thecarnut.typepad.com > 2007 LOS ANGELES AUTO SHOW #1

Chevrolet Malibu "Mild Hybrid" Attacks Camry, Accord, Fusion

Chevrolet Malibu "Mild Hybrid" Attacks Camry, Accord, Fusion

Los Angeles Convention Center

This car is the designated 'point' in GM's attack on the nation's best-selling cars. Camry and Accord both sell over 400,000 units a year, Ford's Fusion has yet to catch-up to those import model sales numbers. If Malibu can do well, and GM proves they can sell more than 300,000 units of something other than a pickup truck, the face of the car business in the US could change drastically. Malibu mild hybrid uses the same belt-alternator-starter system as the earlier Saturn Aura and Vue Hybrids. Malibu mild hybrid gets only about 2 extra miles per gallon over the gas-only version, but it is priced under $23,000 (and it's on-sale now or very soon...ask a dealer). EPA testing says Malibu hybrid should get 24 mpg in the city and 32 on the highway. Having a hybrid model or a vehicle using some sort of "alternative" fuel is now the "price of admission" to the car-selling marketplace as far as many car-buyers are concerned. The mild hybrid Malibu offers a 36-volt electric motor coupled with a gasoline-fed 2.4 liter Ecotec VVT four-cylinder engine and a four- speed automatic transmission ... A four-speed automatic? We know Malibu is inexpensive, but hey, Chevy, this is 2007 ... Some new cars have EIGHT-speed trannys!

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