Outside my hotel window, I’m staring down a rainy Austin, Texas skyline and a handful of 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco sedans enjoying their natural shower. The Bowtie brand plans on launching the efficient Eco model first at the beginning of 2012, with a cheaper base model featuring an all-new 2.5-liter Ecotec engine to follow several months afterward.
The 190 horsepower motor looks to replace the 2.4-liter engine seen in the outgoing ‘Bu, but at the same time it hardly suggests performance. Thankfully, the vehicle’s product planners recognize a need for something more enthusiastic, and will grace the new ‘Bu with a turbocharged four cylinder engine sometime in the future. As of this writing, the word isn’t out on just which engine it will be. It’s possible that it could be the 220 horsepower 2.0-liter mill seen in the Buick Regal Turbo. Just as plausible is the punchier 270 horsepower, 295 pound-foot powerplant found in the Regal GS. But perhaps we may see an all-new 2.0-liter turbo in the Malibu’s engine bay, as GM has been rumored to be developing such an engine, which is set to debut in the 2013 Cadillac ATS later in 2012.