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Flybrian

The Future of GM Powertrains

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GM Goes Green
Company expands its green lineup in future
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20XX Saturn Hybrid Sketch by Burns
Link to Original Article @ AutoWeek | Published 07/31/07, 11:37 am et


General Motors is poised to meet growing consumer demand for cleaner engines with better fuel economy.

Under Tom Stephens, group vice president of global powertrain, GM has been working on several hybrid powertrains; a number of clean-running, fuel-saving diesel engines; fuel cells; six-speed transmissions, and other advanced technologies.

GM starts rolling out the new products this year. Here's a look at GM's upcoming powertrains:

Hybrids:

By this time next year, GM says, it will have eight hybrid models on the road using three systems. GM also aims to put a plug-in hybrid on the road in 2010. Here's what GM has announced so far.
  • The 2008 Saturn Vue and Aura and Chevrolet Malibu will be available with a mild hybrid belt-alternator system that yields a fuel economy gain of 15 to 20 percent. The system likely will add $2,000 to the sticker price.

    A mild hybrid turns off the gasoline engine when the vehicle is not moving, as happens at a stoplight. The engine quickly restarts when the driver releases the brake pedal. The electric motor provides a slight boost under heavy acceleration but does not drive the vehicle at low speeds.

  • The 2008 Vue also will be available with a front-drive version of GM's Two Mode hybrid powertrain. Fuel economy of 40 mpg on the highway is expected; the Two Mode hybrid Vue will debut later in the model year. GM is expected to deploy the Two Mode hybrid a year or so later in mid-sized fwd vehicles with V-6 engines.

  • This fall, GM will offer the 2008 Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon with what many experts consider one of the industry's most advanced hybrid systems. A 25 percent boost in fuel economy is expected, along with an industry first for a hybrid: The vehicle will be able to tow heavy loads. The 2009 Cadillac Escalade will offer the same feature.

    The hybrid system has a 320-hp, 6.0-liter V-8 and a four-speed automatic transmission that has two electric motors. The motors propel the vehicle from a stop to 20 mph. The engine incorporates cylinder deactivation, and the vehicle body has aluminum panels to reduce weight.

  • If lithium ion batteries are ready for production in three years, look for GM to roll out plug-in hybrid versions of the Saturn Vue and Aura and possibly the Chevrolet Volt. It is unclear whether GM will use the Volt name for a specific model or incorporate the new technology into an existing model, such as the Malibu.
This powertrain uses an electric motor and a gasoline engine; the electric motor drives the wheels. A turbocharged, 1.0-liter, three-cylinder engine recharges the batteries when needed.

Also, the battery pack can be plugged into a conventional wall outlet for recharging. GM expects a six-hour recharge time.

The system is intended to propel a vehicle 40 miles on a single charge, meaning it could function as a pure electric vehicle for some commuters, using no gasoline.

During a drive longer than 40 miles, the gasoline engine cycles on and off to keep the battery pack charged.

GM estimates the Volt would deliver the equivalent of about 150 mpg during a 60-mile daily commute.

Diesel Engines:

GM plans a range of diesel engines for its U.S. cars and trucks.

This month, GM announced the purchase of a 50 percent stake in Italian diesel maker VM Motori from Penske Corp., giving the automaker more diesel technology and new engine-manufacturing capacity.

Cadillac and Saturn will lead the way for GM's return to diesels in cars. GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz says that the 2.9-liter V-6 GM is developing with VM Motori for the European version of the Cadillac CTS also will be offered in several U.S. vehicles. A GM source says that engine will be available in the next-generation Aura and in the CTS, probably for the 2010 model year.

GM will offer its new 310-hp, 4.5-liter, turbodiesel V-8 in the Hummer H2 and in light-duty versions of the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups in the 2010 calendar year. The engine should deliver a fuel economy gain of 25 to 30 percent over the current 5.7-liter gasoline engine.

Fuel Cells:

The latest fuel cell stack that GM is preparing for production fits in the same space as a four-cylinder engine.

In May, GM, transferred 500 engineers from its fuel cell research center near Rochester, N.Y., to the company's tech center near Detroit.

These engineers are responsible for developing the technology that will enable GM to mass produce fuel cell vehicles.

This fall, GM will test its fuel cell technology in a fleet of 100 hydrogen-powered Chevrolet Equinox cross-overs. GM hopes to have its fuel cell powertrain ready for mass production by 2010.

The key advantage of a fuel cell is emissions. It takes the automobile out of the emissions debate - the fuel cell emits warm air and water vapor.

Hi-Tech Features:

Variable valve timing, turbocharging and direct injection are starting to appear in GM vehicles. These features boost performance, reduce emissions and can improve fuel economy.

