General Motors unveiled its 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine bound initially for the Opal Adam city car ahead of its Frankfurt Motor Show debut.
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Vehicle quality was not the only thing making news when Consumer Reports unveiled the results of its latest reliability study in Detroit earlier this week. Amongst the issues highlighted by the consumer publication were real world fuel economy and forced induction engine technology.
Drag racing just isn’t what it used to be these days, but records are still being set with some more noteworthy than others. This is one of those records, as an Ecotec-powered four-cylinder drag car has set a record for fastest four-cylinder quarter mile with a 6.71 @ 207 mph.
Fuel mileage, horsepower and overall performance are key ingredients in the recipe for any successful car these days.
Maybe that’s why GM made the announcement to reporters at the North American International Auto Show that they plan to scrap the unimpressive naturally aspirated 2.4-liter four cylinder found in the Chevrolet Equinox, GMC Terrain and Buick‘s Verano and Regal. In it’s place, a 2.5-liter direct injected (cue fireworks) Ecotec inline four! The new engine will be 18 horses peppier than its predecessor for a total of 190 hp and 180 lb-ft of torque. It’s also going to be a lot less noisy, smoother and best of all, more efficient.
GM said they plan to make the transition between engines within the next 12 months, so look forward to a more refined American experience from GM.
General Motors unveiled their new family of small displacement engines, a group of three and four cylinder engines ranging from 1.0L to 1.5L in displacement. The engines were designed in concert largely with GM’s Chinese subsidiaries.
GM didn’t divulge which vehicles will get the new engines, but did say that North America won’t be an initial market for the three-cylinder engines. GM was also tight-lipped about the specifics of the engines, only stating ”they will feature lightweight design and advanced technologies such as direct injection, turbocharging and alternative fuel compatibility” as well as “…[being] designed to reduce noise, vibration and harshness.”
General Motors much loved LNF engine, the same 2.0L Ecotec that powered the Pontiac Solstice GXP, Saturn Sky Redline and Chevrolet Cobalt SS is continuing on in the Buick Regal Turbo and Buick Regal GS, but a new generation of turbocharged 4-cylinder motor is set to replace the LNF next year, packing even more power.
While the LNF makes as much as 270 horsepower and 295 lb-ft in the Regal GS, the new engine, dubbed the LHU, will be used as a replacement for V6 engines in mid-size cars, and is expected to make at least 280 horsepower in standard trim. Given that GM’s current “high feature” V6 makes 306 horsepower, we should expect a figure somewhere in that area.
The LHU will get its first use in the Cadillac ATS sports sedan and the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu. Expect it to migrate to other products in the near future as well.
[Source: GM Inside News]
The all-new 2012 Buick Regal GS arrives this fall and will pack a serious punch. The GS has ow officially been rated at 270-hp and 295 lb-ft of torque and achieves a 0-60 mph time of 6.7 seconds. For the record, that’s 15 more horsepower than originally claimed.
The GS will be powered exclusively by a 2.0-liter direct-injected turbocharged four-cylinder engine that boasts more torque than the Acura TSX V6, Audi A4 Sport, Lexus IS 250 or Volvo S60 T5.
“The Regal GS 2.0L turbo delivers the highest specific output of any production engine GM has ever offered, and at 135 hp per liter is the most power dense engine ever certified by SAE,” explained Mike Anderson, Ecotec global chief engineer and program manager. “We’ve been combining direct injection and variable valve timing with boosted engines since 2006, and there’s no question the Regal GS turbo has the responsiveness and acceleration of some V6s, while delivering the fuel economy you’d expect of a four-cylinder.”
This very special Ecotec engine will include direct injection, continuously variable valve timing, a forged steel crankshaft, a twin scroll turbocharger and a highly efficient intercooler system. The 295 lb-ft of torque is available from as low as 2400 rpm and 95 percent of the torque is available between 2300 and 4900 rpm.
Two transmission choices are available including a six-speed manual that comes as standard or a six-speed automatic which will be available later on. Even with the high-output Ecotec engine, the GS can still achieve 28 mpg and the entire powertrain will be covered by a five-year 100,000 mile warranty.
The GS will also feature a lower ride height than other Regal models and get aggressive 19-inch, 5-Twin Spoke alloy rims and all season tires. 20-inch, 5-Twin Spoke polished alloy rims with performance tires will be optional.
GALLERY: 2012 Buick Regal GS
General Motors is pumping $109 million into its Ecotec program in Michigan, in order to support ongoing production of the 1.4-liter engine shared by three Chevrolet models as well as keeping/adding 96 jobs in Michigan.
$84 million of that money goes to GM’s engine plant in Flint to increase production capacity, while the rest is earmarked for Bay City, which produces the Ecotec’s connecting rods and camshafts. This latest effort is part of GM’s 2-billion-dollar initiative to preserve more than 4,000 jobs in 17 facilities across 8 states.
