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by Tim Beissmann

General Motors has confirmed more details about the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu and its all-new 2.5-litre petrol engine. The new medium sedan will be sold in Australia as the 2012 Holden Malibu towards the end of next year, and may also benefit from the new powerplant.

(Rendering by Theophilus Chin)

The Malibu’s 2.5-litre four-cylinder Ecotec engine will produce 140kW of power and 250Nm of torque – giving it similar output levels to the Hyundai i45 and Kia Optima medium sedans (148kW/250Nm).

GM says the Malibu’s highway fuel consumption will be better than 7.8 litres/100km, but is yet to reveal combined cycle figures. That highway figure is hardly a surprise, given the current 2.4-litre Malibu achieves 7.1 litres/100km on the highway.

Considering the i45 and the Optima both achieve highway figures of 6.0 litres/100km and a combined cycle fuel consumption of 7.9 litres/100km, Holden will need the Malibu to better its current 7.1 litres/100km highway mark by a significant margin if this engine is to be competitive in Australia (if it is sold here).

GM global chief engineer, Mike Anderson, said the direct-injection 2.5-litre engine promised to be one of the quietest and most refined engines in the medium car segment.

“The noise intensity is 40 per cent less than our 2.4-litre direct-injected engine, which was named one of Ward’s 10 Best Engines,” Mr Anderson said.

“Engineers also tuned the 2.5-litre to deliver more of its torque at lower rpm, giving the Malibu a stronger feel at launch and during on-demand manoeuvres, such as passing or accelerating on a freeway entrance ramp.”

GM says the Malibu will be offered with a range of “fuel efficient and powerful” four-cylinder engines, with turbocharged petrol and diesel engines expected to be revealed in time.

The Malibu will become a brand new nameplate in Holden’s Australian line-up when it is launched at the end of 2012.

The new model will be sold in almost 100 different countries – mostly in Chevrolet guise – as GM takes an increasingly global approach to its passenger vehicle range.

Expect more details on the 2012 Holden Malibu to be revealed over the coming months in the lead-up its late-2012 Australian launch.

Note: Story updated to remove confusion between Chevrolet Malibu and Holden Malibu. Holden is yet to confirm if the 2.5-litre engine will be sold in Australia.




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