Engines such as the one in the Pontiac Solstice GXP point the way to the future for GM. That engine is a 260-hp, turbocharged 2.0-liter with direct fuel injection that gets 22 mpg city/31 mpg highway compared with the Solstice's 177-hp, 2.4-liter base engine, which is rated at 20 mpg city/28 highway.

GM's next gasoline direct-injection engine is scheduled for production this fall in the 2008 Cadillac CTS and STS.

The 3.6-liter V-6 cranks out 300 hp and is expected to deliver around 27 mpg on the highway. Direct injection improves performance and reduces emissions, especially on cold starts, according to Ameer Haider, GM's assistant chief engineer for the engine.

GM expects to be producing as many as 200,000 direct-injection engines by the 2010 model year.

6-Speed Automatics:

This year, GM launched the six-speed, fwd automatic transmission it co-developed with Ford Motor Co. Last year, GM rolled out its new six-speed rear-drive transmission in SUVs and other trucks. Both transmissions contribute to a 5 percent increase in fuel economy over the four-speed transmissions they replaced.
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2 issues:

1. How does someone make an 80mpg, 640hp, 932 mile range Mini-cooper, yet GM struggles to bring a 40mpg Malibu to market?

2. Cadillac should have offered the base CTS with a direct injected 2.8 litre that puts out the same HP as the current 3.6 but offers better mileage.

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...

GM will offer its new 310-hp, 4.5-liter, turbodiesel V-8 in the Hummer H2 and in light-duty versions of the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups in the 2010 calendar year. The engine should deliver a fuel economy gain of 25 to 30 percent over the current 5.7-liter gasoline engine.

...

The 3.6-liter V-6 cranks out 300 hp and is expected to deliver around 27 mpg on the highway.

current 5.7L ?!! it's been what, 2 or 3 years since that's been made. should compare it to the 5.3 or 6.0

forgot to say it runs on regular, no need for "premium"

2 issues:

1. How does someone make an 80mpg, 640hp, 932 mile range Mini-cooper, yet GM struggles to bring a 40mpg Malibu to market?

2. Cadillac should have offered the base CTS with a direct injected 2.8 litre that puts out the same HP as the current 3.6 but offers better mileage.

curious about #1. i don't doubt it, but where's a link?

#2...hm. that would be nice for ..oh wait, i think replacing the 3.8L in the lacrosse with the 2.8DI, and maybe any places the 3.5L needs to leave, when/if it happens would be a better idea. cadillac needs that image that they don't compromise for performance/price/luxury, while it'd be good for CAFE ideas, they don't need that, yet.

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2 issues:

1. How does someone make an 80mpg, 640hp, 932 mile range Mini-cooper, yet GM struggles to bring a 40mpg Malibu to market?

2. Cadillac should have offered the base CTS with a direct injected 2.8 litre that puts out the same HP as the current 3.6 but offers better mileage.

1) Because the Mini weighs 2500lbs and the Malibu weighs 3600. Fuel economy has a lot to do with weight and less to do with horsepower. The Mini Cooper probably also has a ridiculously tall top gear to achieve that mileage.

2) Cost. The 2.8 DI would cost about the same as the 3.6 DI. It's the same block, same components, just smaller heads and cylinders. The 3.6 non-DI has to be cheaper than a 2.8 DI. Also note that the 2.8 gets the same mileage as the 3.6 in the current CTS, so I'm not so sure the 2.8 DI would get that much better mileage. Again, mileage has more to do with weight than power. If you put an LS7 in a go-cart, it'd probably get 200 MPG because it only has to rev to 2000 rpm to make it go 500 MPH in 6th gear.

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1) Because the Mini weighs 2500lbs and the Malibu weighs 3600. Fuel economy has a lot to do with weight and less to do with horsepower. The Mini Cooper probably also has a ridiculously tall top gear to achieve that mileage.

2) Cost. The 2.8 DI would cost about the same as the 3.6 DI. It's the same block, same components, just smaller heads and cylinders. The 3.6 non-DI has to be cheaper than a 2.8 DI. Also note that the 2.8 gets the same mileage as the 3.6 in the current CTS, so I'm not so sure the 2.8 DI would get that much better mileage. Again, mileage has more to do with weight than power. If you put an LS7 in a go-cart, it'd probably get 200 MPG because it only has to rev to 2000 rpm to make it go 500 MPH in 6th gear.

1. The Mini cooper has no gears at all. The electric motors are in the hubs of the wheels. Each wheel is a 160hp electric motor.

2. Image. Put a different gearbox in it, tune it for efficiency over power and have a 5-series size car that gets 30mpg+

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1. The Mini cooper has no gears at all. The electric motors are in the hubs of the wheels. Each wheel is a 160hp electric motor.

