A new generation of small engines is intended to streamline GM's engine range globally
21 March 2014

General Motors new small petrol engine family will be based around a series of common components in a bid to establish a global engine network. 

The new Ecotec petrol engine family, previously known under the codename SGE (small gasoline engine), will grow to embrace 11 variants ranging from 1.0- to 1.5-litre capacities in three and four cylinder configurations.

GM expects to produce around 2.5 million units annually at a network of five factories in North America, China, Hungary, Mexico and South Korea. 

The engines will include naturally aspirated and turbocharged variants with power outputs ranging from 75 to 165bhp and torque outputs between 70 and 184lb ft. 

The smallest displacement engine, the 1.0-litre triple will be offered in the Vauxhall Adam and Adam Rocks ranges, and is expected to be made available in the Corsa. GM says the engine develops as much power as the naturally aspirated 1.6-litre engine it replaces, but with a 20 per cent improvement in efficiency.

GM says the 148bhp 1.4-litre turbo is five per cent more efficient than the unit it replaces, but is claimed to be 50 per cent quieter than VW’s EA211 1.4-litre TSI engine and 25 per cent quieter than Ford’s 1.0-litre Ecoboost. 

Vauxhall hasn’t disclosed which models other Ecotec family engines will power. But GM said the 1.4-litre turbo and a 113bhp 1.5-litre engine will be offered in the Chinese market Chevrolet Cruze, the sister car to the Vauxhall Astra, making that model a likely application.

GM revealed that the new engine architecture will support hybrid drive systems and alternative fuels.

The Ecotec engines are the product of a clean-sheet design process and feature common bore spacing, bore diameter and liners across both three- and four-cylinder blocks designed to reduce complexity and increase flexibility for new applications.

This Ecotec family is one of three new ranges planned or already confirmed by GM. Its new 1.6-litre Medium Gasoline Engine is in the Insignia, Astra GTC and Cascada and a new 1.6-litre CDTi in the Zafira Tourer, Meriva and Astra, while there's also a 1.6-litre MGE (medium gasoline engine) unit as a larger petrol. 

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