Vauxhall-Opel is poised to replace its entire line-up of four-cylinder diesel and petrol engines, starting this year with a new range of direct-injection 1.6 petrol units for the Astra.
The engines will feature hi-tech refinements required to cut fuel consumption and CO2, such as turbocharging, double variable valve timing and, where necessary, balancer shafts. They will all be designed to work in hybrid applications.
The move, involving a €500 million investment and first revealed by Autocar last year, was announced this week by CEO Karl-Friedrich Stracke.
It means that, by 2014, the group will be offering three all-new modular engine families: MGE (Mid-Size Gasoline); MGD (Mid-Size Diesel), also comprising mostly 1.6s with various outputs; and SGE (Small Gas Engine), which will feature three-cylinder and four-cylinder petrol engines between 1.0 and 1.4 litres. Stracke says all of GMís ubiquitous Family Zero engines will be replaced by 2014.
The emphasis for future performance cars will be on four-pot turbos with outputs up to and beyond the Astra VXRís 276bhp. There is no plan to replace existing V6s with new designs. They will be developed as necessary, says Stracke, but demand is expected to decline.