Chevy talks fuel economy gains from aerodynamics for 2013 Malibu

A car maker can go many ways when it comes to improving the fuel efficiency of their vehicles. They can use smaller engines that need less fuel, incorporate hybrid drive trains, and look at the drag placed on the vehicle by the air that flows around it among other things. Chevy is big on aerodynamics as a way to improve fuel economy and its engineers have spent a lot of time testing the new 2013 Malibu to improve its aerodynamics as much as possible.

A pair of engineers at Chevy has found more than 60 counts of wind drag that have been removed to fine-tune the exterior of the new Malibu for the best aerodynamics possible. Together the aerodynamic tweaks improve the fuel economy of the vehicle by 2.5 mpg on the highway. That is a significant gain simply by removing drag.

The pair of engineers spent 400 hours testing and fine-tuning the Malibu in the wind tunnel and the result was the lowest wind drag for a mid-size Chevy in the last 100 years. Chevy says that overcoming the wind resistance can account for a third of the fuel used at highway speeds. Specific areas addressed in the tweaking were the front corners, outside mirrors, and tweaks to the lower grill.