Chevy's Malibu Maxx flies quietly under the radar of the general public. It is a low-key pseudo-wagon with lots of utility, but not a lot of excitement. It is available in SS trim which raises the bar slightly, but it is hardly the favorite of tuners or street racers, despite having a fairly generous 240hp available.
One very underrated feature of the Malibu Maxx is the equipment used to generate that power. Based on Chevy's 3.5 liter V6, the 3.9 in the Maxx doesn't appear to be anything special with its iron block and pushrod design. However, closer inspection reveals variable valve timing for both intake and exhaust.
This marks the first instance of variable valve timing in a pushrod engine, and is a very exciting development considering cars like the Corvette have yet to take advantage of this technology. It will certainly open up options for powertrain engineers looking to boost the power and efficiency of their pushrod engines.