General Motors' European arm, Opel, has pulled the wraps off of an all-new 1.0-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine. The new powerplant, initially destined for the Opel Adam subcompact hatchback,
is good for 115 hp and 122 lb-ft of torque. The engine will officially premiere at the Frankfurt Motor Show next month.
The first vehicle to receive the all-aluminum I-3 will be the 2014 Opel Adam city car, which will have it paired with an all-new six-speed manual transmission that has been specially designed for sub-compact vehicles making less than 162 lb-ft. Besides the all-aluminum construction, the new turbo-three utilizes direct injection and continuously variable valve timing to help increase efficiency. In fact, GM estimates that the 1.0-liter I-3 will create as much power as its current 1.6-liter four-cylinder, while being 20 percent more efficient. Currently, the Adam is powered by either a 70-hp 1.2-liter I-4 or a 87-hp 1.4-liter I-4.
If a report from Automotive News is correct, then we can expect to see the new three-cylinder replace the 1.4-liter four-cylinder in the Chevrolet Volt when the car is redesigned for 2016. AN speculated last month that either a 1.0- or 1.2-liter three-cylinder could find its way into the Volt. Chevrolet has been pretty aggressive in keeping the Volt competitive – last week, the automaker slashed $5000 from the 2014 Volt's price tag, giving the plug-in a base price of $34,995 after destination.
General Motors isn't the only American automaker dabbling in three-cylinder engines. Ford announced last year that it would offer its new 1.0-liter EcoBoost I-3 in the U.S.-spec Fiesta later this year. That engine is slightly more powerful than GM's turbocharged I-3, rated at 123 hp and 148 lb-ft in the Fiesta. That said, we wouldn't be surprised if GM could increase output of its engine depending on the application.
Source: General Motors, Automotive News (Subscription required)