GM gears up new 1.0-1.5-L Ecotec engine family

Image: New small GM engine.jpg

Entering production by mid-decade, GM's new three- and four-cylinder series (a preliminary CAD illustration is shown) will replace three incumbent engine families, according to executive engineer Jim Federico.


General Motors recently announced a new series of small-displacement global engines featuring modular design and assembly as well as significant use of interchangeable components.

"These engines, ranging from 1.0 L to 1.5 L, will provide improved fuel economy, higher quality, reduced emissions, and enhanced performance for our customers," said Jim Federico, General Motors' Executive Director-Group Vehicle Line Executive/Vehicle Chief Engineer for Global Compact, Small, Mini, and Electric Vehicles, during the Chevrolet Centennial International Media Program at GM's world headquarters in Detroit.

Production of the three- and four-cylinder Ecotec engines begins mid-decade. The engines will power Chevrolet and other GM brand vehicles.

According to Dean Guard, Executive Director for Engine Program Execution, the modular design will enable GM to reduce "a lot of complexity," with the new Ecotec family replacing three incumbent engine families. "Look for availability of technologies that enable highly efficient performance in a small package, like turbocharging, direct injection, and alternative fuel capability," Guard noted.

Federico said that GM expects annual production to be close to 2 million units by the end of the decade.

The new engine family is the result of an engineering partnership involving GM and the Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp (SAIC), Shanghai General Motors, and the Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center (PATAC).

The smallest displacement engine that GM currently assembles is a SOHC 800-cm3 three-cylinder that produces approximately 50 hp (37 kW) and 85.4 lb·ft (63 N·m). That iron block/aluminum cylinder head engine has gasoline and liquified petroleum gas (LPG) versions. Its primary applications are the Chevrolet Matiz in Europe and the Chevrolet Spark in Asia.

Engine specifications, manufacturing locations, and other details about the new global family of small-displacement Ecotec engines will be released closer to the start of production.

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