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AutoBlog: GM working on dedicated hybrid sedan?

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Filed under: Hybrids/Alternative, Sedans/Saloons, Green, Chevrolet, GM

malibu_hybrid.jpg
2008 Chevy Malibu Hybrid - Click above for high-res image gallery

General Motors' current crop of midsize hybrid sedans are rarely mentioned in the same breath as hybrid versions of the Ford Fusion, Toyota Camry and Nissan Altima - let alone the standard-bearing Toyota Prius and its main competitor from Japan, the Honda Insight. According to The General, much of the blame for the slow sales of the Chevy Malibu and Saturn Aura hybrids is due to the small mileage improvement of the mild hybrid powertrain compared to a standard four-cylinder and six-speed automatic transmission. No kidding, right?

Fortunately, GM apparently has a plan to address its midsize hybrid shortcomings. Speaking to GM-Volt.com, Chevrolet head Ed Peper said:

What we are trying to work towards is 'Yes,' we will have other hybrid vehicles (besides the Volt) but we are trying to work towards a dedicated hybrid... We think that's probably a better way for us to go longer term.

And now for the fun part: Speculation. If GM were to develop a new dedicated midsize hybrid model, it seems likely that it would use its sophisticated 2-Mode Hybrid system in lieu of the mild belt-alternator-starter system currently employed in the Malibu and Aura hybrids. The first production instance of the 2-Mode system in a front-drive application is expected in either the Cadillac SRX or the Chevy Equinox, possibly in 2011. A dedicated hybrid sedan could soon follow using the same drivetrain.



Photos Copyright ©2008 Sam Abuelsamid / Weblogs, Inc.
[source: GM-Volt.com]

GM working on dedicated hybrid sedan? originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 13 Jul 2009 13:32:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Unless the new car can compete and beat the Fussion they should not bother. I never understood the last cars. They were cheap but just did not give you much reason in MPG to pay for it.

The Malibu 3.6 I drove yesterday on a trip got 31.6 MPG at 70 MPG with cruise on.

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I figured it'd be better if they used Ford's system; that way, GM and Ford could split some costs, and make it less expensive for the average consumer.

Plus, do they really need to do this? Wouldn't it be better, and less costly to continue to stretch out the ol' ICE with tech like DI, turbo's and HCCI or lighter materials?

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Unless the new car can compete and beat the Fussion they should not bother. I never understood the last cars. They were cheap but just did not give you much reason in MPG to pay for it.

The Malibu 3.6 I drove yesterday on a trip got 31.6 MPG at 70 MPG with cruise on.

That's good! We "only" see 29.5-30.0 mpg at 70mph with cruise on in our Aura XR 3.6

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Unless the new car can compete and beat the Fussion they should not bother. I never understood the last cars. They were cheap but just did not give you much reason in MPG to pay for it.

The Malibu 3.6 I drove yesterday on a trip got 31.6 MPG at 70 MPG with cruise on.

So why is this car rated 26 highway? I have one and get 30MPG often. Government conspiracy?

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So why is this car rated 26 highway? I have one and get 30MPG often. Government conspiracy?

Flawed methodology in the test. It is well known that the test isn't perfect, but it's close.

Edited by Croc
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what, don't they need a 1.5L DI/hcci turbo ethanol engine with a 20speed? that'd kill the fusion... :D

they need something, most likely, but anything half assed will not cut it.

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Flawed methodology in the test. It is well known that the test isn't perfect, but it's close.

I wouldn't say "flawed". The test involves some start up and slow down and speed variation. If you look only at your at-speed fuel consumption or drive a very long distance you will do better.

Edited by GXT
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I wouldn't say "flawed". The test involves some start up and slow down and speed variation. If you look only at your at-speed fuel consumption or drive a very long distance you will do better.

Yes EPA numbers are worst case most offten. I find most cars will make over the mileage listed.

My HHR is listed 19 and 27 and I find even in city driving it returns 21 MPG the highway I see 30-31 vs the claimed 27. It did better than the EPA numbers and with the turbo tune kit from GM the LNF Tubo Gains not only 55 HP but about 1-2 MPG.

The GM engineer I spoke with said the new tune MPG increase was an accident but they were happy to see it.

Note the same Malibu drive short distance with a lot of stop and go will see 19 MPG. My Mother drives this car daily to the near by nursing home to visit my Dad. It is 3 miles away and she never runs more than 35 MPH for more than about 2 min. Add in 3 stop signs and the mile drops. She averages 23 MPH doing this.

Around town no highway under normal driving I could see this car holding a steady 23-24 which is more than the EPA number is.

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