No one at General Motors is talking publicly about a rumor post over at InsideEVs that claims the 83-horsepower, 1.4-liter range-extending gas engine currently used in the Chevrolet Volt will "definitely not" be the engine that is used in the 2014 model year Volt. And, by no one talking publicly, we mean that our emails have gone unanswered. InsideEVs just got a "Unfortunately, we do not comment on future product details, so I cannot provide any information related to your inquiry," from GM spokesperson Kevin Kelly.

So, that means it's speculation time. InsideEVs claims to have spoken to an unnamed source who says that the replacement engine will be the new 2.0-liter turbo. This source says this engine has been tested on the Volt's Delta II compact vehicle platform, which is also used in the Buick Verano and many others. A larger engine does not necessarily imply worse fuel economy – see, for example, the jump from the 1.5-liter engine in the second-generation Toyota Prius that got 46 combined miles per gallon to the 1.8-liter in the third-gen that gets 50 – so we're not discounting the rumor outright. InsideEVs goes on to suggest that the 2.0T will also find its way into the Cadillac ELR (the production version of the Converj concept from 2009) that uses Volt technology, whenever that car arrives. To feed the speculators, here are some other stories about Volt engine possibilities from the archives.

Our former colleague Sam Abuelsamid is skeptical of the 2.0 turbo story, though, writing that whatever engine replaces the 1.4, it will "almost certainly will not be a 2.0-liter turbocharged four as used in numerous GM vehicles including the Buick Regal GS and Verano T." He continues:

A 200+ hp turbo 2.0-liter makes absolutely no sense when you only have 161 hp of electrical power. The 2.0-liter is larger, heavier and thirstier than the 1.4 and makes way more power than can be used by the electric drive system.

The 2.0T would only make sense as part of a parallel plug-in hybrid drivetrain in some other vehicle. My guess (and I have no inside information on this, pure educated speculation) would be that they would opt for the new small engine family being co-developed with SAIC which starts at 1.0-liter. Those engines could be in production by next year and would be a much better fit
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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 84 Comments
      Ele Truk
      • 2 Years Ago
      At the Karma weighs 5200 lbs. That might affect the mileage somewhat, don't you think?
      Nick
      • 2 Years Ago
      Is there even enough space under its hood for such engine? Whatever it takes to increase mpg....... :)
        SVX pearlie
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Nick
        There should be. The engine is packaged essentially identically - that's why it's a drop-in for other cars using the same platform.
      Classic Bob
      • 2 Years Ago
      So much for the electric car...
      goodoldgorr
      • 2 Years Ago
      Instead of doing an unnessary article like this one about the volt can you do an article about if the volt is a parallel or a serial hybrid ?
        montoym
        • 2 Years Ago
        @goodoldgorr
        It would be a simple article, it's both. It's a serial hybrid the vast majority of the time and it's a parallel hybrid for the small amount of time that being a serial hybrid is less efficient (sustained, high speed driving). Though, if you want to clutter it up a bit, it's actually an EV most of the time, but when it's in CS mode, then it reverts to my first statement.
          Chris M
          • 2 Years Ago
          @montoym
          Actually, series hybrid is less efficient at any speed, the only time it acts strictly as a series hybrid is the short time before the clutch between the motor and planetary gear engages. Most of the time the gas engine is running the Volt is operating in a blended series/parallel mode, which provides an electronic continuously variable transmission and higher fuel efficiency than a series only mode could.
