General Motors announced today that it would be overhauling its smallest engines, replacing three engine families with a new, modular Ecotec design. Production of new three- and four-cylinder powerplants should begin mid-decade, ramping up to over two million engines a year by 2020.

While GM didn't indicate which models might benefit from the redesigned mills, with displacements ranging from just 1.0 to 1.5 liters, these new Ecotecs are more likely to find homes outside of North America. GM did state that the U.S. is "not in initial market plans" for the three-cylinder. The company expects to use the engines throughout its global vehicle programs, with multiple manufacturing locations. The engines were co-developed with Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp. (SAIC), Shanghai General Motors (SGM) and the Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center (PATAC).

As for details on the new design, GM said in a statement, "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."
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Future Chevrolets to Benefit from Small Gas Engine Family
Plan reduces manufacturing complexity by consolidating three engine families into one


2011-10-12

DETROIT – General Motors will develop an all-new global family of small-displacement Ecotec gasoline engines over the next several years that will give customers in markets around the world improved fuel economy, higher quality, better performance and reduced carbon dioxide emissions.

The program could encompass more than 2 million engines a year by the end of the decade.

The new global engine family will comprise a range of three- and four-cylinder engines – in displacements from 1.0L to 1.5L – engineered and manufactured in multiple regions for global use. They will feature lightweight design and advanced technologies such as direct injection, turbocharging and alternative fuel compatibility to provide customers with both efficiency and on-demand performance. The new engine family also will be designed to reduce noise, vibration and harshness, a common trait of smaller engines.

"Our customers around the world agree we need to reduce our dependence on petroleum and reduce vehicle carbon emissions," said Jim Federico, vehicle line executive for GM global small cars and electric vehicles. "We are working aggressively on vehicle electrification and other technologies, but the most immediate progress will come from continually improving the internal combustion engine."

The global engine family consolidation is part of GM's larger product development strategy to reduce engineering and manufacturing complexity and cost while improving competitiveness, efficiency and quality.

For example, to reduce engineering and manufacturing complexity, the engines will be designed and built using a modular approach with interchangeable global components. This also provides more flexibility for global vehicle programs.

Production is expected to begin mid-decade. The engines will be introduced in GM global vehicle programs across multiple vehicle architectures in various regions, through the end of the decade. Manufacturing locations and production timing will be announced later.

The new engine family is the result of an engineering partnership between GM and the Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp. (SAIC), Shanghai General Motors (SGM) and the Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center (PATAC).

Founded in Detroit in 1911, Chevrolet celebrates its centennial as a global automotive brand with annual sales of about 4.25 million vehicles in more than 140 countries. Chevrolet provides consumers with fuel-efficient, safe and reliable vehicles that deliver high quality, expressive design, spirited performance and value. The Chevrolet portfolio includes iconic performance cars such as Corvette and Camaro; dependable, long-lasting pickups and SUVs such as Silverado and Suburban; and award-winning passenger cars and crossovers such as Sonic, Cruze, Malibu, Equinox and Traverse. Chevrolet also offers "gas-friendly solutions including Cruze Eco and Volt. Cruze Eco offers 42 mpg highway while Volt offers 35 miles of electric, gasoline-free driving and an additional 344 miles of extended gasoline range, according to EPA estimates. Most new Chevrolet models offer OnStar safety, security and convenience technologies including OnStar Hands-Free Calling, Automatic Crash Response and Stolen Vehicle Slowdown. More information regarding Chevrolet models, fuel solutions, and OnStar availability can be found at www.chevrolet.com.


