GM Cancels Malibu 'Mild' Hybrid

Hybrid version got only one mpg better fuel economy than 4-cylinder, 6-speed transmission model costing $900 less.

Published: 12-Jun-2009

DETROIT -- General Motors Corp. will stop making Chevrolet Malibus and Saturn Auras with an early generation gas-electric hybrid engine system, but engineers are working on a more efficient version of the system, a company spokesman said Thursday.

"Mild" hybrid versions of the midsize cars aren't selling well because they cost about $4,000 more than base models but only get four more miles per gallon of gasoline.

And models equipped with a four-cylinder engine and six-speed automatic transmission, which cost about $900 less than the hybrid, get only one mile less per gallon on the highway and four miles less in the city.


Company claims car will get up to 157 mpg and has top speed of 87mph.

The experimental IC engine in the hybrid drive system combines elements of both gasoline and diesel units, with differing injection and variable compression depending on drive conditions.

The VW Twin Drive, which has an all-electric range of 30 miles, is set to hit market in 2010, the same year as GM's Volt.


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