If you’re new to the Internet, chances are you haven’t heard about the all-new 2013 Chevrolet Malibu. If that’s the case, you’ve come to the right place — as GM Authority currently has a case of Malibu fever, of which Alex Luft is not expected to recover from.
While we hope our founder doesn’t parish, let’s review. So far, we’ve seen patent renderings, teaser photos, spy shots, and official photos of the new ‘Bu. But up until today, the car’s powertrain has more or less remained a mystery.
During the global unveiling of the 2013 Malibu, which happened just moments ago at the time of this writing, Chevrolet marketing manager Jon Hahn and Chevrolet exterior design director Bryan Nesbitt shed more light on what exactly will power the wheels of the brand’s new breadwinner. The engine is an all-new naturally aspirated 2.5-liter dual overhead cam ECOTEC four-cylinder that will deliver an SAE-certified 190 horsepower and 180 pounds-feet of torque when mated to the all-new (and standard) six-speed Hydramatic 6T40 automatic transmission (update: 197 hp, 191 lb-ft of torque). This is up from the 169 horses and 160 pounds-feet we see from the 2.4L ECOTEC powering today’s ‘Bu. The new 2.5 is expected to return around 35 MPG on the highway.
GM’s presser also describes active aero-shutters a la Cruze ECO on select models (is there a Malibu ECO on the way?) and a slippery rear fascia that will help the car cut through the air with Volt-like aerodynamic properties — which is extraordinary. A familiar MacPherson strut setup is in the front and a multilink suspenders are in the rear; we’ve seen both in other Epsilon II vehicles such as the Buick Regal and Opel Insignia.
The 2013 Malibu also aims to be the leader in safety for its segment with eight standard airbags and two optional head/thorax second row airbags, giving the car a grand total of 10 available safety pillows. Consumers will also find the all-new Chevy MyLink infotainment system, which allows for the use of Internet apps such as Pandora and Stitcher integrated with a smartphone. MyLink also connects via Bluetooth for calls and music streaming and sports an available 7-inch color touchscreen with a hidden 6-inch-deep storage compartment behind the system that’s perfect for storing phones and iPods (and not paraphernalia).
The U.S.-market Malibu will be produced at GM’s Fairfax, Kansas and Hamtramck, Michigan assembly plants. Pricing has yet to be announced.
Expect more on the all-new Malibu when we see it in person Wednesday morning during the 2011 New York Auto Show. Until then, our fingers could use a break.