General Motors has announced a new lineup of Ecotec engines that will power its smaller offerings through the end of the decade. Slated to arrive in both three- and four-cylinder applications, the latest bunch of Ecotecs will arrive first in the Opel Adam and Chinese-spec Chevrolet Cruze, respectively.

A total of 11 three and four-cylinder mills make up the new family of engines, with displacements ranging from 1.0 to 1.5 liters. Naturally aspirated and turbocharged mills will be on tap, with outputs ranging from 75 to 165 horsepower and 70 to 184 pound-feet of torque.

GM claims it will be screwing together 2.5 million small-displacement Ecotecs for 27 different models across the globe by 2017 when all five of GM's engine factories come online. According to GM, by 2017 one in every four of the engines it will produce will be part of this family. "We designed an engine for the whole global market," Assistant Chief Engineer Kendell Fulton told Autoblog.

We're particularly intrigued by the new 1.4-liter turbo that will motivate the next-generation Cruze in the US (sadly, GM wouldn't budge on telling us when we could expect to see that). With a direct-mounted, single-scroll turbo, not only can we expect adequate performance - 148 hp and 175 lb-ft of torque in the next-gen, Chinese-spec Cruze - but the new mill should be considerably quieter, as well, with GM claiming the 1.4 is 50 percent quieter than the 1.4-liter four-pot from Volkswagen.

"The new Ecotec architecture represents the most advanced and efficient family of small-car gas engines in GM's history," said Tom Sutter, GM's global chief engineer. "Along with performance and efficiency targets, we've also aimed for segment-leading refinement with low noise and vibration - and we've hit the bulls-eye."

Take a look below for the full press release on the new engine family, as well as a brief video of one of the new direct-injected mills in action.

Show full PR text
New Modular Ecotec Engines are More Adaptable, Efficient
2014-03-19

Modular architecture streamlines powertrain portfolio, reduces manufacturing complexity
Global design and manufacturing processes enhance adaptability, with 11 engine variants ranging from 1.0L to 1.5L
Up to 2.5 million annual production at five global plants by 2017


DETROIT – A new generation of Ecotec small-displacement engines streamlines General Motors' global powertrain portfolio with a modular architecture that broadens its adaptability to global markets and reduces manufacturing complexity – while offering customers leading-edge efficiency, refinement and durability.

The new engines were developed for GM's global vehicle portfolio and will power many of the company's highest-volume small cars and compact crossovers – including the next-generation Chevrolet Cruze specifically tailored 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 annually in at least five manufacturing locations around the globe: Flint, Mich. (U.S.); Shenyang, China; Szentgotthárd, Hungary; Toluca, Mexico; and Changwon, South Korea. The Flint facility alone represents an investment of more than $200 million in technology and tooling to support the engines' production.

"Transportation solutions vary around the world and GM is committed to developing engines matched to the needs of the regions where they're sold," said Steve Kiefer, GM vice president, Global Powertrain Engineering. "The new engine family is designed to achieve segment-leading refinement and efficiency, and will make its way into five GM brands and 27 models by the 2017 model year."

The new Ecotec portfolio will include 11 engines, with three- and four-cylinder variants ranging from 1.0L to 1.5L – including turbocharged versions – and power ratings ranging from 75 horsepower (56 kW) to 165 horsepower (123 kW), and torque ranging from 70 lb-ft (95 Nm) to 184 lb-ft (250 Nm). The architecture is also designed to support hybrid propulsion systems and alternative fuels.

The first production applications include a 1.0L turbocharged three-cylinder for the Opel ADAM in Europe, and 1.4L turbocharged and 1.5L naturally aspirated four-cylinder engines for the 2015 next-generation Chevrolet Cruze in China.

The turbocharged variants enable the engines to deliver the power and torque of larger-displacement engines with the efficiency of smaller engines. For example, the turbocharged 1.0L three-cylinder used in the Opel ADAM makes as much power as the naturally aspirated 1.6L four-cylinder it replaces – with an estimated 20-percent improvement in efficiency.

In fact, the new Ecotec family is on the leading edge of efficiency, with the new 1.4L 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-percent quieter than Volkswagen's EA211 1.4L four-cylinder and up to 25-percent quieter than Ford's 1.0L turbo three-cylinder.

Clean-sheet design

The new Ecotec engines represent a clean-sheet design and engineering process, leveraging the diverse experience of GM's global resources. Technologies such as central direct fuel injection, continuously variable valve timing, turbocharging and variable intake manifold airflow help achieve efficiency goals with broad power bands, for an optimal balance of strong performance and lower fuel consumption.