      Smurf
      • 2 Years Ago
      This is way too early and unconfirmed to get too excited. The elimination of the 1.4L engine is somewhat confirmed. As to whether the 2.0LT is the replacement or not has NOT been confirmed. But... The 2.0LT would have two advantages: 1. It would be able to run at a more optimum RPM than the 1.4L and would thus be more efficient. 2. It would provide more power for climbing hills, possibly eliminating the need for "mountain mode" (which is only required because the 83 hp 1.4L engine can't supply enough power on its own to climb hills)
      Anne
      • 2 Years Ago
      For all the people here thinking the Volt doesn't need a bigger engine, there are actually three situations in which it might help a lot (I can not speak from experience, because I don't have a Volt) 1. Long climbs. If you arrive at the foot of the mountain with an empty battery, you are limited to the power of the engine alone. 84 hp is not much for a 1700 kg car. 2. Pulling a trailer. 3. 1 + 2 combined. 4. Maybe they want to offer sustained Autobahn driving @200 km/h to the Germans ;)
        Ele Truk
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Anne
        Why would you use a Volt to tow a trailer? If you plan on doing that, you shouldn't buy a Volt.
          BipDBo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Ele Truk
          Why? Because he wants to tow while getting better than 14 mpg.
          Anne
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Ele Truk
          I was more thinking about a caravan actually. People use their day-to-day car for the holidays. If a Volt can do that, they can save fuel 49 weeks per year when not pulling their caravan.
          SVX pearlie
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Ele Truk
          If a Mini can tow a teardop, so can a Volt.
          mapoftazifosho
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Ele Truk
          Because a small trailer can handle a lot of stuff. We're talking about normal people not contractors that need to tow 10,000 lbs...good grief...
        Dave D
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Anne
        Anne, you forgot reason #5: - So you can better haul all the guns in your gun rack!!! :-)
        Spec
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Anne
        Those are all reasons for a bigger engine in a different Voltec vehicle such as a pick-up, not the Volt.
      Turbo Froggy
      • 2 Years Ago
      Ug no, 2.0T is not the right choice. Now 1.0L Turbo Diesel would be ideal, like the 1L motor in the VW Lupo. Another good choice would be the Mahle style purpose built range extender.
        Rotation
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Turbo Froggy
        For any given output, Diesels are physically larger and heavier. I'm not sure they're a great choice.
          SVX pearlie
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Rotation
          For the amount of all-new technology, and how well the car launched, it's actually pretty amazing.
          Rotation
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Rotation
          Ele Tuk: I agree Atkinson would be great. For all your complaints of GM not tailoring the engine enough, I think you have to look at how hard it was to get the car done on time at all. They didn't even have enough time in the schedule to make it pass the emissions tests critical to get a HOV lane exemption in California, the market this car sells best in. Cut them some slack, the first version of something usually isn't perfect.
          Ele Truk
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Rotation
          I don't get why GM hasn't gone for a modified Atkinson cycle engine. They can get near diesel efficiencies, and would seem ideal for a series hybrid. What Atkinson lack (low end torque) is made up for by the electric. Run the genset at a single maximum efficiency speed, and forget throttles. But no, GM compromises and ICE design failures creep back in.
          Dave D
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Rotation
          Exactly. I think that diesels are the wrong choice for PHEVs in general. The whole point of the exercise is to get as much all electric range and then use a small engine for those times that you just have to have some extra range. Why put in the extra weight, emissions equipment and cost needed for a diesel? They keep trying this over in Europe and I know people love their diesels over there....but it is an emotional reaction and does not make logical sense.
          Joeviocoe
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Rotation
          Dave D said it right... diesels are great for many things. I like them. But for a PHEV, focus on the battery... if you want to go much farther than your daily need... you don't need to eek out every mpg at that point. I would rather have an additional 10 miles AER than 10 MPG in CS mode. The extra weight and space is better served for more battery.... or a fifth passenger ;)
      Dan Frederiksen
      • 2 Years Ago
      Sam is basing his conclusions on a couple of erroneous assumptions, that GM is reasonable and that the Volt can't operate as a parallel hybrid. try to remember that the Volt is not the series hybrid they originally promised. it's a prius drivetrain with additional clutches that allows the combustion engine to drive the wheels directly. a turbo might fit poorly though if the powerband is at much higher rpm than before but they might just reserve the turbo for high speed gas driving. I don't particularly believe the rumor either and I would agree it's the wrong direction to go. but I also remember how wrong the Volt is in the first place so going the wrong way is certainly not out of character. when people at GM are of such poor mind as to have designed the Volt in the first place and on top of that do not understand how poor it is then you can write off their entire future. nothing they will do that follows from this mentality will ever be relevant. I know many of you childish fan boys who don't understand engineering think the Volt is so great and I'm so wrong to think the Volt is bad. but I'm not. I'm absolutely right and you are 100% wrong. they built the car like evil men would write an ethics bill. they do not have the minds to make a progressive environmentally friendly and viable car. it's like getting news from fox news or being taught the finer points of geopolitics by red state people. green cars is an idea promoted by conscientious people and the execution of the idea is left to SUV and pickup makers. the Volt is born from stupidity and naturally it is fecal matter. that stupidity is still there with no signs of changing and that means we can be certain that the next 5-10 years of product will be similarly ineffective. it is so stupid to pin your hopes on evil man doing the right thing by himself. we have to push for better
        Smurf
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Dan Frederiksen
        It is very easy to spot the guys that have never been behind the wheel of a Volt. They have the strongest and most uninformed opinions on the planet....... Sorry Dan, but you are 100% wrong Dan.......Just because it has the clutch system to add assistance at over 75 mph when in range extended mode, to improve fuel efficiency at high speeds does not make the Volt a parallel hybrid. There is one critical piece of hardware that is on all parallel hybrids that is NOT on the Volt...... A TRANSMISSION. Yes. The drive train on a Volt is a "direct drive" electric motor with no transmission.
        HVH20
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Dan Frederiksen
        Troll Rant
          methos1999
          • 2 Years Ago
          @HVH20
          Ele Truk 0-60 under 10 seconds? What do you drive, a bicycle? I need to go 0-60 in under 6 seconds :)
          SVX pearlie
          • 2 Years Ago
          @HVH20
          methos, 6 seconds is overkill. 7 seconds is good enough. :P
          Ele Truk
          • 2 Years Ago
          @HVH20
          I disagree. Car manufacturers continue to build and push cars that have more power and therefore worse fuel economy. Do we really need to go 0-60 in under 10 seconds? Do we really need single occupant commuters driving SUVs? I think (like Dan) the Volt is like the Space Shuttle, full of technology, but also full of compromises. The Volt could be a much more efficient vehicle than it is.
          Marco Polo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @HVH20
          @Ele Truk Of course it's the ranting of a deranged troll ! Auto-makers produce vehicles that sell. Those models that fail, are those that don't sell ! The idea that one person or committee could decide everybody's needs, along ideologically pure concepts produced the Trabant ! (Oh, and some really expensive imports for the 'committee!)
          pmpjunkie
          • 2 Years Ago
          @HVH20
          @ Marco1: You seem like a smart guy, you must have figured out that the crowd around here doesn't appreciate facts and reason too much ;-)
          Rotation
          • 2 Years Ago
          @HVH20
          Ele Truk: The Volt is just one car so far. It'll get more efficient over time. The Prius did too. Because the first Prius wasn't as efficient as the 3rd gen, does that mean the first Prius was bad and Toyota is bad?
      BipDBo
      • 2 Years Ago
      It may may marketing sense to have a more powerful engine in the Cadillac Converj, where more performance is expected for the bigger price tag. Full power would not be available in EV mode, but a "sport mode" button could start up the engine. BMW i8 competitor? With improveing battery chemistry, they may be able to draw more power out of the battery in EV mode. As stated by someone below, a more powerful engine may be a good application for a larger vehicle. I'd love to replace our aging gas guzzling minivan with a plug-in.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Is there a version of any vehicle that uses the engine to produce the electricity needed to run electric motors to move the car? Much like a diesel locomotive does. I think that this could be done without the need for batteries.
      Austin Too
      • 2 Years Ago
      I agree with Sam Abuelsamid's comments. This rumor makes absolutely no sense. A 2.0l turbo would be way more than this car needs where the focus is on fuel economy, not performance. IIRC, the present 1.4l was not the engine originally intended for the Volt, but it was available from Austria at a time when GM needed to conserve cash. GM should be going lighter with an aluminum block. Hopefully get rid of premium fuel requirement. The displacement could go bigger if they were to run on Atkins cycle like Toyota and Ford do on their full hybrids. Going to either a gasoline turbo or diesel is adding cost on top of cost for a hybrid and might not result in a good payback for the customer. Fuel economy could potentially be improved by a 1.0l 3-cylinder turbo, but nobody is presently running one of those in hybrid form, so it's difficult to judge (Ford has this engine available, but their Gen III hybrid system uses a 2.0l EFI running on Atkins cycle). ,
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Austin Too
        A turbo plugin hybrid.... sounds like a dream to maintain, hehe. Actually a decent high tech version of the 1.4 would be wonderful. They really skimped on the engine of this car from the get go. It could have been better from the start.
        Rotation
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Austin Too
        The bad news: GM doesn't make any engine with an aluminum block that is small than the 1.4. The good news: they also don't make any that use premium gas either. So hopefully they'll fix at least one of those problems. I agree a turbo seems like a good idea, although getting a turbo to pass PZEV emissions isn't easy. Audi did it though with the A3 2.0T. Hopefully unlike with the first Volt, GM has time this time to get the engine emissions right for whatever engine they choose. It's Atkinson cycle, btw.
          Joeviocoe
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Rotation
          Why would a Turbo have trouble passing PZEV?
          skierpage
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Rotation
          No, the Atkins cycle is like an Atkinson engine but with lower CARBs ;-)
          Rotation
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Rotation
          Because a turbo does not run at a fixed speed or output relationship to the engine. One of the big difficulties in getting to SULEV (PZEV) is getting NOx down. NOx is generated when you burn too leanly. And a turbo pushes in a somewhat variable amount of air, since it has inertia. So when you let off the throttle, and the turbo is still pushing in air because it has inertia, you have to figure out how much more fuel to add to keep the mixture from leaning too much. It can be done, but it's not nearly as easy as dealing with a normally aspirated or mechanically driven supercharger, because for both of those, the amount of air entering the engine is more closely related to the engine speed (and engine speed determines the amount of air the engine needs).
          Rotation
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Rotation
          You can't drive a plug-in in the carpool lane in California if it doesn't meet PZEV emissions levels. So regardless of the actual technical reasons to be PZEV or not, the car had better be PZEV-level emissions if they want to sell a lot of them. And ever since the Volt reached PZEV levels and became eligible for the HOV sticker, sales have really taken off around here.
          Joeviocoe
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Rotation
          Yeah, I get that part. It is important to met that standard. I just wanna know how that standard is measured. Is it A or B (or something else) A) Total Emissions measured only when gasoline engine is running. B) Total Emissions measured during a drive cycle of a fixed length. Starting with a full battery. So if the drive cycle was 100 miles, the Volt should get 35% fewer emissions than a vehicle equipped with the same engine, but no battery. There are a LOT of rules (California included) that were intended to benefit the environment, but have become a hindrance to vehicles that could lead to the greatest reduction of emissions. PZEV might be one of them.
          Joeviocoe
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Rotation
          I would figure that the Volt would get PZEV as a given, just for having such a low utilization of the engine. For non-hybrids, getting PZEV would required actually lowering emissions on a gram/mile bases. NOx is worse than CO2, so reducing that counts for a lot. But if the engine is not running at all for a majority of those miles... that should count greatly too.
      Chris M
      • 2 Years Ago
      They might be planning to use the larger engine on a more deluxe version, perhaps a Cadillac, just to improve performance. GM might even give buyers a choice of engines in the next-generation Volt, so they could choose better performance or better fuel economy.
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