GM Building New Four-Cylinder Engine, Factory Too


This morning, GM announced it will double its four-cylinder engine production globally, with a majority of that increase coming to North America. This product-planning shift was expected, as was the $370 million engine plant GM is going to build in Flint, Mich., to produce its new 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine. That engine will power GM’s upcoming Cruze compact sedan and also serves as the gasoline range extender for the Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid.

The engine in the Cruze will be turbocharged to maximize efficiency. Turbochargers are often used to boost performance. The Cruze’s specs are projected to be 140 hp and 148 pounds-feet of torque, which is roughly equivalent to a Toyota Corolla or Honda Civic. GM says the Cruze will likely be a fuel leader in its segment — the 2009 Corolla and Civic get 27/35 mpg and 25/36 mpg city/highway, respectively, with their base engines and automatic transmissions. GM isn’t claiming the Cruze will definitely top the segment because a lot can happen in two years. 

The catch, of course, is that the factory isn’t built yet. That’s why Europe will get the Cruze in 2009 — it’ll use a diesel engine there — and the U.S. will have to wait until 2010. 

In 2011, GM will put the new turbo engine into two other yet-to-be-announced U.S. models. Possibilities include the recently revealed Chevy Orlando compact crossover, which is built on the Cruze platform, or the next-generation Saturn Astra hatchback.

More Cruze News

By David Thomas | September 25, 2008 | Comments (4)
Tags: Chevrolet



GM has also said that the Cruze will likely be more expensive than the Civic or Corolla. A lot can happen in 2 years. Look for Toyota and Honda to develop more fuel efficient engines as well.


What took them that long to realize they need more 4 cylinders?

Plus, how is it possible to have a turbo charged engine to be more fuel efficient than N/A?


This is the 1.4 liter global engine that is going in the Volt.


Turbocharging does not improve fuel efficiency per se. It maximizes overall engine efficiency by recapturing energy normally released out the exhaust. A more efficient engine means you can use a smaller overall displacement to do the same amount of work and a smaller displacement means reduced fuel consumption. That is where the improvement in fuel efficiency comes from.

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