General Motors is planning on building 10,000 Chevrolet Volts for the 2011 model year. While some are convinced that may not meet consumer demand, GM is looking is making sure it can meet engine demands. The automaker has announced a $163.2-million dollar investment in plants located in Flint and Bay City Michigan and Defiance, Ohio. This investment is being made to ensure GM has enough engines for the Chevrolet Volt, Chevrolet Cruze and a new small car, expected to be the new Aveo.
The 1.4-liter inline four-cylinder is the base engine for Chevrolet’s most fuel-efficient vehicles. The naturally aspirated version of the engine gives the Volt its extended operating range, and a turbocharged Ecotec variant is an option for Cruze models, including theCruze Eco with its 42 mpg highway number. GM has not announced if expanded production will mean consumers will see the Ecotec in even more platforms.
Forced induction allows the smaller engine to deliver the power and tractability associated with a larger engine while delivering up to 42mpg on the highway, based on initial EPA estimates for the Cruze Eco. The 1.4-liter Ecotec delivers 138-horspower and 140 pound-feet of torque and will be available in the Cruze Eco, LT and LTZ trim levels. At the moment, GM has not announced plans to use the naturally aspirated version in anything other than the Volt.