The US automaker General Motors announced its plans to introduce a new generation of its economic small engines, expected to power 27 models in more than 60 countries starting with the 2017 model year.
GM plans to streamline production introducing a modular architecture of the 3 to 4-cylinder engines and 1 to 1.5-liter engines which will give the company the possibility to adapt them to different needs in various global markets.
As early as this summer, the US automaker will introduce the new engines in the Chevrolet Cruze, a model designed especially for the Chinese market and the Opel Adam designed for the European market. The new line of engines, which includes 11 models, is called Ecotec and will be manufactured at five plants located in China, the US, South Korea, Mexico and Hungary.
GM plans to build 2.5 million Ecotec engines by 2017, which will be used by five different brands, which represents almost 25% of the vehicles the US giant manufactures. So far, the most common engine used by GM is the 3.6-liter which is fitted in almost 1 million vehicles built annually.
“We did not calculate the savings but it’s definitely substantial in engineering and manufacturing”, said Tom Sutter, global chief engineer of Ecotec engines.
The 1.4-liter turbocharged engine will be 20 kg lighter (44 pounds) than the model it replaces and 5% more efficient. The new engines will offer from 75 horsepower to 165 horsepower and will be used for minicars, mid-sized models and crossovers.