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2013 Malibu ECO will be the most efficient Chevy sedan yet
With gasoline prices spiraling to new highs, automakers saw brisk vehicle lease
business for their small, lightweight vehicles as the American economy continued its recovery during the first quarter.
Now General Motors is hoping to capitalize on that trend with the most efficient model yet of its popular Chevrolet Malibu.
The 2013 Malibu ECO will be the most fuel-efficient midsize sedan in Chevrolet's 100-year history, boasting an estimated 26 miles per gallon in city driving and 38 mpg on the highway.
GM engineers managed the trick by equipping the car with eAssist "light electrification" technology. That system makes the ECO a partial hybrid, using a small lithium-ion battery that assists the engine when needed and is recharged through regenerative braking. They also added start-stop functionality to save fuel by switching the engine off at stop signs and red lights, and automatically restarting it when the driver touches the accelerator.
"The Malibu ECO is a smart choice for customers who want excellent fuel economy without the price premium of popular hybrid sedans," Rick Scheidt, the vice president of Chevrolet marketing, said in a release. "The Malibu ECO's 38-mpg highway estimate is comparable with those hybrids."
American Chevrolet dealers will begin offering lease specials
on the ECO in early 2012, about six months before stocking traditionally-powered Malibu models such as the LS, LT and LTZ.
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