click image for a gallery of the 2008 Saturn Astra
General Motors has announced that it's bringing out a new 1.4L turbocharged four-cylinder gasoline engine next year, which will help the automaker increase cars' fuel economy while presumably not sacrificing power. A normally-aspirated version of this motor is currently offered across the pond in the Opel Astra 5-door. Dubbed the 1.4 Twinport Ecotec, the Euro-spec NA version makes 90 horsepower at 5600 RPM, 92 lb-ft of torque at 4000 RPM, and gets 38.5 US miles per gallon in the combined cycle. With a snail attached, the little 1.4L should easily corral over one hundred horses. According to GM's Jim Queen, both the Chevy Cobalt and Saturn Astra (no surprise there) are candidates for the US-bound turbo variant, with midsizers not out of the question, either. The 1.4L will supplant the Aveo's 1.6L four as the smallest engine offered by GM in the US. Hey General, while you're at it, why not throw it in the Aveo, too? Between this and Ford's EcoBoost push, we expect to be seeing "turbo" badges on a lot of cars in the years to come.
UPDATE: AutoblogGreen drove an Astra equipped with a prototype of this new 1.4 Turbo last August. It will generate 140 horsepower. You can read their impressions of the engine and how it fared in an Astra 5-door here.
[Source: Automotive News -- sub req'd]