We’re still a few years away from seeing General Motors’ next-generation small block V-8, but the automaker announced today it is investing nearly $890 million to upgrade five facilities that will help produce the engines.
Two GM facilities -- one located in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada, and one in Tonawanda, New York -- will actually assemble the engine. GM is investing nearly $235 million into the St. Catharines plant, and will likely add an additional 400 jobs. Tonawanda -- which will also build the next-gen Ecotec four-cylinder line -- will receive a $400-million makeover, and an additional 710 employees tied to the new V-8 program. Several other GM facilities, largely tied to component production, are also receiving some enhancements. Casting facilities in Defiance, Ohio, and Bedford, Indiana, are receiving $115 and $111 million in upgrades, respectively. GM’s facility in Bay City, Michigan -- which typically manufactures parts like piston pins, connecting rods, camshafts, and oil pumps -- is allocated $32 million. Both Defiance and Bedford are capable of casting aluminum -- an important fact, since GM says the new V-8 range will exclusively utilize aluminum blocks. The new engines will also feature direct fuel injection, an “all-new advanced combustion design,” and the ability to run E85 ethanol blends. GM won’t reveal any further details, but expect more information to emerge closer to 2013, when GM’s next generation of fullsize pickups (i.e. Chevrolet Silverado, GMC Sierra) and the C7 Corvette are expected to debut. Source: GM