Wednesday, December 23, 2009

You knew it was coming, meaning the way fuel prices have spiked the past few years, it was only a matter of time before GM gave its attention to smaller displacement engines. According to the General’s latest announcement, it plans to double its global production of small four-cylinder engines (1.0L to 1.4L) by 2011, with more than half of the increase coming in North America. In particular, GM said that one-third of its North American engine volume will be 4-cylinders by 2011, and (fortunately) 21% of the 4-cylinder volume will be turbocharged representing a seven-fold increase over today’s volume of turbo engines.

“Power-dense four-cylinders such as the 1.4L Turbo are an integral part of GM’s portfolio of advanced propulsion technologies, including cam phasing, direct injection, Active Fuel Management, clean diesels, hybrids, flex-fuel vehicles, six-speed transmissions and electric propulsion,” said Tom Stephens, executive vice president, GM Global Powertrain and Global Quality.

The American automaker’s strategy is highlighted by an all-new, 1.4L Turbo engine that will power a range of models including the next generation Opel Astra and the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze sedan. Estimated power ratings for the 1.4L Turbo will be 140 HP with a torque rating of 148 lb.-ft. (200 Nm).

“Because of the turbocharger’s on-demand power and responsiveness, it’s like having two engines in the same vehicle – one for power and one for fuel economy,” said Stephens. “It’s truly the best of both worlds.”

GM’s next generation of small four-cylinder gasoline engines will include displacements of 1.0L, 1.2L and 1.4L with the latter developing an estimated 100HP output.

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