2. Image. Put a different gearbox in it, tune it for efficiency over power and have a 5-series size car that gets 30mpg+

1. Well in that case how can you compare a basically totally electric vehicle to a gas powered one?

2. What gearbox do you suggest? What do you actually want in this 2.8 DI engine? First you say make it have the same power as the current 3.6 and better mileage. That would require 92 HP/L, or 7+ HP/L more than the 3.6 DI makes. That means you have to had some higher-performing part elsewhere, which usually doesn't lead to better mileage. Then you say you want it tuned for mileage so that it gets 30MPG. Well, which do you want? A 2.8 DI would make 235HP on paper (based on the same HP/L as the 3.6) and I see no reason why it would get any more than 1 MPG more than the 3.6 DI. The CTS is a heavy vehicle at ~4000 pounds and unless you go with a hybrid powertrain I don't think you're going to find many 4000lb vehicles with 260HP that get 30MPG without a hybrid system.

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2 issues:

1. How does someone make an 80mpg, 640hp, 932 mile range Mini-cooper, yet GM struggles to bring a 40mpg Malibu to market?

2. Cadillac should have offered the base CTS with a direct injected 2.8 litre that puts out the same HP as the current 3.6 but offers better mileage.

Point 1 is funny.

I totally agree with #2. I had a big problem with the base engine from the beginning. If the optional engine gets better mileage and more power, what is the point of even having the other engine. Every single GM 4 and 6 cylinder should be a DOHC direct injection engine by 2010. They could get 250 hp from a 2.8 DI V6 and probably gotten an extra 2 mpg over the 3.6 liter. Gas mileage is more important to some people than horsepower.

The Volt could be GM's most important car ever. I really hope they offer a luxury interior as well as the base. There are many people that gas mileage matters a lot to, but 45-60 year olds probably will want a nice interior, and not something like a college student drives.

Personally I am waiting for the Ultra V8, I want to see how good that is. Better be good, BMW is working on a twin-turbo DI V8 to go with the twin-turbo six. The six makes 300 hp, the V8 is rumored to be 408 or even more.

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1. Well in that case how can you compare a basically totally electric vehicle to a gas powered one?

2. What gearbox do you suggest? What do you actually want in this 2.8 DI engine? First you say make it have the same power as the current 3.6 and better mileage. That would require 92 HP/L, or 7+ HP/L more than the 3.6 DI makes. That means you have to had some higher-performing part elsewhere, which usually doesn't lead to better mileage. Then you say you want it tuned for mileage so that it gets 30MPG. Well, which do you want? A 2.8 DI would make 235HP on paper (based on the same HP/L as the 3.6) and I see no reason why it would get any more than 1 MPG more than the 3.6 DI. The CTS is a heavy vehicle at ~4000 pounds and unless you go with a hybrid powertrain I don't think you're going to find many 4000lb vehicles with 260HP that get 30MPG without a hybrid system.

1. Volt? The mini cooper has a small V2 petrol engine to recharge the batteries. But still, even if you had just two wheels with electric motors, you'd have a car with 320 horsepower and amazingly high MPG.

2. a. I'd suggest a gearbox with a really tall overdrive with a 2.8 litre tuned to make as much of it's torque as possible in the low RPM range so it can loaf around 1700 rpm at 70mph in 6th gear.

b. CTS base is 3800lbs

c. Toyota Avalon

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1. How does someone make an 80mpg, 640hp, 932 mile range Mini-cooper, yet GM struggles to bring a 40mpg Malibu to market?

The link you posted goes to a 78kW (~104hp) 200 mile range Mini for $50k. What am I missing?
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The link you posted goes to a 78kW (~104hp) 200 mile range Mini for $50k. What am I missing?

The part where I post the correct link. Sorry... fixed now to the correct article.

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I totally agree with #2. I had a big problem with the base engine from the beginning. If the optional engine gets better mileage and more power, what is the point of even having the other engine.

Uh... it's cheaper.

The Volt could be GM's most important car ever. I really hope they offer a luxury interior as well as the base. There are many people that gas mileage matters a lot to, but 45-60 year olds probably will want a nice interior, and not something like a college student drives.

There's no point trying to offer a luxury interior in the same car "a college student drives". I'd much rather see the technology adapted to existing cars in different market segments. Edited by emh
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The part where I post the correct link. Sorry... fixed now to the correct article.

I see... thanks for the link. But you can't really compare a one-off technology demonstration to a production vehicle. A much more compelling case would be to argue why GM doesn't have a competitor to the likes of the Tesla roadster (0-60 in 4s and energy efficiency equivalent to 135mpg according to Wikipedia -- yes that great source of absolutely accurate information). Of course, this applies to all major manufacturers, not just GM.
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Any news on ultra V8? In which car will be put, will it have FI,etc.

