Following in the footsteps of Honda with its Civic compact, Chevrolet will take emergency measures to improve its Malibu midsize just 1 year after a complete redesign.
Chevrolet’s family sedan has not sold in the volume GM would like to see, with shoppers chiefly complaining about its play-it-safe styling and lack of rear legroom. Chevrolet moved 210,951 units in 2012, nothing to scoff at, but just half the volume of the segment’s top seller in the Toyota Camry.
The Malibu is not a poor car by any means. It’s reasonably efficient, especially with its available Eco hybrid trim level, it rides well, has plenty of pep and offers family-friendly features. However, the fact of the matter is that the midsize segment has grown so competitive with the introduction of fine new Honda Accord, Nissan Altima, Mazda6 and Ford Fusion models that the Chevy has become something of an afterthought.
Expected new features include improved front-end styling to bring the Malibu more in line with Chevy’s all-new 2014 Impala full-size sedan, along with updated MyLink infotainment features. Chevrolet is said to be redesigning the rear seating for more usable space, but don’t expect the mammoth rear seat proportions of say, the Accord. We also expect an increase in fuel efficiency.
The updated 2014 Chevy Malibu will hit dealerships in Q3 2013, with pricing expected to stay the same as the current 2013 model, which starts at $21,995 plus destination.
The 2014 Cadillac ELR takes the range-extending electric car formula from GM’s successful Chevrolet Volt and applies it to a gorgeous new luxury coupe design, creating in the process the sexiest EV yet.
With a design closely based on the Cadillac Converj Concept we’ve been seeing on the auto show circuit for years, you would be forgiven for thinking at a glance that Cadillac’s newest was the promised coupe version of the 2013 ATS sport sedan. The compact 2+2 coupe is in actuality in essence a much better looking version of the Volt, using the same Voltronic powertrain.
Powertrain: 35-mile EV Range, Sporty Response
That means a powerful 295 lb-ft. torque electric motor and 16.5 kW-h lithium ion battery pack, good for around 35 miles of combined city/highway driving without dipping into the gas tank. Recharging will take around 4.5 hours using a 240-volt home high-speed charger.
Once that range is exhausted, the ELR uses a 1.4-liter gasoline engine predominately as a generator, with total system output measuring 207 horsepower. Combined range is around 300 miles, and we expect the ELR to achieve at least 100 MPGe on EPA cycles, making it the most efficient luxury car on the market.
One trick new feature is a new Regen on Demand mode, which allows the driver to convert inertia into power to charge the batteries via a paddle on the steering wheel. Coasting toward a red light? Use that energy to charge the ELR’s batteries for even longer EV-only cruising.
The ELR’s interior design is cohesive and opulent, with leather seating surfaces and Cadillac’s new CUE with Navigation voice and touchscreen-based infotainment system coming as standard equipment, along with a Bose 10-channel premium audio system.
2014 Cadillac ELR Pricing and Availability
As for pricing, we expect the ELR will start at around $50,000-$55,000 when it goes on sale nationwide in very early 2014. The car will be eligible for the full $7,500 Federal electric car tax credit as well as State incentives, and will qualify for solo access to California HOV lanes.
Though General Motors won’t be running any TV ads during Super Bowl XLVII on Feb. 3, 2013, it appears the General won’t be left out of the party entirely. According to The Detroit Bureau, Chevy will proudly display its new-generation C7 Corvette on the 50-yard line during the halftime show. The one-off custom 2014 Corvette will then be presented as a gift to pop superstar Beyonce as part of the ceremonies, making the singer among the earliest owners of the highly anticipated sports car.
The 2014 Corvette, which is all set to be revealed on Jan. 13, 2013 at the Detroit Auto Show, will use an all-new GM LT1 small-block V8 making 450 horsepower and 450 lb-ft. of torque. Zero to 60 will reportedly come in under 4 seconds, making the C7 far and away the quickest “base” Corvette in history. The artist’s rendering above, based on spy shots and leaked sketches and coming by way of Car and Driver, gives us the best look yet at the new design.
General Motors’ cutting-edge assembly line process employs more than 25,000 robots worldwide for everything from stamping to painting and spot-welding. This year, GM went for a little fun by reprogramming some of those robots for a very different duty: wrapping Christmas gifts.
Watch as the robots, and a few GM employee elves, create a present-wrapping assembly line process turning out die-cast Camaro toy cars all ready to be put under the tree for budding young Chevy fans. Our favorite part is the spot-welded personalized nameplate on each gift. If only we could wrap presents this cleanly and efficiently!
With the new-generation 2013 RAM 1500 on sale now and the next F-150 set to debut in a year’s time, full-size pickup competition is heating up. Whether the comfort and eye-catching styling of the Silverado or the extra work-friendly standard features of the Sierra are more your bag, these truck twins have improved by leaps and bounds.
The cab design, as well as the frame’s main rails and cross-members, are made of high-strength steel using hydroforming technology for reduced mass and higher strength. The doors are mounted flush within the body sides, rather than extending onto the roof, for less wind noise and better aerodynamics. Speaking of doors, Crew Cab models get larger rear doors, while Extended Cab trucks get traditional front-hinged doors for the first time on a pickup.
A trio of new EcoTec3 engines bring advanced technology: direct fuel injection, continuously variable valve timing and cylinder deactivation. GM hasn’t released power output figures, but we do know there will be the base 4.3-liter V6, a 5.3-liter V8 and a 6.2-liter V8. The company makes note of the fact that all engines were developed from the start with pickups in mind, rather than re-engineered from passenger car engines a’la Chrysler Pentastar V6 and Ford EcoBoost V6.
Six-speed automatic transmissions will come standard across the board, featuring integrated hill-descent control and sending power to new beefier rear axles. An automatic locking rear differential will be available, and GM’s Z71 performance suspension package will be offered on both the Silverado and Sierra.
On the inside, a warm and inviting cabin brings GM’s next-gen infotainment interface (“MyLink” for the Chevy and “IntelliLink” for the GMC), plus industry firsts like heated cloth seats. We like the many useful storage cubbies, multiple USB ports and AC power outlets. As is the case with the new RAM, a dedicated on-board high-speed data connection for all your devices will be an option. Forward Collision Alert, Lane Departure Warning and a Driver Alert Seat will head a list of competitive active and passive safety features.
We don’t have pricing, performance specs or fuel efficiency data just yet; GM should release all that info at the Detroit Auto Show next month. Expect the Silverado and Sierra in showrooms next Spring.