Move over, EcoBoost: General Motors announced that it will produce a range of small Ecotec turbo gas engines in an attempt to boost fuel economy figures.
GM says it will produce a “family” of three- and four-cylinder engines, ranging in displacement from 1.0 to 1.5 liters -- all turbocharged, and all direct injected. The automaker also said that the engines would feature “alternative fuel compatibility,” but didn’t expand on the comment—given GM’s typical flexfuel strategy, we expect the engines to be capable of running on E85 ethanol blends.
GM didn’t say exactly how many engines would be replaced, but the range is expected to replace a slew of naturally aspirated small-displacement four-cylinder engines. Jim Federico, vehicle line executive for GM’s global small car offerings, did indicate that only the four-cylinder variantswill be sold in the U.S.
When, exactly, will these engines be sold? GM isn’t saying, only that the engines will start production some time in the middle of this decade, and could reach two million units annually by 2020.
These new small turbo engines spell another change for the Ecotec range: GM is currently hard at work finishing its 2.5-liter naturally aspirated Ecotec four cylinder for the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu, which promises to increase both fuel economy and power in the new model over the previous engine. We’ve also heard rumblings of a possible new 2.0-liter Ecotec turbo four, which is reportedly going under the hood of the future Cadillac ATS.