Data collected over decades from across the globe is helping GM ensure the 2016 Chevrolet Malibu can handle the world’s worst roads. Since 1972 data collection boxes placed in vehicles have accurately recorded the harshness and frequency of every jounce, bump and shudder inflicted on the car on roads in the US, Russia, Saudi Arabia and developing markets.
“Although most Malibu owners will never put their car through similar abuse, we test all new vehicles in extreme climates, inclement weather and on punishing road surfaces,” said Dan Devine, Malibu validation engineer.
Tests like these ensured the current generation Malibu was dependable and durable. GM engineers analyze the data to calculate the precise amount of damage potholes and other hazards encountered over 150,000 miles. Then the conditions are replicated at GM’s Milford Proving Ground in Michigan (click here for details of new brake test facilities) on three unique road courses, each riddled with simulated potholes of increasing severity. Engineers run preproduction cars through the course up to hundreds of times.
Additional validation and development tests include logging more than 1.5 million miles of driving in controlled environments and on open roads. The 2016 Malibu also endured some harsh weather through drives in scorching Yuma, Arizona, which averages 107°F temperatures in July and sub-zero cold of Northern Canada, which averages a low of -13°F in January. At the GM Technical Center in Warren, the Malibu was put in the climatic wind tunnel for several hours where temperatures can be raised to 140°F or lowered to 40°F below zero.
Click here for a video of the Malibu under test.
March 12, 2015