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Drew Dowdell

GM bringing 1.4L turbo four to market next year

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GM bringing 1.4L turbo four to market next year


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General Motors has announced that it's bringing out a new 1.4L turbocharged four-cylinder gasoline engine next year, which will help the automaker increase cars' fuel economy while presumably not sacrificing power. A normally-aspirated version of this motor is currently offered across the pond in the Opel Astra 5-door. Dubbed the 1.4 Twinport Ecotec, the Euro-spec NA version makes 90 horsepower at 5600 RPM, 92 lb-ft of torque at 4000 RPM, and gets 38.5 US miles per gallon in the combined cycle. With a snail attached, the little 1.4L should easily corral over one hundred horses. According to GM's Jim Queen, both the Chevy Cobalt and Saturn Astra (no surprise there) are candidates for the US-bound turbo variant, with midsizers not out of the question, either. The 1.4L will supplant the Aveo's 1.6L four as the smallest engine offered by GM in the US. Hey General, while you're at it, why not throw it in the Aveo, too? Between this and Ford's EcoBoost push, we expect to be seeing "turbo" badges on a lot of cars in the years to come.
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Not a bad idea. Will it be attached to the next generation Cobalt rather than putting it in this one?

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Suddenly it's 1991!

Edited by Dodgefan
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Suddenly it'd 1991!

Except not all GM models have ABS standard.

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I can see the embarrassment now if they gave us the 1.4 without the turbo...a brand new Astra or Cobalt loosing drag races to 90's economy cars like Neon, Prizms, Shadow, Escorts! :lol:

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so will this replace the 2.2L? or just be another option?

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I can see the embarrassment now if they gave us the 1.4 without the turbo...a brand new Astra or Cobalt loosing drag races to 90's economy cars like Neon, Prizms, Shadow, Escorts! :lol:

If you buy that car, you KNOW what you're buying.

I would happily buy this engine. And never race anyone with it.

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All of you laughing at this engine, bite your tongues! It's this sort of thing that will keep the V8 alive longer by helping to raise GM's CAFE average. No, it's not for the enthusiast, but for the person who just wants a 38MPG appliance, it'll do just fine.

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I wonder if they will offer it in the base Tahoe and Silverado to up their mileage averages... :)

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I wonder if they will offer it in the base Tahoe and Silverado to up their mileage averages... :)

probably as the starter for the 7.0 litre

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Except not all GM models have ABS standard.

but they probably will by the time this engine makes it to the US... along with Traction Control and ESC.

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so will this replace the 2.2L? or just be another option?

The 2.2L makes 148hp, right? I can see the 1.4L I4 coming in at around 140hp/150hp with a fatter (or at least much flatter) torque curve than the 2.2L. It could be an interesting entry-level engine! :yes:

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All of you laughing at this engine, bite your tongues! It's this sort of thing that will keep the V8 alive longer by helping to raise GM's CAFE average. No, it's not for the enthusiast, but for the person who just wants a 38MPG appliance, it'll do just fine.

38 mpg on the European cycle is with the current naturally-aspirated 90 PS engine. The turbocharged version might be a bit worse.

AutoblogGreen's initial driving impressions:

One of the vehicles that General Motors provided for evaluation during their Powertrain Technology briefing was an Opel Astra equipped with a new 1.4L turbocharged four cylinder. This engine is a result of work that GM is doing to develop downsized turbocharged engines that can maintain reasonable levels of performance while improving fuel economy. This is a similar approach to that being taken by Volkswagen with their TSI and Ford with their upcoming Twin-Force engines.

The 1.4L turbo had an output of 140 hp paired up with a six-speed automatic transmission. Unlike the VW and Ford engines, GM stuck with multi-port fuel injection on this engine instead of switching to direct injection. Nonetheless the engine produces as much power as the current 1.8L normally aspirated engine. On a short test loop that included highway speeds and a simulated urban environment, the engine proved to be very responsive with no noticeable lag.

