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GM Introduces Two New Direct Injection Engines; Downsizing for the 2010 Equinox

The 2010 Ecotec 2.4L I-4 VVT DI (Direct Injection) for Chevrolet Equinox. Click to enlarge.

GM is introducing two new direct injections engines—a 2.4-liter inline four cylinder unit and a 3.0-liter V-6 unit—with initial application on the 2010 Chevrolet Equinox. The more fuel efficient direct injection engines replace the larger 3.4L and 3.6L V-6 engines on the 2009 models.

The 180 hp (134 kW) 2.4L DI engine, which will replace the current entry-level 3.4-liter V-6, delivers an estimated 30 mpg US highway (EPA certification pending). By comparison, the older 3.4L engine produces 185 horsepower (138 kW), but with a rated 24 mpg US highway.

The Equinox will join a growing roster of direct injected vehicles from GM, including the all-new 2010 Cadillac SRX crossover and 2010 Buick LaCrosse sedan, which, along with the Equinox, debut in January at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. For the 2010 model year, GM will offer more DI models in North America than any other manufacturer. In 2009, GM expects to sell 500,000 vehicles with gasoline direct injection.

Along with direct injection technology, both the 3.0L DI and 2.4L DI engines use variable valve timing to optimize power and fuel efficiency across the rpm band, as well as reduce emissions.

2.4L DI. The new 2.4L DI VVT engine delivers an estimated 180 hp (134 kW) @ 6700 rpm and 172 lb-ft of torque (232 Nm) @49,00 rpm. It uses technology based on GM’s other four-cylinder direct injection applications, but with unique features designed for its specific application. This includes an 11.4:1 compression ratio that helps build power, slightly dished pistons that increase combustion efficiency and injectors with an application-specific flow rate.

GM benchmarked the best fuel system and noise attenuation products to provide customers with quiet operation.

3.0L DI. The new 3.0L DI engine is a variant of GM’s family of high-feature DOHC V-6 engines that also includes GM’s 3.6L DI engine in the Cadillac CTS—an engine named to Ward’s AutoWorld’s 2009 “Ten Best Engines” list for North America, for the second consecutive year.

The 3.0L is rated at an estimated 255 hp (187 kW) and 214 lb-ft of torque (290 Nm), for a power-to-displacement ratio of 85 hp per liter. (Output will vary by model.) By comparison, the current high-end 3.6L V-6 on the Equinox delivers 264 hp (197 kW) @ 6,500 rpm and 250 lb-ft (339 Nm) of torque @ 2,300 rpm.

The 3.0L DI features an isolated fuel injector system that reduces the direct injection high-pressure fuel system pulses for quieter operation. Rubber isolators are used with the fuel rail to eliminate metal-to-metal contact that would otherwise transmit noise and vibration from the high-pressure fuel system.

Because the fuel is injected directly into the combustion chamber, direct injection uses higher fuel pressure than conventional fuel injected engines. This is enabled by a special high pressure pump driven by one of the engine’s camshafts.

Cold starts. On cold starts, direct injection can be controlled to create a richer air/fuel mixture around the spark plug, making it easier to ignite in a cold engine. This results in a smoother operation of the engine and lower emissions during the cold start and warm-up, when most harmful tailpipe emissions are typically created. GM’s direct injected engines reduce cold-start vehicle emissions by 25%.



What the GM lack of imagination corps need to do is design a:

1. Two-cylinder opposed, air-cooled, turbo-charged, diesel, one liter, constant speed engine designed to power a generator for a BEV.

2. If the car it was installed in was built light and right it would get well above 100 mpg and have more than enough power for the real world.


Sounds like two slick engines.
Is the 3.0L is turbocharged but the 2.4L not? I think both engines will mate with a six-speed automatic transmission.

Dave R

ToppaTom: No - neither engineis turbocharged. If the 3.0l was turbocharged, I would expect to see at least 350hp out of it and a lot more torque.

If the 2.4l can get 30mpg on the highway in the Equinox, I imagine it would do at least 20% better in a sedan.

Couple it with a 6-7 speed DSG transmission in an aerodynamic sedan and it'd likely get close to 40mpg on the highway.


@ Dave R
The gm 2.4L non DI engine already achieves 33mpg in a sedan in the Aura & Malibu. I would think your 20% guess to be very close…

Andrey Levin

6700 RPM (and it is not yet redline) for 0.6L/cyl engine is pretty good.

Will S

all-new 2010 Cadillac SRX crossover and the 2010 Chevrolet Equinox

(*sigh*) they still don't get it... to heck with bailing them out.

Lucas wrote;
Two-cylinder opposed, air-cooled, turbo-charged, diesel, one liter, constant speed engine designed to power a generator for a BEV.

Yes, the Volkswagen 1 liter car will hit the market in 2010, so the Big 3 are already behind, tinkering with "all new" crossovers....


These are two of the "foundation" ICE engines in GM's future. Both have every modern engine feature that there is. Both are well positioned to add HCCI operation when that emerges from the laboratories in the next few years. If I am not mistaken, I believe this I4 was used as the test-bed for HCCI experimentation, too.

Both have all alloy blocks and heads, DOHC, 4 valve per cylinder, DI, with VVT on both intake and exhaust, in other variants have already seen dual turbocharging and have been rated as PZEV engines by CARB in some platforms.

The V6 is capable of Atkinson cycling, has been used as the engine in a hybrid, and mated to the dual mode hybrid FWD version in the Vue.

The I4 has also been used in a Hybrid so it too is capable of Atkinson cycle, stop-start operation. Other versions have been turbo-charged.

The I-4 will replace many smaller "High-Value", ie, old-tech and cheap, V6s, like the 3.4 liter HV v-6. In such applications it offers a significant fuel economy advantage.

The "High Feature" v6 in other guises is already replacing small v8s in many applications. Of note, this engine has been announced as a downsize version to 3.0 liters for 2010, and wil replace many large "High-Value" v6s like the 3.9 liter v6s, with significant fuel savings.

Both have been mated to dual clutch six speed automatics, already.

Progress continues steady and cumulative.

Will S

Progress continues steady and cumulative. Toyota, VW, and Honda blow past the Big 3 with truly fuel efficient cars that people will be buying when gas prices begin to climb again, if and when the economy recovers. Such "progress" is far too slow, and retains the dead-end SUV/crossover mindset.

Obviously, you work for GM or another automaker in one fashion or another...


Perhaps geological Global Peak Oil is now, or was in 2005 or will be before 2012.
So I agree with Lucas and Will S; such "progress" is too slow.
GM, Ford and Chrysler should be working already in projects like the VW Up! and like the Fiat's SGE engines!!
posted by: Jorge.


@Dave R
The new four will probably do around 45mpg at 55mph with the regular 6 speed tranny in the Malibu sedan under normal conditions. It should get at least a highway EPA of 40, which is more conservative. As good as this sounds, it's still quite awful mileage. In the city it won't even make half this amount for most drivers. The EPA city test is far too generous.

Who loves ya.


If Volvo can do 47 mph and reduce CO2 to 119 g/Km with their S60, our Big-3 can do much better?


"Obviously, you work for GM or another automaker in one fashion or another..."

Why? Not enough gloom and doom?


Hold everything. The media says these guys is broke.

Will S

"Why? Not enough gloom and doom?"

No, too much cheerleading and false bravado.

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