The Chevy Malibu Hybrid
sedan is expected to roll out in 2007. Focusing on rolling
out its line of hybrid trucks first (strong hybrids as
they are calling them), General Motors has decided now
to go forward with automobile hybrids including the Green
Line Vue vehicles and the Chey Malibu hybrid.
GM's strategy was to take
care of the highest gasoline-consuming vehicles first
and roll out performance-oriented vehicles at the same
When the Chevy Malibu Hybrid does roll out, rumor has it that
it will have a similar system to GM's planned Saturn VUE SUV
hybrid system. The Malibu Hybrid is expected to have an automatic
transmission with 4 cylinder, 2.4-liter engine with front-wheel
drive and achieve 12-15 percent greater fuel economy that the
non-hybrid version, which is currently rated by the Environmental
Protection Agency at 35 mpg highway and 24 mpg city.
When the Malibu Hybrid is traveling at less than
six miles an hour, the gasoline engine will shut off and an
electric-hydraulic system will kick in, which is where much
of the fuel economy is derived from.
According to GM, they will introduce the Belt Alternator
Starter (BAS) system in the Chevrolet Malibu, which provides
10 percent improved fuel economy. GM will couple the BAS
with a continuously variable automatic transmission. These
options will also be available in the Saturn VUE SUV hybrid.
GM reports that the Malibu Hybrid will be built at their
Kansas City facility.