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GM to develop new global family of small-displacement gasoline engines; partnership with SAIC, SGM and PATAC

Ecotec small gasoline engine. Click to enlarge.

General Motors will develop an all-new global family of small-displacement Ecotec gasoline engines over the next several years that will deliver improved fuel economy, higher quality, better performance and reduced CO2 emissions. The program could encompass more than 2 million engines a year by the end of the decade.

The new engine family is the result of an engineering partnership between GM and the Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp. (SAIC), Shanghai General Motors (SGM) and the Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center (PATAC). (Earlier post.)

The new global engine family will comprise a range of three- and four-cylinder engines in displacements from 1.0L to 1.5 engineered and manufactured in multiple regions for global use. They will feature lightweight design and advanced technologies such as direct injection, turbocharging and alternative fuel compatibility to provide customers with both efficiency and on-demand performance.

The new engine family also will be designed to reduce noise, vibration and harshness, a common trait of smaller engines.

Our customers around the world agree we need to reduce our dependence on petroleum and reduce vehicle carbon emissions. We are working aggressively on vehicle electrification and other technologies, but the most immediate progress will come from continually improving the internal combustion engine.

—Jim Federico, vehicle line executive for GM global small cars and electric vehicles

The plan reduces manufacturing complexity by consolidating three engine families into one; the global engine family consolidation is part of GM’s larger product development strategy to reduce engineering and manufacturing complexity and cost while improving competitiveness, efficiency and quality.

For example, to reduce engineering and manufacturing complexity, the engines will be designed and built using a modular approach with interchangeable global components. This also provides more flexibility for global vehicle programs.

Production is expected to begin mid-decade. The engines will be introduced in GM global vehicle programs across multiple vehicle architectures in various regions, through the end of the decade. Manufacturing locations and production timing will be announced later.



With an Asian partner, GM may produce better small ICE this time around.


Japan is safer with GM's small-displacement gasoline engine track record.


Fuel economy going backward in USA.

1. Average fuel economy on vehicles sold in March 2011 = 23.0 mpg

2. Average fuel economy on vehicles sold in Sept 2011 - 22.1 mpg

Progress in 2011 is indeed very slow, when not going backward.


We need better BEV batteries.

I fear that if the Excursion and H2 Hummer were still in production they would sell today because gas price shock is waning.

Even the auto industry recession had a few silver threads.


Go GM. Faster please ! And make them flexible fuel capable while you are at it.

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