"The new Ecotec architecture represents the most advanced and efficient family of small-car gas engines in GM's history," said Tom Sutter, global chief engineer. "Along with performance and efficiency targets, we've also aimed for segment-leading refinement with low noise and vibration – and we've hit the bulls-eye."

Modularity in parts – such as four-cylinder and three-cylinder blocks – that share bore spacing, bore diameter, 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 lb-ft 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.

General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM, TSX: GMM) and its partners produce vehicles in 30 countries, and the company has leadership positions in the world's largest and fastest-growing automotive markets. GM, its subsidiaries and joint venture entities sell vehicles under the Chevrolet, Cadillac, Baojun, Buick, GMC, Holden, Isuzu, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling brands. More information on the company and its subsidiaries, including OnStar, a global leader in vehicle safety, security and information services, can be found at http://www.gm.com.


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  • 50 Comments
      mustang_sallad
      • 9 Months Ago
      New range extender for the Volt!
      BB79826
      • 9 Months Ago
      "The 1.5L is rated at an estimated 113 horsepower (84 kW) and 108 lb-ft of torque (146 Nm)." Well, those numbers....suck. Yeesh. Their 1.8L already makes 138hp. That's about the same displacement per liter.
        cfphelps
        • 9 Months Ago
        @BB79826
        Displacement per liter will always be 1, since liters is a unit of displacement.
        Jerry
        • 9 Months Ago
        @BB79826
        That is probably an Opel engine. "Huge advancements" at Opel turn out an engine 0.1L smaller than their 25 year old 1.6L with a 3% gain in performance... Hopefully it has a timing chain and not a belt with nylon sprockets again...
        Rotation
        • 9 Months Ago
        @BB79826
        Normally aspirated engines are not the performance end of the market. So why concentrate on performance for them?
        Tuga
        • 9 Months Ago
        @BB79826
        The only reason i can see for the development of that NA 1.5 is the Chinese market, where engines of up to 1500cc get lower taxation. GM Europe has had a 1.6l, NA petrol engine with pretty much those same stats for years now.
      Ricky St. Vincent
      • 9 Months Ago
      So which one is going in the 2016 Volt???
        Ziv
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Ricky St. Vincent
        The lightest naturally aspirated one that generates at least 100 hp stock, but it will be tuned for quiet and efficiency thereby dropping to around 84 hp. Your guess is as good as any other.
        FuelToTheFire
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Ricky St. Vincent
        The coal burning electric motor is, of course.
        Julius
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Ricky St. Vincent
        Umm... I thought the 1.0L three-pot was going into the next Volt.
      FuelToTheFire
      • 9 Months Ago
      I'm a HUGE GM fan and I'm losing my faith in the day by day. Anyone who has actually compared these Ecotec turbocharged engines to the older engines knows that they are gutless, unrefined, and relive little, if any, fuel economy benefit. The old 2.2 i4, 3.5 V6, and 3.8/3.9 V6s were all better engines than the 1.4 T, 1.6T, and 2.0 T they were replaced by. The new turbocharged engines from all manufacturers are hitting the market without adequate testing and review and market review and are faring poorly. Mitsubishi and Subuaru are the experts when it comes to turbocharged engines. Let them stay the experts. Everyone else is just an also-ran
        Rotation
        • 9 Months Ago
        @FuelToTheFire
        These engines aren't even out yet and you know they're crap? No one has driven them yet. Maybe you're losing your mind, not your faith?
        Xedicon
        • 9 Months Ago
        @FuelToTheFire
        I own an early Ecotec 2.0T engine and I can say with certainty that you're wrong.
        erjhe
        • 9 Months Ago
        @FuelToTheFire
        I have a 1.4T in a Cruze and while I wouldn't argue that I'd be happy with more power, I'm also not rushing to spend a measly $300 for a tune that'll bump that 140hp mill up to 160-170. Why? Because it's not needed. The only time I haven't cared for it was when I was in Colorado and trying to huff air at over 8000 feet elevation... it is gutless there, but an automatic transmission would have helped. The gear spread between 1st and 2nd on the Cruze Eco is a little too far apart for my preferences. Other than that it is quiet when I'm maintaining speed, has a nice little rumble when I'm accelerating and sips fuel while still having enough power to get on the highway and make passes. I've had a 2004 3.5L in a Malibu Maxx which made great power, but was lucky to break 28 mpg and averaged 23-24 (I now average 33-35 and max at 40+). I've also owned a 3.8, a 3.1 and my fiance has a 2006 3.4. They all make abundant power and I've been reasonably happy with them, but I'd still got out and buy another 1.4T tomorrow over a larger engine. My fiance's parents got a new Equinox with the 2.4 and I think it's a great engine. Will it ever sound as good as a v6 or v8? Nope. Does a little droning that is only heard while accelerating bother me? Absolutely not.
