Lifecycle study finds that environmental impacts of silicon-anode Li-ion battery could be roughly comparable with conventional Li-ion battery
European research institutes partner on rare earth metal recovery from waste using electrolysis

Opel introducing ADAM with new 1.0L, 3-cylinder engine and 6-speed manual at Geneva

The new 1.0 ECOTEC Direct Injection Turbo from Opel. Click to enlarge.

At the upcoming Geneva Motor Show in March, Opel will introduce an ADAM will an all-new, three-cylinder turbo gasoline mated with a 6-speed manual transmission that is also from a new generation. (Earlier post.) Opel introduced the ADAM small car last year.

ADAM is the first car in the Opel range to receive this new, all-aluminum 1.0 ECOTEC Direct Injection Turbo gasoline engine that has been developed at the manufacturer’s International Technical Development Center in Rüsselsheim, Germany. The engine will come in two configurations, respectively giving 66 kW/90 hp and 85 kW/115 hp. Both deliver strong, low-end torque of 166 N·m (1222 lb-ft) from 1,800 rpm.

Opel ADAM. Click to enlarge.

The first in a completely new family of small-displacement gasoline engines that will grow further over the next years, the 12-valve 1.0 ECOTEC Direct Injection Turbo is the next step in Opel’s powertrain offensive following the recent introduction of new 1.6-liter mid-size gasoline and diesel engine families (earlier post).

These three new powertrain families share a common DNA and development target: to be the most refined in their respective categories. Starting with a clean sheet of paper, Opel engineers in Rüsselsheim focused on eliminating ‘off-beat’ running characteristics which traditionally detract from the economical driving appeal of three-cylinder engines.

We not only set out to minimize fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, we also wanted to demonstrate that three cylinders can be just as refined as four or more. We tackled at source the balance, noise and vibration issues typical of conventional three-cylinder engines, and we’re confident ADAM customers will be enthusiastic about the results.

—Dr. Matthias Alt, Opel’s Chief Engineer, Small Gasoline Engines

The cylinder block, in high pressure die-cast aluminum, is designed to reduce radiated and structure-borne engine noise, as well as reduce weight. The high-pressure fuel rail and injectors are also structurally isolated from the cylinder head to minimize the transmission of pulsing, while both the fuel pump and fuel line are acoustically treated.

A further contributor to running refinement is the installation of a balance shaft in the oil sump. Driven by a chain with inverted teeth for quiet running, it counter-rotates at crankshaft speed and is carefully mass-optimized to offset the inherent vibrations of a three cylinder operation.

Other noise attenuation measures include: acoustically-optimized covers for the top and front of the engine, the intake manifold and camshaft housings; crankshaft isolation with iron main bearing inserts; inverted teeth for camshaft drive chains; a low-hiss turbo charger, and a lower oil pan in steel.

The new 1.0 ECOTEC Direct Injection Turbo is quieter than many four-cylinder units. For example, in bench testing at full throttle, it emits lower noise levels across all engine speeds than similarly powerful gasoline naturally-aspirated engines of 1.6-liters displacement.

Mated to the six-speed gearbox, the new generation three-cylinder engine comes with Start/Stop functionality as standard. The 66 kW/90 hp version gives ADAM combined cycle fuel consumption as low as 4.3 liters per 100 kilometers (54.7 mpg US), with CO2 emissions of 99 g/km (according to NEDC test procedure; preliminary data). Efficiency enablers include direct fuel injection, variable valve timing, weight-saving all-aluminum construction and a switchable water pump.

The 166 N·m of torque in the 1.0 ECOTEC Direct Injection Turbo is almost 30 percent more pulling power than the naturally-aspirated 1.6-liter generates at the same rpm. The 85 kW/115 hp version extends the torque plateau to up to 4,700 rpm.

The exhaust manifold is integrated within the aluminum cylinder head, to which the tiny, low-inertia, water-cooled turbocharger is directly bolted. This compact installation contributes to the delivery of a fast boost charge which gives the 1.0 turbo such strong, low-end power.

The six-vent fuel injectors in the direct injection system are centrally located above each piston to provide efficient combustion, and dual cam-phasing enables variable valve timing for optimum engine breathing. A twin displacement oil pump and a switchable water pump, which is disengaged when the engine coolant is cold in order to accelerate warm-up, also contribute to low fuel consumption.

With a compact design and a dry weight of only 37 kilograms, the new 6-speed gearbox is about 30% lighter than units it replaces.

Featuring a short lever travel and low shifting effort, the new transmission incorporates many of the smooth shifting refinements recently introduced by Opel. These include the use of gears with wide, asymmetrically-cut dog teeth and triple-cone synchronizers for first/second gear, with double cones for third/fourth. Reverse gear is also synchronized. In addition to ADAM, this new gearbox will be progressively introduced in other Opel models.

1.0 ECOTEC Direct Injection Turbo-powered Opel ADAM models will go on sale in late spring 2014 and their production will start in the summer. The new generation 1.0 ECOTEC Direct Injection Turbo with a new six-speed manual transmission joins ADAM’s current powertrain line-up of naturally-aspirated, four-cylinder units combined with 5-speed manual gearboxes: the 1.2-liter with 51 kW/70 hp and 115 N·m, and the two 1.4-liter units offering 64 kW/87 hp and 74 kW/100 hp, both with 130 N·m of torque.



If ICE's down-sizing trend keeps up, we may soon have ultra light compact 250 cc, 50 KW, 25 lbs range extender units for near future PHEVs.

Roger Pham

Well, Harvey, the 3-cylinder engine with 85-kW (115 hp) is already small enough for the Chevy Volt, replacing the 1.5 liter 4 cylinder. If one cylinder is chopped off the block, allowing a 2-cylinder engine, the power will be down to 78-hp, still enough for the Volt as a range extender. Of course, engine re-balancing will be required, but development will be a lot less than starting out from scratch trying to make a 250-cc range extender. 250cc is too small, and cannot put out 50 kW of power. The Fiat Twin Air engine with 2 cylinder is running just fine, and is also great as a range extender in a PHEV, without requiring any further development.

In other words, we already have enough of existing small engines that will make excellent range extender in PHEV's. The MFG's will just have to do it!


I think you have specified the best range extender in the Fiat TwinAir 2 cylinder sub 1.0 liter engine.


The optimum piston displacement for a petrol (gasoline) engine is somewhere around 400-500cc based on current material and combustion control technologies. BMW says 500cc; I am sure I read (but cannot find the reference) that Federal-Mogul (FM) says the sweet spot is around 450cc. Obviously there could be ancillary developments -- e.g., tribological, controls, etc. -- that change the boundary conditions, but the optimum number seems to settling around this range. FM also projects power densities >125kW/l to become much more commonplace.

We should expect a hybridized family saloon (sedan) of Camry/Altima/etc. size to be powered by engines in the 1200-1500cc range in just a few years, particularly as more energetic "mild" hybridizing becomes more commonplace.

As for the "range extender" implementation, I don't think we've really scratched the surface here yet as other technologies mature in support of it. Selection of starter/generator technology, proper integration of the electromagnetics, cycle selection (i.e., can you compromise power density a wee bit to take advantage of Atkinson cycle?), and even a more active navigation and traffic surveillance system to make optimum use of the ICE feature during cruise... all these need to be more thoroughly addressed to make the subsystem work seamlessly.

Calvin Johns

The 1222 lb-ft of torque would also make it great for pulling stuck bulldozers out of ditches......


I don't like ICEs but higher power sub 1.0L units will be used in many future PHEVs.

The comments to this entry are closed.