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I see... thanks for the link. But you can't really compare a one-off technology demonstration to a production vehicle. A much more compelling case would be to argue why GM doesn't have a competitor to the likes of the Tesla roadster (0-60 in 4s and energy efficiency equivalent to 135mpg according to Wikipedia -- yes that great source of absolutely accurate information). Of course, this applies to all major manufacturers, not just GM.

My point is that the technology is out there. The Tesla is a great example of this also.

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Any news on ultra V8? In which car will be put, will it have FI,etc.

Well, I assume it's not going to be carburated....

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My point is that the technology is out there. The Tesla is a great example of this also.

I agree, but my point is that just because a technology exists doesn't mean it's commercially viable. For a good example, think about super-sonic flight -- technology that has existed for decades but isn't in use in commercial flight today (and the one historical use was a commercial failure).
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Well, I assume it's not going to be carburated....

OMG..you didn't really think that by FI i meant fuel injection?? I meant forced induction-supercharger or turbocharger. Who would use carburator now??
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1) Because the Mini weighs 2500lbs and the Malibu weighs 3600. Fuel economy has a lot to do with weight and less to do with horsepower. The Mini Cooper probably also has a ridiculously tall top gear to achieve that mileage.

2) Cost. The 2.8 DI would cost about the same as the 3.6 DI. It's the same block, same components, just smaller heads and cylinders. The 3.6 non-DI has to be cheaper than a 2.8 DI. Also note that the 2.8 gets the same mileage as the 3.6 in the current CTS, so I'm not so sure the 2.8 DI would get that much better mileage. Again, mileage has more to do with weight than power. If you put an LS7 in a go-cart, it'd probably get 200 MPG because it only has to rev to 2000 rpm to make it go 500 MPH in 6th gear.

Which is why BMW has quietly dropped the 2.5 L I6 in favor of a lower-output version of the 3.0 L DI engine (of course Americans get a different, non-DI 3.0 L badged 328 to match Mercedes' 3.0 L C280). GM's 2.8 exists primarily as a base for turbocharging. Expect output to keep increasing (beyond the current 280 PS) as the driveline allows increasingly higher torque and hp levels.
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OMG..you didn't really think that by FI i meant fuel injection?? I meant forced induction-supercharger or turbocharger. Who would use carburator now??

Myself, along with FlyBrian, OCN, Pontiac-Custom, and a few others are the smart asses of the site.

Flybrian is king smart ass though.

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Myself, along with FlyBrian, OCN, Pontiac-Custom, and a few others are the smart asses of the site.

Flybrian is king smart ass though.

good to know :lol: :lol:

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Uh... it's cheaper.

It is a Cadillac, "cheap" shouldn't factor in to any decisions. I didn't see Lexus going with a 6-speed auto for the Lexus LS, they brought out an 8-speed transmission, I am sure that wasn't cheap, and they don't care. Cadillac needs that attitude.

On another topic, the 2.8L V6 with DI might not make 260 hp, but I think 245 is very doable, it makes 210 now, 245 is probably a goal they can meet, they got nearly 50 more hp from the 3.6 liter, they should be able to get 35 from the smaller engine. Or make the 2.8 a 2.9 liter if need be to get it to 245 hp. Under 3 liter is good for foreign markets that limit or tax displacement. That engine could be a real winner for cars like the Malibu, Aura, next gen LaCrosse, Pontiac alpha car, etc. And maybe GM should do a light hybrid on every car. Toyota in 10 years says they will be 100% hybrid, might as well try to beat them to it.

There's no point trying to offer a luxury interior in the same car "a college student drives". I'd much rather see the technology adapted to existing cars in different market segments.

Then maybe they have to do 2 Volts. I think it will be tough to get more mature buyers to buy a Volt if the interior is like a base Cobalt. But if they make it like a $28k car interior, they will price too many people out. If they have a nice LTZ package, they could pull it off I think in one car.

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weight could be an issue with the interior too though right? if the car is all electric the less it weighs the better because that could in turn determine a 100 mile trip or a longer trip. all that fancy ooh and ahh crap may just add ballast or just pull more on the batteries.

http://www.teslamotors.com/styling/cockpit/cockpit.php

Edited by cletus8269
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Make the Volt technology a trimline in existing vehicles.

You can buy a Chevy Malibu... or a Chevy Malibu Volt

You can buy a Buick LaCrosse... or a Buick LaCrosse Electra

You can buy a Cadillac CTS... or a Cadillac CTS - E

You can buy a GMC Yukon... or a GMC Yukon Electromotive

You can buy a Saturn Aura... or a Saturn Aura Power-line

Sorry, I couldn't come up with one for Pontiac..... but I did most of the heavy lifting here.

Edited by Oldsmoboi
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