Chevrolet will introduce a new hybrid system on the 2016 Malibu when it goes on sale next year.
The automaker promises that the sedan will have a combined fuel economy rating higher than 45 mpg combined, which would put it near the class-leading Honda Accord Hybrid, which is rated at 47 mpg.
It features a 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine, dual electric motors borrowed from the next-generation Chevy Volt, and a 1.5 kilowatt-hour battery pack, all good for 182 hp. It also uses an exhaust gas recirculation system to help warm up the engine and passenger cabin.
Chevy says the Malibu Hybrid will be able to reach 55 mph in all-electric mode for short distances, but it is a traditional hybrid without the type of plug-in feature that would allow for longer zero-emissions trips.
Up until 2014, the current Malibu was available with a mild hybrid system called eAssist, but it had a much smaller battery and was only good for 29 mpg. GM last offered a so-called “strong” hybrid system in its full-size SUVs in 2013.
The 2016 Malibu will be larger and lighter than the model it replaces, and is scheduled to make its public debut at the New York International Auto Show on April 1st.