GM's newest turbo four will proliferate the U.S. lineup - eventually.
August 21, 2012
By: Nick Saporito
Back in May GM's European subsidiary, Opel, announced an all-new turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine. The new engine is the first of three new lines of four-cylinder engines that have been largely engineered by Opel. While GM has reserve committing the new engine to anything in the U.S. market, GMI has been told that the new small displacement mill will eventually find its way to North America.
The new 1.6-liter turbo is an all-new design, not to be confused with the current 1.6-liter turbo already in use in Europe and Asia by several GM products. This new variant utilizes direct fuel injection and start/stop technology, both in an effort to maximize fuel economy. According to Opel, the 1.6-liter will generate up to 300 Nm of torque, which translates to about 221 foot-pounds of torque across the pond. Production of the new engine will commence later this year at GM's Hungary production facility.
Here in North America the 1.6-liter is expected to start launching in new products in 2014 calendar year. GM product timing changes so frequently, it is difficult to nail down the exact time and product that the engine will first show up in, but GMI does know of a few products that will utilize the engine.
According to sources familiar with GM product planning, Chevrolet will be the main user of the new engine. The Chevrolet Malibu, Equinox and Sonic are all expected to receive the engine between 2014 and 2015. The next generation GMC Terrain is also expected to utilize the 1.6-liter turbo.
The new 1.6-liter turbo will be one of several engines that GM is bringing to the North American market with start/stop technology. It's a safe bet that this engine will be GM's direct response to Ford's new 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine, which is now in the Equinox and Malibu's Ford counterparts.