GM is developing a new family of small modular Ecotec engines

Article by Christian A., on March 21, 2014

General Motors is developing a family of small engines that will be more fuel efficient, quieter and more refined than offered by its rivals. GM’s family of engines will include 11 power plants ranging from a 1.0-liter turbocharged three-cylinder to a 1.5-liter turbocharged inline-four, the carmaker disclosed.

Consumers as well regulators from around world are pressuring carmakers to increase fuel economy and lower emissions across the board without compromising power or performance. GM’s three-cylinder engine is notable since Ford Motor Co. has been selling a reputable three-cylinder engine in the Fiesta since fall.

The 2015 Focus compact will be offered with a three-cylinder engine. GM said the new engines will have aluminum blocks and heads and can all be built on the same production line. The carmaker has started production of the first new Ecotec engine, a 1.0-liter turbo three-cylinder that will have its debuts in the Opel Adam.

The redesigned 2015 Chevrolet Cruze that GM plans to showcase in China this year will be powered by either a new 1.4-liter turbo or a 1.5-liter non-turbo engine. The new family of small engines would likely debut on Chevrolet’s small cars, which usually have inferior fuel economy numbers against their key rivals.

For instance, the Chevrolet Sonic has EPA highway fuel economy rating of 40 mpg, while the Ford Fiesta – powered by an optional 1.0-liter, three-cylinder engine -- has an EPA highway rating of 45 mpg. The new Mitsubishi Mirage powered by a 1.2-liter three-cylinder has an EPA highway rating of 44 mpg.

“Transportation solutions vary around the world and GM is committed to developing engines matched to the needs of the regions where they’re sold,” said Steve Kiefer, GM vice president, Global Powertrain Engineering. “The new engine family is designed to achieve segment-leading refinement and efficiency, and will make its way into five GM brands and 27 models by the 2017 model year.” [source: GM]

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