Chevrolet is so excited about how much weight it cut from its 2016 Chevy Malibu that it’s telling the world just how it accomplished such a feat. The ninth-generation model sheds 300 pounds and its curb weight will be 3,100 pounds, making it the lightest in its midsize sedan class. But even though it loses some weight, the Malibu also grows 4-inch longer and gets a leaner body that will add to fuel economy and performance.
So how did Chevy do all this. Well an infographic tells the story below. But the Malibu’s engineering chief describes it this way.
“Imagine you’ve got a 300-pound lineman riding on the roof of your car and he decides to jump off – you’re going to notice a change in performance immediately. That’s what we’ve done with the 2016 Malibu, with the mass savings spread throughout the vehicle, providing greater overall balance, a more responsive and agile driving experience and lower fuel consumption,” says Jesse Ortega, chief engineer. “The Malibu team was challenged to look for weight savings in every area of the vehicle, no matter how small, because every gram adds up. The aim was to make Malibu the most mass-efficient car in its class.”
Chevy summarizes the weight loss as coming from five different design elements, and no, a lineman is not involved. Rather the new Malibu benefits from a leaner and stronger body, a greater use of aluminum, a more streamlined instrument panel, lighter interior materials, and a new and lighter engine.
The lighter body also features new lines and uses more high-strength steel and aluminum to reduce pounds. Chevy says safety actually improves because the new material is stronger and contributes to better crash test results.
Inside, technology and construction gets lighter. The new leather seats are also 40 pounds lighter and even the new carpet and trunk liner lose pounds. Even the power controls for the windows are not forgotten and will be 4.2 pounds lighter.
All this weight loss means better fuel economy and Chevy predicts an estimated 37 highway mpg with the base all-new Ecotec 1.5L Turbo engine. This is an improvement of 1 mpg from the current model. The new base engine is also 86 pounds lighter. A hybrid version should push those numbers to an estimated 48 mpg city and 45 mpg highway miles.
For driver more interested in performance, there will be a 2.0L turbocharged engine with 250-horses that is projected at 32 highway mpg.
The 2016 Malibu will be arriving this fall.
Photo Credit: Chevrolet