        AcuraT
        • 9 Months Ago
        @FuelToTheFire
        I am actually a fan of the 2.0t Ecotec that was first coming out in the early 2000s. I own one, a 2006 Saab 0-3 with a 2.0t engine generating 210 hp and getting a 0-60 mph time of 7.8 seconds. With that engine, I get 36 on the highway pretty regularly, and around 24 mpg in th city. If I floor it, it will eat gas like a V6 but I rarely have to do that. Now the car has almost 120,000 and I have only replaced one part - the alternator. The suspension is going to need work soon, but that is not the car, it is the roads in the northeast beating it to a pulp. Those that love the old 3.8L 3800 V6 engine GM made, it was a durable engine... that made about 200-210 hp for over a decade before this little turbo came out. It was a good engine for the time, but it guzzled gas compared to my litle four banger. My friend owns a 10 year old Pontiac Grand Prix with that engine, which has 140,000 on it and it still goes strong. Unlike FuelToTheFire, I do like both engines - old and newer. I test drove a 2014 Buick Regal Turbo recently and I like that car a well. We also own a Subaru Legacy but were forced to get the H6 engine to get the power we wanted - the H4 engine has a difficult time merging into traffic as it lacks the power of the GM engines. At 170 hp it is not enough for the AWD car if you need decent acceleration to merge onto the highway.
        Rayvan
        • 9 Months Ago
        @FuelToTheFire
        Subaru can't keep a set of pistons in an engine for more than 50,000 miles, and you "think" that they're experts? Whatever...
        The crazy one
        • 9 Months Ago
        @FuelToTheFire
        No brother you must believe you must not loose your faith otherwise GM will not make money off of you and may go bankroupt again and then we all are going to loose money because of your unfaithfulness. eaning another bailout from the Obama care.
        Matt
        • 9 Months Ago
        @FuelToTheFire
        I don't know that I'd call everyone else an also-ran. Especially when you consider that Subaru has issues with the factory tune on the EJ25 motors causing it to lean out right before peak boost causing majority of the ringland issues. Mopar and Audi have been turbocharging cars since the 80s and Mitsubishi and Subaru didn't start playing with turbos much until the 90s. Even Ford has had a few solid turbo cars from back then that they successfully rallied. So to call everyone else an also-ran is ignorant on your part when you look at each manufacturers' histories. But I will agree with you on GM's Ecotec turbo motors, I'm not impressed with them. I think they peaked with the 2.0T in the Cobalt/Sky/Ion with the GM LNF upgrade kit, 290hp and 340ft-lb and mid 30s mpg if driven conservatively? Why doesn't the ATS 2.0T or the Regal GS have more oomph?
      lucky louie
      • 9 Months Ago
      YEP still trying to be like FORD but GM what good will the engines do if you can't keep them running ? OH you think we forgot that part didn't you .. pack your little toys and move to china .
        knowledgehurtsmyhead
        • 9 Months Ago
        @lucky louie
        In what specific way is GM copying Ford? GM has had 3-cylinder engines since the 80s and has been using turbos since at least the 60s. Then there's the reliability comment - their truck engines are bulletproof and the 3800 series were pretty hard to kill as well. What exactly do you drive?
          Karfreek
          • 9 Months Ago
          @knowledgehurtsmyhead
          The 3800 was bullet proof until GM put a plastic intake on it with the Series II revamp. Then they started to ingest coolant at 80,000mi and by 120,000 they were toast if you did not catch it. I know of too many that hydro locked at startup because of a failed EGR passage. It was such a problem that Dorman came out with a HELP! Brand replacement intake...
          Jerry
          • 9 Months Ago
          @knowledgehurtsmyhead
          No dude, you are thinking of the 3400. I do not think the 3800 had that trouble.
          Karfreek
          • 9 Months Ago
          @knowledgehurtsmyhead
          The 3400 had intake gasket issues as well as the 3800 too. The 3800 N/A Series II had a design flaw where a coolant passage was routed near the EGR return in the intake. Over time the heat from the EGR would make the passage brittle and coolant would leak into the EGR return. If not caught in time the wall between the too would fail one day and dump coolant into the the intake side of the engine. Ususally found at start up as the pressure in the system would fill the intake runners with coolant and hydrolock the engine.