The Astra itself is pretty much the car that will be appearing in Saturn dealerships this fall. Even though the Astra will be the entry-level model for Saturn, it will have a high level of standard equipment including both thorax and curtain airbags and ABS and traction control. From this quick drive it was clear that the Astra will probably be the best small car that GM has ever offered in the North American market. If they add direct injection it would be even better. No production date was stated for these small displacement turbocharged engines, but it seems safe to assume that they will appear in the next couple of years.

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Aveo, Cobalt, Astra, HHR, Zafira (when it comes), should all get this engine.

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All of you laughing at this engine, bite your tongues! It's this sort of thing that will keep the V8 alive longer by helping to raise GM's CAFE average. No, it's not for the enthusiast, but for the person who just wants a 38MPG appliance, it'll do just fine.

Exactly!

I agree 100% and i think it's a great idea.

Heck, maybe it's a smoother piece than the 2.2 to begin with.

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38 mpg on the European cycle is with the current naturally-aspirated 90 PS engine. The turbocharged version might be a bit worse.

Still... if it only gets 35mpg combined.

It's not likely that the highway mileage would drop much. It'd be the city cycle that would suffer most.

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GM has more than one 1.4 L engine it could base the turbo off:

The old Family 1 1.4 L:

Z14XE 1389 cc 16V 89 hp (GMPT Europe, now only in South African Corsa pickups [a.k.a. Montana/Tornado])

C14SE 1389 cc 8V 84 hp (the real classic 1.4 L)

X14YF 1389 cc 8V EconoFlex 88 hp (YFL) or 98 hp (YFH) (GM do Brasil's very-high-compression flexfuel engines)

F14D 1399 cc 16V 97 hp (GM Daewoo version [slightly wider bore than the original GME engine], updated with either TwinPort or dual CVVT)

Pros—wider bore spacings support higher boost pressures, turbos already developed for 1.6 L version

Cons—heavier, less compact

The newer Family 0 1.4 L

Z14XEP 1364 cc 16V 89 hp

pros—smaller, lightweight block, better economy

cons—less power than larger Family 1 1.4 L

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Still... if it only gets 35mpg combined.

I'll reserve judgment until I see the EPA estimates and the real-world fuel economy. It should at least match what current N/A engines do in performance and fuel economy. The advantage might be that the turbo provides good low-rpm torque (if it's tuned that way), which would be more ideal in an appliance.

Edited by siegen
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It should at least match what current N/A engines do in performance and fuel economy.

What would be the point then? If it's just going to perform the same and get the same fuel economy.... why not just stick with the existing engine?

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What would be the point then? If it's just going to perform the same and get the same fuel economy.... why not just stick with the existing engine?

Well I gave one possible advantage, that being low end torque with a properly tuned and sized turbocharger.

And I'm merely saying it will at least match what current offering do, otherwise they wouldn't pursue it. I didn't say it might not exceed them. :AH-HA_wink:

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and no one wants to drive this anyways. no one, if left to free choice, would choose a 1.4L turbo in a $h!box.

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Good thing it'd be in an Astra then. 150hp in an Astra would be better than the 138hp it's got now.

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if they DI it, it could be the "SS" model for the aveo. lol

do we know what the plans are for the 2.2L, if it's upgraded or not, in the upcoming 09's?

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I'm all for it if it helps keep the Zetas alive...but I still can't help but poke fun at it. :P

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Sweet. EcoBoost/TSI/downsized-turbocharged-engines are immediate, near-term, and inexpensive technologies that increase fuel economy.

In the UK, Volkswagen has replaced their range of 1.6- and 2.0-liter gas engines in the Golf, with 1.4-liter TSI engines in varying amounts of power - 120 hp, 138 hp, and 168 hp. The latter two engines have superchargers in addition to turbochargers and direct injection; the 168 hp version is particularly well-suited to replace the common 2.4 liter base engine in US midsizers. The 120 hp version has a 7-speed DSG and approaches near-diesel levels of fuel economy.

Edited by empowah
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