DETROIT – The 2013 Chevrolet Malibu features an all-new interior that’s roomier, quieter, comfortable and connected, with luxury touches that push beyond expectations for the segment.
The new Malibu offers nearly four cubic feet (113 L) of additional interior volume, along with more shoulder and hip room than previous models and more usable trunk space than Toyota Camry or Honda Accord. It is the quietest Chevrolet ever and offers among the best seating comfort in the segment.
Compared to the current Malibu, the all-new 2013 Malibu is nearly three inches (76 mm) wider and has:
And with Chevrolet MyLink, the new Malibu packs the connectivity of a smartphone, with online services like Pandora ® internet radio and Stitcher SmartRadio ®, as well as the safety of hands-free operation of mobile phone apps. MyLink is simple, safe and connected. (Please see the separate release for complete MyLink details.)
At a glance: The new Malibu’s interior gives customers a touch of luxury, with premium features, high quality materials and easy-to-use technology. It incorporates a more subtle take on Chevrolet’s signature dual cockpit design and features a flowing, uninterrupted theme that reinforces its greater spaciousness. The “center stack” is integrated with the instrument panel, for example, which runs into the front door panels. A richer complement of details throughout the cabin – including high-tech lighting elements – and high-quality materials support the Malibu’s more sophisticated presence.
In the Malibu Eco, a power flow display in the driver information center – or the center console screen when equipped with the navigation system – indicates which of the following modes the vehicle is operating in:
Driver-selectable modes are offered to enable maximum comfort or efficiency of the air conditioning system and include:
“There is a high level of functional fashion throughout the Malibu’s interior,” said Crystal Windham, director, Passenger Car Interior Design. “We didn’t look at one thing, we looked at everything to make the new Malibu a car that would stand out around the world.”
SEAT COMFORT AND DURABILITY
The challenge: Develop a seat for Malibu that meets the comfort and durability expectations of customers around the world.
How they did it: Engineers balanced objective laboratory work, including use of high-tech tools such as the seat pressure mapping system and Oscar, a mannequin-like tool that simulates a person on the seats, with real-world seat ride evaluations. Seat testers have spent hundreds of hours and logged thousands of miles in prototype vehicles to evaluate the seats’ comfort.
In the end, the 2013 Malibu’s seats feature comfortable support with sport-sculpted shapes with more pronounced bolsters. They’re also made with materials designed to endure long drives over many years without degradation in support and comfort.
Additional seat features include:
To help ensure durability, the seats are built on a frame made of high-strength steel and featuring a “tube-end forming” assembly process, in which the frame tubes are flattened where they are joined. This produces a stronger structure, as well as a lighter one. The Malibu’s seat frames are about 10-percent lighter than conventional seat structures.
“ Seat comfort is more than simply the softness of the seat cushion – we conduct several tests to allow us to understand how and how far a customer will compress into the seat to ensure that the seat foam and other materials can support the pressure,” said Daniel Cohen, Malibu seat performance engineer. “We’re confident drivers and passengers will find a long drive in the new Malibu a comfortable, refreshing experience.”
Touch points: Beyond its roster of appointments and details, the ergonomics of the new Malibu are also improved. The touch, appearance, lighting, color, grip, reach and hand clearance zones have been optimized through three-dimensional human computer modeling, as well as far-sighted driver and task-based human testing. The results are larger, more intuitively located knobs and controls, more prominent control symbols/fonts and more consistent illumination throughout the interior with light pipe technology.
A sound plan: The new Malibu is the quietest Chevrolet ever and is expected to be one of the quietest cars in the midsize segment. To achieve that, interior engineers used road testing, sound evaluation tools and vehicle components to reduce, block and absorb noise from entering the cabin. Chevrolet engineers evaluate overall interior sound by driving on specific road surfaces and at different speeds. A digital recording device called Aachen HEAD was used to record sound real-time, while an acoustic evaluation room called the Jury Room was used to evaluate the aural performance. The room allows engineers to listen and rate individual sounds recorded by the Aachen HEAD. It is equipped with acoustic damping panels to ensure uniform sound levels in all corners of the room, and the engineers wore specially calibrated headphones.
During repeated sessions throughout the car’s development, engineers listened to digital sound recordings taken during test drives at various speeds, identifying noise and making recommendations on how to eliminate it. The process accelerated the development, because the recording analysis in the Jury Room reduced the time it normally takes to test, evaluate and test corrections from several days or weeks to only a few hours.
No noise or potential noise source was left unchecked during the Malibu’s development, with the exterior playing a large role in the quietness of the cabin. Aerodynamic tuning helped reduce noise, while a number of acoustic treatments were applied throughout the body structure and interior.
“It all comes down to three things – shape, sealing and acoustics,” said Kara Gordon, lead acoustic noise engineer for Malibu. “Throughout the development of the new Malibu, we focused on what it’s like to be in the car audibly and we’re very particular when it comes to the ear. We think we can always be better, and in this case, we believe we’ve served the customer well.”
Chevrolet MyLink details:
Chevrolet’s MyLink system is standard on Eco, LT and LTZ models and builds on the safety and security of OnStar. It seamlessly integrates online services like Pandora® internet radio and Stitcher SmartRadio®. MyLink integrates wireless connectivity through Bluetooth to enable hands-free use of selected smart phone apps while the device remains safely stowed. No other automaker offers both the connectivity of MyLink and the embedded safety and security features of OnStar.
Importantly, MyLink retains all of the capabilities of conventional entertainment units, including AM/FM/XM tuners, CD player with MP3 playback, auxiliary and USB inputs and enhances them.
“Chevrolet MyLink is the next logical step for in-vehicle connectivity,” said Kathy McMahon, Infotainment Program Manager for MyLink. “It delivers greater control to a new generation of car buyers who don’t want to settle for mass market radio in their car.”
Founded in Detroit in 1911, Chevrolet celebrates its centennial as a global automotive brand with annual sales of about 4.25 million vehicles in more than 120 countries. Chevrolet provides consumers with fuel-efficient, safe and reliable vehicles that deliver high quality, expressive design, spirited performance and value. The Chevrolet portfolio includes iconic performance cars such as Corvette and Camaro; dependable, long-lasting pickups and SUVs such as Silverado and Suburban; and award-winning passenger cars and crossovers such as Sonic, Cruze, Malibu, Equinox and Traverse. Chevrolet also offers "gas-friendly solutions including Cruze Eco and Volt. Cruze Eco offers 42 mpg highway while Volt offers 35 miles of electric, gasoline-free driving and an additional 344 miles of extended gasoline range, according to EPA estimates. Most new Chevrolet models offer OnStar safety, security and convenience technologies including OnStar Hands-Free Calling, Automatic Crash Response and Stolen Vehicle Slowdown. More information regarding Chevrolet models, fuel solutions, and OnStar availability can be found at www.chevrolet.com .
Malibu Eco Story