The 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Turbo will arrive in dealerships this fall, starting at $27,710 for the base LT and $30,925 for the premium LTZ. Which model should you choose? Who cares, because both get the all-new direct-injected, twin-scroll turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder with 259 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft of torque on tap. Right on.
GM has a lot riding on the brand new Malibu, which offers several engines and levels of luxury to appeal to a wide range of buyers. But the Malibu Turbo is especially important, to establish the brand as a competitor in the enthusiast market.
The Malibu comes with a host of chassis highlights like MacPherson front suspension, a front stabilizer bar and isolated lower A-arms, but the engine is the star of the show. Fed by an air-to-air intercooler, the turbo is tuned to 20 psi of boost which flows through the aluminum cylinder heads and out the specially tuned exhaust pipes. Like the BMW 335i we profiled a few months ago (read here), the twin-scroll design nearly eliminates turbo lag and creates a broad power band, with maximum torque between 1,700-5,500rpm. The engine also features Variable Valve Timing, keeping fuel economy at an impressive 21/30 mpg. All that goodness is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with TAPShift – also found in the Camaro ZL1.
The LT trim comes standard with 18-inch aluminum wheels, a seven-inch color touchscreen, remote start, eight-way power seat and blue ambient lighting. The LTZ adds striking LED tail lamps, leather and heated seats and 19-inch wheels.