“This investment marks the second major increase in engine and engine component output in less than six months,” said Terri Burden, Flint’s plant manager, “a sign that GM is moving quickly to meet growing demand for more fuel-efficient cars.” Earlier this month GM announced a $131 million investment in its Bowling Green, Kentucky Corvette Factory.
Currently, the 1.4-liter Ecotec resides under the hood of the Cruze and the Volt—which adds turbo power as well—but the upcoming Sonic is eagerly awaiting the Ecotec’s potency.
The days of multiple supercharged V8s for Cadillac look to be ending as GM’s luxury division is now mulling four-cylinder engines on multiple product lines.
While the upcoming ATS sports sedan is a natural candidate for a four banger, rumor has it that the Cadillac XTS full size sedan may also be offered with a turbocharged Ecotec inline four, making between 220 and 260 horsepower. Depending on customer reception, this motor could also find a home in the CTS and SRX, which quite frankly makes more sense than in the larger XTS.
An Ecotec Cadillac may seem anathema to the brand, but in places like Europe and China, the small displacement of 2.0L will help it dodge significant taxes based on engine size. Furthermore, German manufacturers like Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz are rapidly embracing turbocharged four cylinders in more than a few of their products.
[Source: Car and Driver]
What’s one simple way to extend range on the next-gen Fisker gasoline-electric powered car? Cut pork from the gasoline-engine side of the equation by using a lighter-weight, three- or four-cylinder engine.
According to information leaked by very knowledgeable sources, Fisker is weighing the feasibility of a dedicated range-extended engine after the current crop of Karma models has been launched.
The idea would be to slash anywhere from 110-160 pounds or so from next-gen models’ curb weight by replacing the 255-horsepower, 2.0-liter GM Ecotec engine, which was originally designed for a gas-only car.
The GM four-cylinder “LNF” turbocharged engine weighs about 360 pounds. Fisker is reportedly looking for a 200- to 250-pound turbo to feed the lithium-ion battery in its future cars.
The 1.2-liter Lotus Engineering three-cylinder is one likely candidate. It is produced with Fagor Ederlan Group in Spain, and is said to be the front-runner in consideration for the next iterations.
Fisker’s present generation cars are being built in Finland, according to a Fisker spokesperson. After Q4 of next year, they will be built in a former GM plant in Delaware.
The 2011 Chevrolet Cruze is an important car for General Motors, with Chevrolet positioning the car as both a premium and compact car, something many Americans deem to be mutually exclusive. With advanced powertrains, a high quality interior and exterior styling that doesn’t scream “rental car”, Chevrolet has chosen to price the Cruze just a little bit higher than the competition, with prices starting at $16,995 for the base LS, which comes with a 138-horsepower 1.8L four-cylinder and a 6-speed manual transmission, airbags galore bags, traction control, OnStar and keyless entry. For $18,995, you can get either the LT version with the 1.4L Turbo engine and a 6-speed automatic, or the “Eco” version, which substitutes a 6-speed manual for the slushbox, low-rolling resistance tires and a special bodykit designed to reduce drag.
The top level Cruze will set you back $22,695, a decent sum for a compact car, but you’ll get options like leather seats, Bluetooth, a a USB port for the car’s audio system, rear-parking assist and 18-inch wheels, all of which are pretty grown-up features for an economy car.
Get more Chevy Cruze news and info at CruzeTalk.com
GALLERY: Chevrolet Cruze Eco
Hit the jump to see Chevrolet’s official press release
Buick has just released a teaser image of a new entry-level luxury crossover that will slot in underneath the Enclave. Normally word of a new model is news enough, but GM has decided to increase our expectations of its new model by announcing that it will be offered with a version of the Volt’s Voltec plug-in hybrid system.
This will make the new crossover the first plug-in hybrid SUV on the market.
The new five-passenger crossover will go on sale next year with PHEV models on sale in 2011. The conventional gasoline models will be offered with a choice of two engines: a direct-injection 2.4-liter turbocharged Ecotec four-cylinder or a direct-injection 3.0-liter V6. The Ecotec motor is expected to deliver 30 mpg on the highway.
The Buick PHEV will use a battery pack roughly half the size and power of the one found in the Volt and be mated to a 3.6-liter V6 FexFuel engine, indicating that the Buick hybrids will follow the Lexus philosophy of using the hybrid powertrain to deliver high-performance with reduced fuel-consumption. Similarly, it appears, Chevy models like the Volt will follow the Toyota model of delivering maximum fuel-efficiency.
The Buick PHEV will be able to be recharged fully in 4 to 5 hours through a conventional 110V household outlet and will be ale to travel up to 10 miles on pure electric power (at low speeds).
