New Chevy Malibu Shows Just How Far Econobox Cars Have Come

By | March 9, 2012

2013 Chevy Malibu with Ecotec

In 1980 the top-of-the-line supercar that you’d would undoubtedly find hanging in poster form on any teenage boy’s wall was the Lamborghini Countach LP400S. Any why not? The Countach represented all that was sacred in the supercar realm. It was impractical, expensive, rare, larger than Abby Lee Miller (if that’s even possible), and fast. The LP400S could do 0-60 mph in 5.9 seconds, which at the time was quick enough for any coke dealer to outrun the fuzz with no problems. But that was “at the time.” Fast forward 30 years and things have changed…a lot.

Today, Chevy announced that the new Ecotec turbo’d inline four in their upcoming Malibu will be good for 259 ponies and a 0-60 time of just 6.3 seconds. That’s a mere .4 of a second off the mark of Lamborghini’s V12 hypercar from the 80s coming from an engine with 66% fewer cylinders!

Now, some of you are likely thinking “Chad, 30 years is a long time and we should expect this type of evolution in our everyday vehicles.” And to that I say “but should we really…?” In 1980 did we honestly expect that in 30 years our daily driver econoboxes would be performing like a Lamborghini Countach? In 30 more years do you expect the 39th generation of a Toyota Camry will match the 2.7 second 0-60 time a new Nissan GT-R can throw down?

I certainly don’t. But then again, if I was a coke-ridden petrolhead in 1980 would I have thought we would have seen the day where my mom’s Malibu could keep up with the very best Lamborghini of the times? The answer is a resounding no.

Expect to see Chevy’s new Ecotec motor in the 2013 Chevy Malibu.


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