2011 New York Auto ShowJust the Facts:
- The 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco, a fuel miser that will deliver 38 mpg on the highway, debuted on Wednesday at the 2011 New York Auto Show.
- It will be among GM's first cars to include eAssist technology, which uses a small lithium-ion battery and electric motor to help boost fuel economy.
- The Malibu Eco will go on sale in early 2012. Pricing was not announced.
NEW YORK — GM's new mantra seems to be "mpg matters." With that in mind, Chevrolet on Wednesday rolled out the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco, which will deliver 38 mpg on the highway and targets the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid and Toyota Camry Hybrid.
The Malibu Eco will go on sale in early 2013. Pricing was not announced. But expect the fuel-saving Malibu to be priced right around the Sonata Hybrid and Camry Hybrid. The 2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid starts at $26,545, including a $750 destination charge. It returns 35 mpg in city driving and 40 mpg on the highway, according to the EPA. The 2011 Toyota Camry Hybrid starts at $27,435, including a $760 destination charge, and returns 31 mpg in city driving and 35 mpg on the highway, according to the EPA.
The Malibu Eco will be among GM's first cars to use eAssist technology, which uses a small lithium-ion battery and electric motor to assist the engine at times when the car is stopped or going up steep inclines.
The eAssist system is mated to a 2.4-liter Ecotec direct-injection four-cylinder engine and six-speed automatic transmission. The engine is rated at an estimated 180 horsepower, said GM.
The Malibu Eco gets an aerodynamic exterior, including underbody aero enhancements and electronically controlled shutters in the lower grille that close at higher speeds to push more air over and around the car.
Chevrolet said in a statement that this version of the Malibu is "the most fuel-efficient midsize sedan" in the brand's 100-year history.
The main theme of the 2011 New York Auto Show is fuel economy, with many automakers touting fuel-economy gains in their vehicles. The AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report on Thursday pegged the average price for a gallon of unleaded gasoline in the U.S. at $3.84 and CNBC.com on Wednesday predicted that gas could hit $6 a gallon by summer.
Edmunds.com says: If gas does hit $6 a gallon, the Malibu Eco may be a compelling choice. — Anita Lienert, Correspondent