(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.