General Motors Reveals New Modular Engine Line-up

Opel Adam Rocks

General Motors has unveiled their new generation of Ecotec small displacement engines which will be based around a series of common components in a bid to establish a global engine network.

New Ecotec architecture

Built on a modular architecture that broadens its adaptability to global markets, the engines promise to deliver "leading-edge efficiency, refinement and durability." They will also be highly adaptable and less complex to produce.

The new engines were developed for GM's global vehicle portfolio and will power many of the company's highest-volume small cars and compact crossovers – including the next-generation Chevrolet Cruze, which launches in 2014 as a 2015 model.

The line-up is said to include 11 engines with three- and four-cylinder variants ranging from 1.0-litre to 1.5-litre – including turbocharged versions. GM confirmed that power ratings will range from 56 kW to 123 kW, and torque ranging from 95 Nm to 250 Nm. The architecture has also been designed to support hybrid propulsion systems and alternative fuel applications.

The company further said that the turbocharged 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine recently introduced in the Opel Adam develops as much power as the naturally aspirated 1.6-litre engine it replaces, but with a 20% improvement in efficiency. While the new 1.4-litre turbo is up to 5% more efficient than the 1.4-litre turbo engine it will replace.

The turbocharged 1.4-litre four-cylinder will produce approximately 110 kW and 235 Nm of torque, while the naturally-aspirated 1.5-litre four-cylinder which will be offered in the next-generation Chevrolet Cruze is expected to develop 84 kW and 146 Nm of torque.

This Ecotec family is one of three new ranges planned or already confirmed by GM, and are the product of a clean-sheet design process. They feature common bore spacing, bore diameter and liners across both three- and four-cylinder blocks designed to reduce complexity and increase flexibility for new applications.

The engines will be built at five different plants - China, Hungary, Mexico, South Korea and the United States - and General Motors expects to produce more than 2.5 million annually by 2017. They will eventually be used in 27 different models by the 2017 model year.

"The new Ecotec architecture represents the most advanced and efficient family of small-car gas engines in GM's history," said Tom Sutter, global chief engineer.

"Along with performance and efficiency targets, we've also aimed for segment-leading refinement with low noise and vibration – and we've hit the bulls-eye."