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  • 57 Comments
      CarCrazy24
      • 3 Years Ago
      Would love to see these engines eventually make their way here into some of GM's smaller cars. Engineering a small engine to have excellent fuel economy and decent performance is always tricky, but it can be done! Glad to hear than direct injection will be a part of the plan too. Diesels would be nice =)
      Glynn Hadskey
      • 3 Years Ago
      Looks like a shift for GM from Europe to Asia for it's small engine tech.
        Rotation
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Glynn Hadskey
        Much of their engineering is done in the US still. A friend of a friend worked on the small 2.5L/2.8L Diesel in the Detroit area for the least 3-4 years. A lot of production for small engines will definitely move, although a lot of it was outside the US already (South America for example).
          Glynn Hadskey
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Rotation
          That's interesting and encouraging to hear about the small Duratoq's. But was refering to the current "Family 0" 1.0 thru 1.4 liter 3 and 4 cylinder engines that are Opel designs.
      EB110Americana
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'd like to see GM develop a purpose-built range extender to replace the naturally aspirated 1.4L in the Volt. With all the technology packed into that car, it seems like such an afterthought to drop in a relatively conventional engine. Something that was optimized for a narrow RPM band (what good are different speeds when the engine is primarily for charging the batteries as a generator?), possibly running an Atkinson and/or HCCI fuel injection seems like a good idea. I could very realistically see such an engine developed off this architecture now that GM has the opportunity to start from scratch.
      • 3 Years Ago
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      • 3 Years Ago
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        Adrian
        • 3 Years Ago
        Did you mean to put 200k or something? Because my 2003 2.2 Ecotec is running just fine after 120,000 miles. So shut up, troll.
          Justin
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Adrian
          casheightsix, You can't make valid comparisons of auto manufacturers and the auto industry TODAY based on your 1989 Civic. That's the number one falacy I see people use to support their favorite car/maker, using outdated data.
          Dean Hammond
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Adrian
          Adrian...ignore him...if this was a Ford post he would be screaming "Fix Or Repair Daily" like he did before the ban and consequent name change.....
          cashsixeight
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Adrian
          Oooo a whole 120k? Wowzers. That's amazing. Except I bought my 89 accord with 205k, and sold it at 320k, still ran fine. Or my current beater 91 Civic, which I purchased with 220k, and now have 260k, which still burns no oil and gets 38mpg.
          MyerShift
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Adrian
          You tell him!
        ss1591
        • 3 Years Ago
        cashsixeight, You need to find a better job if all the cars you get start with 220k! If you take care of your cars no matter the brand they all last its not that hard to change your oil and plugs.
        ss1591
        • 3 Years Ago
        Try changing your oil before you get to 20k and they won't blow up! I had a fleet of GM and Ford trucks for 20 years and only had one bad engine in all of that time. We always wore the truck out before the engine and we only changed the oil every 5k! The only engine that failed was our first Nissan Hard body and the driver ran that one when it over heated and that engine was saved with a rebuilt head, but Nissans were to costly to buy so we only had the one. I know of a lot of Toyota engines that have failed because on to narrow oil runs that clogged when dirty oiled clogged them. If you don't take car of your toys they brake.
        ryan
        • 3 Years Ago
        can we ban him again AB.
        • 3 Years Ago
        [blocked]
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        The Other Bob
        • 3 Years Ago
        "it gets NOWHERE near the advertised mileage" You are right, instead of the EPA hwy mileage of 42, owners are reporting mileage as high as 50.
        Adrian
        • 3 Years Ago
        Did you mean to put 200k or something? Because my 2003 2.2 Ecotec is running just fine after 120,000 miles. So shut up, troll.
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Adrian
          [blocked]
          rem
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Adrian
