GM Unveils New, Clean-Sheet Ecotec Family

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon
gm unveils new clean sheet ecotec family

General Motors has unveiled a new generation of their Ecotec engine family, whose 11 three- and four-pot powerplants will find a home under the bonnets of 27 models by 2017.

Automotive News reports the new clean-sheet engines range from a turbocharged 1-liter I3, to a 1.5-liter turbo-four, feature modular design for efficient assembly, consist of aluminium heads and blocks, and include VVT, dual overhead cams with four valves per cylinder, and water-cooled exhaust manifolds among other offerings. Power in the family ranges from 75 horses/70 lb-ft of torque, to 165 horsepower and 184 lb-ft.

The first of the new engines, the aforementioned I3, is already under production, and will debut under the hood of the Opel Adam later this spring, while the 2015 Cruze will come with a turbocharged 1.4-liter and a naturally aspirated 1.5-liter for the Chinese market. No word on when the Ecotec engines will debut in North America, however, let alone which vehicles will receive them.

GM expects annual volume to reach 2.5 million units by 2017 once all five factories responsible for their production are in full swing. The factories are located in Michigan, Mexico, China, Hungary and South Korea.

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4 of 24 comments
  • Ixim Ixim on Mar 20, 2014

    Looks like the plan is to meet future CAFE regs with smaller, lighter vehicles powered by small, low-power engines. They will ace the EPA numbers while delivering terrible mpg's in real life. Note the current 2.4 EcoTec I4 rated at 32mpg in ~ 3500 lb Terrains. Will the 1.5 turbo improve on that?

  • Namstrap Namstrap on Mar 20, 2014

    I was also wondering about water cooled exhaust manifolds. Interesting idea. I guess there'll be another reason for white smoke out the tailpipe now.

  • Zip89123 Zip89123 on Mar 20, 2014

    Now if GM could just make sure I can get a 6.2 engine in a base 1500 without having to spend $55,000 for accessories I neither want nor need, I'd be happy.

  • Claytori Claytori on Mar 20, 2014

    Other than the Ecotec label, these engines have little in common with the current crop. First, the head flow is reversed, with the exhaust valves to the front and the intakes to the rear. This puts the turbo closer to the intercooler. The water (coolant) pump is external, belt driven, and on the opposite side of the current layout, which improves its accessibility. The oil filter is no longer a casette type but a conventional can type. The alternator is moved from the current high forward position in the engine bay to low and behind, a poor location for service. I see three cylinder turbo, and four cylinder NA and turbo engines in the picture above.