“Buick has always been at the forefront of new technology, so it is only fitting that the brand should debut our new plug-in hybrid technology in a beautiful new crossover,” said Tom Stephens, GM vice chairman of product development. “This will firmly put Buick, and GM, front and center in the advanced technology game.”
Official release after the jump:
Just a year and a half after it was first unveiled as a concept car the Fisker Karma is set to take to the road track during the Monterey Peninsula’s Classic Car Week. On August 15th, the plug-in hybrid Karma will run two laps of the world-famous Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca course at 11:10 a.m on August 15th, during the Rolex Monterey Historic Automobile Race.
“The Rolex Monterey Historic Automobile Races is the best stage in the world for great moments in automotive history,” said Fisker Automotive CEO, Henrik Fisker. “Fisker is honored to be a part of it.”
Using a 260hp GM-sourced Ecotec motor and two 201.5hp electric motors, the Karma’s Q-Drive powertrain allows the plug-in hybrid to travel 50 miles on pure electric power before the gasoline engine kicks in to recharge the lithium-ion battery packs. But it’s more than just a plug-in hybrid, it’s a full-on luxury sedan and can even perform with a 0-60 mph time of 6.0 seconds and a top speed of 125 mph.
The Karma will also be on display the day before at Concorso Italiano, alongside the Karma Sunset hardtop convertible concept. The Karma Sunset will also make an appearance at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance on Sunday, August 16.
GALLERY: Fisker Karma
Official release after the jump:
As General Motors is set to emerge from bankruptcy protection, the giant U.S. automaker’s fresh start might just include a new logo; a green one. According to a report by MSNBC, GM has a design team that is currently looking in to changing the logo and they have discussed swapping the blue out in favor of a friendlier (and more environmentally-responsible) green.
GM is looking to re-brand itself as not just a leader in the automotive industry but as a leader in the race for more fuel-efficient vehicles. The company has already poured billions into bring the plug-in hybrid Chevy Volt to market and intends to put a lot of focus on its new direct-injection engines, like the 30 mpg V6 model in the Chevrolet Camaro, as well as the turbocharged 2.4-liter Ecotec four-cylinder planned for the upcoming LaCrosse and a smaller 1.4-liter turbocharged direct-injection four-cylinder in the Chevrolet Cruze.
The green logo might just be the right move to help re-brand a company that is trying to market itself as not only greener, but also leaner and more able to make quick decisions in an ever changing world.
Chevy Cruze also slated to get turbo-four
GM’s interim CEO Fritz Henderson is starting to open up on some of the company’s fuel-efficiency plans and the future involves a pair of turbocharged four-cylinders.
The first turbo-four will be offered in the new Buick LaCrosse but won’t be available immediately. Currently the LaCrosse is slated to get a standard 3.0-liter V6 that makes 255hp thanks to direct injection. The larger optional engine is a direct-injection 3.6-liter V6 which makes 280hp.
It’s not clear what size or output the new turbo engine will provide but if the Envicta concept on which the LaCrosse is based it could be a 2.0-liter engine with 250hp and 220 ft-lbs of torque. It could, however, a a version of the Ecotec 2.4 or even a direct-injection version of the turbo 2.0-liter currently offered in the Cobalt SS.
This would fit in between the two V6 options, although it’s not clear that the 3.0-liter six would continue on past the introduction of the turbo-four.
Little more is known about the second turbocharged four-cylinder, which will sit as the base engine in the upcoming Chevy Cruz. It will be just a 1.4-liter four-banger and while actual output figures are not available they will likely be in the 150hp range.
Henderson also confirmed that the Corvette will live on in a V8 rear-wheel drive package. He did, however, reiterate the company’s position that the Pontiac G8 will not survive past 2010
On Friday we brought you news that the 2010 Chevy Equinox will be priced at $1,800 less than the previous model and today we can tell you the Equinox’s sister SUV, the GMC Terrain, is set to launch at the New York Auto Show. There is no official word on pricing but you can expect the almost $2,000 in savings to be carried over to this model as well.
Much like the Chevy model, the Terrain will come with two engine options, a standard Ecotec four-cylinder and an optional V6 powerplant. Thanks to direct-injection technology, the 2.4-liter Ecotec engine is capable of powering the Terrain with 182hp and 174 ft-lbs of torque – but don’t expect stellar acceleration.
For more power, the optional V6 is a 3.0-liter unit that also receives direct-injection for a total output of 254hp and 222 ft-lbs of torque.
Both engines come with a six-speed automatic transmission for optimum fuel efficiency. Models equipped with the V6 engine are expected to get 25 mpg on the highway and 18 in the city, while four-cylinder models should achieve an impressive 30 highway mpg with a rating of 21 in the city.
These ratings are also for FWD models only, with AWD models achieving 17/24 mpg and 20/27mpg respectively.