          Karfreek
          • 9 Months Ago
          @knowledgehurtsmyhead
          http://www.dormanproducts.com/itemdetail.aspx?ProductID=32743&SEName=615-180 "More like a complete service kit than a single part. Dorman’s Intake Manifold includes all the essential components for a full repair. Since this part is a direct replacement, the exact fit adds another layer of efficiency and convenience. •Re-engineered by Dorman with heat-resistant molding to reduce both warping and coolant leaks (where applicable) •Some manifolds feature a reinforced aluminum coolant crossover to eliminate corrosion and vibration (where applicable) •Reinforced EGR and coolant passage walls for increased manifold durability (where applicable) •Torque specifications & bolt tightening sequence are provided for easier installation (where applicable)"
      fran
      • 9 Months Ago
      Of course they would copy ford in everything. In fact they just wait patiently for ford to come up with all the new stuffs. Just wait and see the next gen camaro.
      goodoldgorr
      • 9 Months Ago
      Often these new ' efficient ' engines are plague by hesitations and vibrations and mechanical and electronic problems. Im keeping my dodge neon eternally. Maybe I will buy another dodge neon soon that I will keep for when my actual neon get worn-out.
      jebibudala
      • 9 Months Ago
      Looks like GM is waaaay behind the curve on their 1.0L engine. Ford is throwing down some serious HP & MPG's out of their US spec 1.0L in the Fiesta. Head over to Fiesta Faction to check out the dyno numbers.
        The Friendly Grizzly
        • 9 Months Ago
        @jebibudala
        They may be throwing out some great SPECS, but let's see how they perform in the real world, and what their longevity is in everyday conditions. I am not belittling Ford; I wish them the best. But specs and actual performance are two different matters.
          SBN
          • 9 Months Ago
          @The Friendly Grizzly
          he said "Head over to Fiesta Faction to check out the dyno numbers". So dyno numbers are not "actual performance"? LOL!!!
          ngiotta
          • 9 Months Ago
          @The Friendly Grizzly
          They are already performing in the real world. The ETA certified the 1.0L Fiesta at 45 MPG. The engine has been reviewed numerous times and even won the International Engine Award... Nothing I see here is likely to compete.
      Jerry
      • 9 Months Ago
      They lost my interest after I saw that Opel badge on the one... Will these skip timing and destroy themselves like Opel's 1.6L and 1.8L engines plaguing GM's lineup these days?
        The crazy one
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Jerry
        Well they got to make their money back from the research somehow. And how better than from the consumer itself that is so much ignorant to the issue that these engines are nothing but the same old things but with a new look and they are calling it state of the art new and improve. Can you say Propaganda.
      knightrider_6
      • 9 Months Ago
      11 different engines? Is GM trying to be like BMW? Stick to few well designed models and use them in across the range of cars like Toyota does.
        mazeroni
        • 9 Months Ago
        @knightrider_6
        They are modular, which is the key phrasing. They can build whatever size engine they need on the same line without incurring a cost deficit. I would also assume all the parts carry over regardless of displacement. I imagine only the block and pistons would be different. The 11 different engines won't show up here in the US, at least not in any real capacity. In Europe there is a wide swath of buyers who want different things. Americans are more content to be told you get the small one or the big one.
        Jerry
        • 9 Months Ago
        @knightrider_6
        Hopefully they are truly modular. Modular is the Caterpillar 3500 series engines. Can get everything from a V8 to a V26! You could part out two of the V8s to rebuild a V16 and so on. GM did do modular pretty well with the Trailblazer/Colorado I-4, I-5, and I-6 series of engines made in Flint, MI. Lately, Ecotec has been a sub-brand with nothing more than the Ecotec and having 4-cylinders being the common factors, though.
        Rotation
        • 9 Months Ago
        @knightrider_6
        European countries have conflicting taxation regimes and thus require different engine configs to optimize for price. Having 11 engines across US, Europe and Asia isn't that bad. For example, the Toyota Vitz has 7 different engines worldwide. And that's just one model Toyota makes.
      axton72op8
      • 9 Months Ago
      im about to make some news here. i will now prophecy, in the next decade or two there will be high revving four cylinder engines coupled with electric motors for high performance and efficiency.
      Toneron
      • 9 Months Ago
      Way way WAY too many! This is part of the problem...
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