          My 2003 Ecotec is at about 127k and (i think) pulls around the 2nd heaviest car GM ever put it in (lw200). Since I bought it at 105k, I had my water pump start leaking - which is driven off of the balance shaft chain, and thanks to GM's lousy design, took almost an hour to replace! This type of awful reliablity and repair difficulty is why everyone hates GM so much. Geez, how hard is it to make a water pump that lasts 500k miles or 50 years and can be changed in 10 minutes or less?
        • 3 Years Ago
        [blocked]
      • 3 Years Ago
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        • 3 Years Ago
        [blocked]
        Krishan Mistry
        • 3 Years Ago
        No, we regular commenters have just found the latest addition to the troll genetic family, order "Americanus suckitis" Welcome to your new home, and enjoy the stay. If you want downvotes (troll food), just post some heavily misguided and biased crap, and you will be fed aplenty. If you want a cagefight with an anti import troll (order "Importimus crapulous"), then let us know and I'll get the popcorn ready.
      emperor koku
      • 3 Years Ago
      Kind of disappointing to see GM doing it's engine development overseas.
      donnieorama
      • 3 Years Ago
      GM's going to have to think about putting that 3-cylinder into production for the US--if anything just to be able to meet these insane CAFE standards coming up.
        Hazdaz
        • 3 Years Ago
        @donnieorama
        Insane CAFE standards? You mean the CAFE standards that some of their cars ALREADY meet, years ahead of time? The typical sky-is-falling, crybaby attitude doesn't help and makes you look quite ignorant. When a 300 HP, large RWD car can achieve 31 MPG on the highway like the new Chrysler 300, I have little doubt that the new CAFE standards will be met, and we'll all be better for it.
      --RAfiKi-
      • 3 Years Ago
      if only they would bring back the good old 2.3 QUAD 442 N/A engine. that thing made 190hp 20 years ago without DI or VTEC (yo). throw a turbo on it and it would be over 300hp easy. that and my 06 cobalt 2.0 LSJ ecotec were the most reliable engines.
        photofill
        • 3 Years Ago
        @--RAfiKi-
        My dad had that engine in his 1990 Quad442. It was a fun and powerful car, but problem is it blows head gaskets. I talked to someone else at the time that retuned the engine and was getting 300+ HP with no turbo or blower. Not sure how reliable it was, but those engines had potential.
          --RAfiKi-
          • 3 Years Ago
          @photofill
          GM fixed the head gasket issue by the time that the achieva SCX came around, so i doubt wed have to deal with that today. Honda today can barely match GM tech from 1989 with their civic si...how sad. im looking forward to the new 2.5 engine with a turbo (can you say cruze ss)
          AcidTonic
          • 3 Years Ago
          @photofill
          @ rafiki Please! Look at the torque curves and fuel economy. That Honda motor will be much tighter and last longer. As much as I hate that stupid car (the honda) it's much more advanced than the Quad 4. If you want to compare 4 bangers, show me the American equivalent of the Evo's 300hp 4G63T. In Europe it came with factory warranties producing 300hp,360hp, and 400hp in the FQ400. Nobody has really touched on that yet, it still holds world records for horsepower per liter of *any* production car. Look at the list and find another car under $100,000 that even comes close. It's all Exotics and then there's this little 2.0 4banger from Mitsubishi. The only thing I think comes close is the Cobalt SS motor, but even that is not holding 500 at the wheels on stock internals like the Evo IX with forged internals is. The fact is no one produces such a serious motor. It's a closed deck iron block built for racing and rallying with expensive forged internals that other motors lack. So please stop acting like the quad 4 is really something. Hell the 2.3 turbo in the SVO was more impressive to me and that's a Ford motor.
        donnieorama
        • 3 Years Ago
        @--RAfiKi-
        It was a good engine, but it'd be entirely outdated vs. today's competition. These new engines coming down the pipeline are a good thing.
      cashsixeight
      • 3 Years Ago
      Dear Engineers who pump CAD: Please turn on perspective before rendering something. Isometric is great when pumping the CAD, but looks like ass when rendered. Thanks!
        breakfastburrito
        • 3 Years Ago
        @cashsixeight
        As a CAD jockey myself, I adore isometric for technical views and cutaways. Guess it's a matter of perspective.
      They call me Tang
      • 3 Years Ago
      There is so much fail in these comment sections.... Good Luck to GM but I think I'll wait and see.
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