DETROIT -- Chevrolet will offer a full-hybrid version of the redesigned Malibu that debuts this week at the New York auto show.
The Malibu Hybrid will roll out in spring 2016. Nonhybrid Malibu models are scheduled to arrive in showrooms in the fourth quarter.
GM said the hybrid will exceed 45 mpg in combined highway and city driving. It will use a new, 1.8-liter, four-cylinder engine connected to a two-motor drive unit that is a close kin to the Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid.
GM launched the current Malibu with a new electrified powertrain: eAssist, a mild hybrid system that returned a combined rating of 29 mpg. But sales were disappointing, and the model was phased out for the 2014 model year in favor of a re-engineered version that uses a stop-start system but no extra lithium ion battery.
The '16 Malibu's hybrid system will be fueled by an 80-cell, 1.5 kilowatt-hour battery pack that can power the car on its own up to 55 mph. The 1.8-liter engine will kick on automatically at higher speeds and under more demanding driving conditions, for a total of 182 hp.
Fuel efficiency also is improved by Chevy's first use of Exhaust Gas Heat Recovery, which uses exhaust heat to warm the engine and cabin, improving fuel economy in cold weather.