General Motors (GM) is in process of developing an ‘up from scratch’ global engine family of small gasoline motors, to be labelled as Ecotec. These future engines, expected to power many GM cars globally, will offer improved fuel efficiency, better performance and importantly reduced carbon-dioxide emissions.

The new engines should comprise power-plants ranging from 1 litre to 1.5 litres with a three- and four-cylinder formats, and will be lightweight in design and boast of technologies such as direct injection, turbocharging and alternative fuel compatibility to provide both efficiency and performance. The new engines will also have better Noise Vibration Harshness (NVH) levels as well.

The auto major plans to design and manufacture the new engines from multiple manufacturing facilities for world wide application. The engine family consolidation is one of the key parts of GM’s larger product development strategy to bring down manufacturing inputs along with making the process of engineering and manufacturing simpler, while improving competitiveness, efficiency and quality.

These engines will be constructed using a modular approach with interchangeable global parts and that in turn will enable more flexibility for various global vehicle programs. Production is likely to commence as early as by 2015 and the Ecotec-powered vehicles are likely to hit the roads towards the end of this decade.

Our customers around the world agree we need to reduce our dependence on petroleum and reduce vehicle carbon emissions” says Jim Federico, vehicle-line executive for manufacturer’s global small cars and electric vehicles (EVs). “We are working aggressively on vehicle electrification and other technologies, but the most immediate progress will come from continually improving the internal combustion engine.”

The upcoming engine family is the result of the engineering tie up between GM and Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp (SAIC), Shanghai General Motors (SGM) and Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center (PATAC). GM intends to manufacture about two million Ecotec engines per year globally.

Let us hope Ecotec engines are successfully introduced in the future and are as good in applications as they sound in the development stage.


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