WEEKEND DRIVE
Local customs
By David Light
Friday, May 11, 2012

The new Chevy Malibu makes itself at home in Dubai

Chevrolet recently hosted a three-day ride event featuring its new global midsize sedan, the Chevrolet Malibu, which went on sale across the Middle East this month.

Starting from Festival City, the three-hour drive wound through the Hajar Mountains before heading to the Dubai International Marine Club.

GM engineers reportedly tested, tuned and calibrated the new Malibu on rural roads, highways and freeways, and at GM’s validation facilities worldwide, including the UAE. This was to ensure that the car met customers’ expectations in this region.

The eighth generation Malibu was first revealed during the 2011 Dubai International Motor Show in November. The exterior carries DNA from its sister vehicles, the Camaro and Corvette, to bring a sporty sensibility to the family sedan segment.

A wide stance, broad shoulders enabled by best-in-class width and an integrated rear spoiler gives the new Malibu an athletic posture. Other exterior design cues include Chevrolet’s dual-port grille, projector HID headlamps, larger Chevrolet bow-tie badges and new Camaro-inspired dual-element taillamps. The look is complemented by a range of large 16, 17 and 18-inch wheels.

Inside it offers nearly 113 litres of additional interior volume, along with more shoulder and hip room than previous models and a more usable boot. It offers the quietest ride in its segment through the use of components that prevent tyre, wind and road noise from entering the cabin. Components such as noise-reducing outside rearview mirrors, acoustic laminated front glass and noise-absorption pads enhance the cabin’s quiet environment.

The Malibu features a lineup of fuel-efficient and powerful four and six cylinder engines that complements its European-inspired driving characteristics.

The Ecotec 2.4-litre dual overhead cam, four-cylinder engine with direct injection uses continuously variable valve timing to optimise performance, efficiency, and emissions. It produces 170hp allowing it to reach 0-100 kmh in 10.2 seconds.

The 2.4-litre is mated to a Hydra-Matic 6T40 six-speed automatic with features designed to enhance powertrain efficiency.

The three-litre engine uses spark ignition direct injection and continuously variable valve timing to optimise performance, efficiency and emissions. It produces 260hp and can do 0-100 kmh in 8.1 seconds.

The car’s solid body structure allows for precise tuning and dynamic vehicle control. Other systems contributing to its ride performance are a premium steering gear for smooth, precise responsiveness and on-centre feel, and a MacPherson strut front and four-link rear suspension.

Chassis control technologies include four-corner electronic stability control that incorporates full-function traction control, electronic brake force distribution, brake assist, and corner brake control.

When it comes to safety features, the Malibu is one of the best-equipped vehicles in the midsize segment. It comes with an array of standard active and passive safety features.

A total of six air bags — dual-stage driver and front passenger air bags, driver and front side-impact air bags and roof rail air bags — come standard.

Rear park assist and a rearview camera are also available.

So look out for this car now. It can be yours from Dh73,000.

david@khaleejtimes.com

 

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