Recovery technology, which utilizes the waste heat from the car's exhaust to warm the engine and cabin. This leads to a quicker warm-up period in cold weather, and Chevrolet says it also results in more consistent fuel economy.

The 2016 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid makes its official debut at the upcoming 2015 New York auto show.

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