GM introduced its first V-6 application of its Active Fuel Management (displacement on demand) technology on the 3.9L V-6 offered in the 2007 Chevy Impala. The company is also extending its E85 flex-fuel coverage to the 3.9L V-6 offered in the 2007 Chevy Uplander minivan.
Preliminary testing of the 2007 Chevy Impala equipped with the 3.9L V-6 with AFM indicates an estimated 20 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway—improvements of approximately 5.5% and 7.5%, respectively.
Active Fuel Management enables the engine automatically to operate on half of the engine’s cylinders under light-load conditions, improving efficiency by reducing fuel consumption when the cylinders are deactivated. (Earlier post.)
GM offers this technology in 11 vehicles for 2007, including trucks and SUVs—more than any other automaker. The Impala is GM’s first V-6 application of AFM in North America.
The addition of the E85 flex-fuel engine to the Uplander brings the number of flex-fuel vehicles in GM’s 2007 line-up to 14. The non-flex-fuel 3.9L engine in the Uplander delivers fuel economy of 18 mpg city, 25 mpg highway.
In addition to AFM and E85 capability, the 3.9-liter V-6 engine features variable valve timing (VVT)—a first for cam-in-block V-6 engines, and so recognized by Popular Mechanics with a “Breakthrough Technology Award” in 2005.
Along with optimizing performance and economy, the VVT operation helps the engine maintain an adequate torque load to maximize the benefits of AFM’s fuel-saving mode.