While PSA is one of the world leaders in diesel engine technology, this new engine is a gasoline-fueled unit. The high-volume commitment to a downsized gasoline engine is a sign of the increasing difficulty of meeting both new carbon dioxide emissions standards and nitrogen oxide standards that are part of the Euro VI package.
While PSA has no current plans to sell either Peugeot or Citroën vehicles in the United States, we are likely to see some three cylinder units coming from other automakers in the next few years including BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen and possibly Ford with a rumored 1.2-liter Ecoboost.
[Source: PSA Peugeot Citroën]
Between now and 2013, PSA Peugeot Citroën plans to invest €175 million at its La Française de Mécanique plant in Douvrin, in the Pas-de-Calais department of northern France, to prepare for the production of a new 3-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine.
The investment follows on from the Group's decision to extend its line-up of petrol engines with a turbocharged version of the 3-cylinder naturally aspirated petrol engine currently under development.
Series production is scheduled to start in early 2013, with an output of 320,000 units per year.
This new engine version is based on the 3-cylinder 1.2-litre naturally aspirated engine, which will be manufactured at the Group's Trémery plant in eastern France starting in early 2012.
La Française de Mécanique currently builds petrol and diesel powerplants for Peugeot and Citroën Peugeot models, as well as the EP engine developed in partnership with the BMW Group.
With this investment, PSA Peugeot Citroën has confirmed its commitment to maintaining extensive engine production operations in France.
Both the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region and Pas-de-Calais departmental authorities are actively supporting the project, which will support industrial development and economic growth in France's second-largest automotive region.
Commenting on the investment, Philippe Varin noted: "By producing this new engine at La Française de Mécanique, we will be able to leverage world-class manufacturing expertise. And with its state-of-the-art environmental technology, the new powerplant will enable PSA Peugeot Citroën to strengthen its leadership in low-carbon vehicles."
Created in 1969, La Française de Mécanique is a 50-50 joint venture between PSA Peugeot Citroën and Renault, with 3,400 employees. It's machining and assembly lines produce 6,200 engines per day. Output in 2009 totalled 1.3 million units, of which 942,000 were for PSA Peugeot Citroën.