To help the Ecotec hit that impressive 30 highway mpg rating, GM has equipped 4-cyl models with an “ECO” mode that is activated through a button on the dash. The “ECO” model will ensure the torque converter lockup speed is reduced to 1125 rpm keeping the vehicle in the highest possible gear.
While it may share much of its underpinnings with the Equinox, the Terrain has its own unique exterior, with a bold, elegant (and very masculine) new design. Helping to project that image is a big three-segment GMC grille surrounded in chrome. And while all that chrome is very truck-like it also helps this crossover exude luxury, as do the optional 19-inch wheels (with 17- or 18-inch wheels standard depending on trim model).
“We wanted to carve the GMC Terrain away from the pack and establish its identity as a powerful, fresh crossover SUV with a confident and strong stance,” said John Cafaro Jr., director of exterior design for Global Crossover Vehicles at GM. “Everything about the Terrain communicates a sense of tailored toughness and passionate craftsmanship.”
The 2010 Terrain also comes equipped with plenty of luxury amenities, with a back-up camera, OnStar and XM Satellite Radio standard. Other optional features include a power rear liftgate, Bluetooth capability, remote vehicle start, a seven-inch touch screen navigation system and a two-screen rear DVD entertainment system.
Back seat passengers will also enjoy the standard “MultiFlex” rear seat that can move up to 8-inches, providing either optimal cargo room, passenger room or a healthy balance of both
“The new Terrain brings GMC’s history of innovation and engineering excellence into a smaller, fuel-efficient package for today’s buyer,” said Susan Docherty, Buick-Pontiac-GMC vice president. “The capability attributes that make a vehicle a GMC are ingrained in Terrain, making it an appealing choice for existing traditional SUV customers who are looking for distinctive styling and increased efficiency.”
“GMC is a strong, core brand for GM and the Terrain crossover SUV is the latest example of how we’re adapting to changing market conditions,” said Docherty. “As we first demonstrated with the Acadia crossover, GMC is committed to offering the capable vehicles customers seek, with the personal technologies they expect.”
The 2010 GMC Terrain will be offered in SLT and SLE models in both FWD and AWD and will be available late this summer.
GALLERY: 2010 GMC Terrain
Official release after the jump:
Direct-injection versions of 2.4-liter Ecotec 4-cyl and 3.0-liter V6 deliver impressive fuel-economy
General motors has just released some new info on the upcoming 2010 Chevy Equinox, with the most surprising item being the price. The all-new model will come in at $1,800 less than the outgoing ’09 model, with a starting price of $23,185, including a $745 destination charge
The other important bit of info GM has released is the two engines that will be offered, both of which provide some impressive fuel-economy numbers – especially for a large crossover. The standard engine for the Equinox will be GM’s tried-and-true 2.4-liter Ecotec engine, which has been updated with direct-injection technology to improve output to 182hp. Direct-injection is also known for improving fuel-efficiency and GM estimates this engine fitted in the Equinox will result in a 30 mpg highway rating and a 21 mpg city rating.
The optional powerplant will be a 3.0-liter V6 engine, which also gets direct-injection, for a total output of 264hp. This, GM estimates, will achieve a rating of 18/25 mpg (city/highway).
Range for one tank of gas is expected to be 500 miles (800 km) with either engine.
“Offering the fuel economy of a sedan with the functionality of a crossover, the Equinox is a superior value for our customers,” said Ed Peper, VP of Chevrolet. “Getting best-in-class fuel economy and great storage for less than $24,000 is significant.”
GALLERY: 2010 Chevy Equinox
More on the 2010 Chevy Equinox after the jump:
Plug-in Hybrid Karma S will do 50 miles on a charge and make 408hp
After unveiling the luxury plug-in hybrid Karma Concept at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit last year, Fisker is set to show another concept as well as the production version of the Karma.
The production Karma S, has been developed with Quantum Technologies and boasts a plug-in Hybrid system that allows drivers to drive 50 miles on a single charge. Once the battery power runs out, the gasoline engine will kick in and the car will operate like a conventional hybrid.
Because of this innovative system, Fisker says that owners who drive less than 50 miles per day will achieve a yearly average fuel economy of 100 mpg.
The Karma will be powered by a GM-sourced 2.4-liter Ecotec engine that has been updated with direct injection technology. The engine alone makes 260hp and when combined with the two electric motors will make 408hp. Fisker claims this is enough for a 0-60 mph time of 5.8 seconds. Top speed is rated at a respectable 125 mph.
The stunning looking (both inside and out) Karma S will be priced at $87,900. The first deliveries are scheduled for November 2009 and apparently models are sold out until mid-2010.
Impressively, Fisker has arranged for the Karma S to be produced at the Valmet Automotive plant, a state-of-the-art facility where the Porsche Boxster and Cayman are manufactured.
Fisker Karma S:
Official release after the break: