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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

Don’t know much about the process....but...

Is it possible to swap my RS engine with a 2020 premier engine? Will it fit?

It’s going from a 1.5L 160HP to a 2.0L 250HP 9 speed. Is this possible? Will it fit?

thanks!!!
 

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2011 Malibu LTZ 3.6L V6 Red Jewel Tintcoat
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Short answer: No.

To have the larger engine, you would be time and money ahead to just buy a car with the engine you want.

The RS package is pretty, the Premier has the engine.
 

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2016 Malibu 1LT 1.5T/6-speed 6T40
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That's a hard no. It's not just the engine it's the transmission which would lead to probably ECM and definitely the harness and a ton of programming. Just a mess, much easier to take the depreciation loss and trade/buy a 2020 Premier. Or take the smaller loss and trade for a used 2019/2018 Premier. Or perhaps better yet since they can be had for similar cost a used 2018 Impala with the 3.6 if you want more power and less fuel economy.
 
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2017 SS Sedan 6.2L
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Just trade your car in for a new or used Malibu Premier like you want. Even if you could accomplish the engine swap, you'd be spending money out the wazoo and it would trash the resale value along with voiding any warranty coverage to boot. You can trade into a used 2.0T Malibu with a fully intact warranty for only a few grand.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you everyone. The trade in, is looking like the best option. I really like the RS features....but I’m essentially driving a base model.

I’ve got less than 5k km’s driven on it still.

How upgradable is the 1.5 engine? How can I add some more bhp. I assume air filters and tiny things like that? That’s not getting me anywhere past an additional 5-10 bhp I’d think.....maybe I do the trade in and just but the RS spoiler, rims and front grille from an OEM dealer?
Thank you everyone for your responses so far!!! Anyone want an overpriced 19’ RS? Yours for $40,000!!!! 😭
 

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2016 Malibu 1LT 1.5T/6-speed 6T40
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The biggest punch you can get is a tune but 1.5T tunes got hard from 2018+ when they changed the ECM. Trifecta has tunes for the 2016-2017 that get you better shifting logic and roughly 200hp but never did the 2018+. I don't think there is much you can get from part adds and swaps without a tune.

I can't speak for them as I have no experience, but another member recently suggested Vivid Racing/VRTuned may have new tunes for the 2018+ 1.5 finally. You might check them out and inquire if that is real or not. I notice on their order page it asks what transmission and there is only one CVT so that doesn't inspire confidence but could just be generic forms. You can also contact Trifecta and see if they have made any progress on the 2019 RS 1.5T.
 
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The biggest punch you can get is a tune but 1.5T tunes got hard from 2018+ when they changed the ECM. Trifecta has tunes for the 2016-2017 that get you better shifting logic and roughly 200hp but never did the 2018+. I don't think there is much you can get from part adds and swaps without a tune.

I can't speak for them as I have no experience, but another member recently suggested Vivid Racing/VRTuned may have new tunes for the 2018+ 1.5 finally. You might check them out and inquire if that is real or not. I notice on their order page it asks what transmission and there is only one CVT so that doesn't inspire confidence but could just be generic forms. You can also contact Trifecta and see if they have made any progress on the 2019 RS 1.5T.
Just a quick update... Michael, from Trifecta replied to me a few weeks ago that Trifecta has developed the solution to the ECM issue.
 

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2016 Malibu 1LT 1.5T/6-speed 6T40
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Just a quick update... Michael, from Trifecta replied to me a few weeks ago that Trifecta has developed the solution to the ECM issue.
Yup, you remove the ECM and mail it in. For those that might be looking, you need to contact Trifecta directly about the 2018+ 1.5 tunes. They don't list this capability publicly on their website, only 2016-2017.
 
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