A new generation of Ecotec small displacement powerplants streamlines global engine portfolio of General Motors with a modular architecture, which reduces manufacturing complexity and broadens its adaptability to international markets, at the same time providing customers leading edge refinement, durability and efficiency. The new powerplants were designed and engineered for the company’s international vehicle portfolio and will be power many of the automaker’s highest volume compact crossovers and small cars, including the next generation Chevrolet Cruze specifically designed for China, which launches in 2014 as a 2015 model. By 2017, more than 2.5 million new Ecotec engines are projected to be built yearly in at least 5 manufacturing plants around the globe: Shenyang, China; Flint, Michigan. (U.S.); Toluca, Mexico; Changwon, South Korea and Szentgotthárd, Hungary. The Flint facility alone represents an investment of more than $200 million in tooling and technology to support the engines’ production.
Mr. Steve Kiefer, Vice President at General Motors, Global Powertrain Engineering said that transportation solutions vary around the world and the company is committed to developing powerplants matched to the needs of the regions where they’re sold. The new Ecotec engine family is designed for achieving class-leading efficiency and refinement, and will make its way into 27 GM models and 5 GM brands by the 2017 model year. The Ecotec portfolio will include 11 engines, with 3 and 4¬-cylinder variants ranging from 1.0L to 1.5L including turbocharged versions and power ratings ranging from 75 HP (56 kW) to 165 HP (123 kW), and torque ranging from 70 pound feet (95 Nm) to 184 pound feet (250 Nm). The architecture is also designed to support alternative fuels and hybrid propulsion systems.
The first production applications include a turbocharged 1.0 liter 3-cylinder for Opel ADAM in Europe, and 1.5 liter naturally aspirated and 1.4 liter turbocharged 4-cylinder powerplants for the 2015 next-generation Chevrolet Cruze in China. The turbocharged variants enable the engines to deliver the torque and power of larger displacement engines with the efficiency of smaller engines. For instance, the turbocharged 1.0L 3-cylinder used in Opel ADAM makes as much power as the naturally aspirated 1.6L 4-cylinder it replaces with an estimated 20% enhancement in efficiency.
In fact, the new Ecotec family is on the leading edge of efficiency, with the new 1.4 liter turbo up to five percent more efficient than the 1.4L turbo engine it will replace. The new Ecotec engines also deliver segment challenging refinement. Noise intensity is up to 50% quieter as compared to Volkswagen’s EA211 1.4 liter 4-cylinder and up to 25% quieter than Ford’s 1.0L turbo 3-cylinder.
Clean Sheet Design
The new Ecotec engines symbolize clean sheet engineering and design process, leveraging the diverse experience of General Motors’ global resources. Technologies such as continuously variable valve timing, central direct fuel injection, variable intake manifold airflow and turbo charging help achieve efficiency goals with broad power bands, for an optimal balance of lower fuel consumption and strong performance.
Mr. Tom Sutter, Global Chief Engineer said the new Ecotec architecture represents the most efficient and advanced family of small-car gas engines in the company’s history. Along with efficiency and performance targets, we have also aimed for segment leading refinement with low vibration and noise and we have hit the bulls-eye. Modularity in parts – such as 3-cylinder and 4-cylinder blocks that share bore diameter, bore spacing, liners and other dimensions, reduces complexity while increasing the flexibility to quickly adapt the architecture for new applications.
The new Ecotec engines are calibrated to run on regular unleaded gas – even the high output turbo variants. The new 1.4L turbo for the 2015 next generation Chevrolet Cruze in China is estimated at 148 horsepower (110 kW) and 173 pound feet of torque (235 Nm). The 1.5L is rated at an estimated 113 horsepower (84 kW) and 108 lb-ft of torque (146 Nm).
In China, Cruze models with the 1.4L turbo engine will also feature an all-new dual-clutch gearbox.
About General Motors
General Motors (NYSE:GM, TSX: GMM) and its partners produce vehicles in 30 countries, and the company has leadership positions in the world’s fastest growing and largest automotive markets. GM, its subsidiaries and joint venture entities sell vehicles under the Cadillac, Chevrolet, Buick, Baojun, Holden, GMC, Jiefang, Isuzu, Vauxhall, Wuling and Opel brands.