By on July 20, 2015

2016 Buick Encore

General Motors announced Monday a new trim for the 2016 Buick Encore that will use a new 1.4-liter turbocharged four, which will be the first application of a new global-engine platform. The car will go on sale this fall.

According to GM, the new mill produces 153 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque — an 11 percent gain in power and 20 percent gain in twist over the 1.4-liter turbocharged engine currently doing duty in the cute ute. The two engines share only similar displacements. The current mill is rated at 138 hp and 148 lb-ft of torque.

There’s also a new Encore trim called Encore Sport Touring and it has a spoiler and 18-inch wheels and body-colored door handles and back to the engine.

The aluminum block has been specifically built to reduce friction and increase cooling, GM said in a statement announcing the Buick Encore Sport Touring.

In addition to its aluminum block and heads, GM said low-friction piston rings, camshaft drive and a low-friction oil pump will boost efficiency. A steel crankshaft was used to reduce engine vibration, and steel connecting rods used with aluminum-alloy pistons with low-tension rings will cut weight without sacrificing durability.

The small engine will also use a variable-flow oiling system that matches oil supply with engine load, removing excessive oil pumping. Oil jets will help cool pistons to increase efficiency.

At the other end, the cylinder head has a water-cooled exhaust manifold integrated with its aluminum casting to speed engine warm-up, and gasket seals around the exhaust ports have been removed. GM says both measures will help efficiency and durability, as well as offer “under-hood packaging advantages.”

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85 Comments on “New Buick Engine Powering New Buick Encore Around It...”


  • avatar
    davefromcalgary

    Doesn’t GM have a 1.6T around 200 hp kicking around somewhere?

    I can’t help but think that would be a much more appropriate base engine in a Buick.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      GM is going to come out with a .8 liter twin turbo motor for Buick/Chevrolet so as to make the 2.0T they will use in the base CT6 relatively large.

      • 0 avatar

        Seriously…who wants a 4-cylinder in a car the size of a CT6?

        Anyone?

        [crickets]

        Exactly. I don’t know why they even wasted development and tooling money to offer that engine choice.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          The Chinese?

          • 0 avatar
            threeer

            Understandable, given that the Encore is something like 79% Korean and 18% Chinese content. Doesn’t leave much “Buick” in it. Maybe that 3% is in the emblems.

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            Darn good question… what are Chinese driving habits like? Do they have any roads uncongested enough to drive like Americans?

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            @RideHieght

            “Drive like Americans” – you mean using less than 1/2 the horsepower they paid for, ever? Put the average American driver in a decently fast car and floor it and they would sh!t a twinkie.

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            krhodes1,

            You are quite right, I had a syntax malfunction. I should have said “like American adolescents”.

        • 0 avatar
          Featherston

          Encore (small), not Enclave (big). Not that the names aren’t incredibly easily confused.

          Edit: the CT6’s “I’ll believe it when I see it weight” is estimated to be less than 3,700 pounds, so the Encore is about 400 pounds lighter. Apologies, maybe you did mean Encore after all.

          That said, the Car and Driver 0-60 time for the Encore with the 138-hp 1.4T is 10.0, which is perfectly fine for real world use, no matter how much the B&B may howl.

        • 0 avatar
          bd2

          Both the 5 Series and A6 are available with a 4-banger and they weigh more than the CT6.

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          I never expect (or even want, necessarily) people to agree with me, but am glad you see the folly in Cadillac equipping the CT6 with a 4 cylinder bas engine “just because” some purported competitors do in similarly sized vehicles (although Cadillac still hasn’t specified what the direct competition is for the CT6; is the BMW 5 Series or 7 Series? The Audi A6 or A8? The Mercedes E Class, because Johan did say they won’t have a S Class competitor for 4 more years?).

        • 0 avatar
          Shinoda is my middle name

          Because Obama and C.A.F.E.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          Oh but you want RWD do you? Here, BASE 2.0 ONLY. Suck it, Cadillac customer.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I’m starting to understand why truly monied people buy Teslas.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I am holding my breath for the new Continental to be good. It doesn’t have to be very good to stomp all over this “flagship – oh wait no now it’s not, there’s a better one coming.” CT6.

    • 0 avatar

      Yes. They use it in the Chinese market. It was even available in the Cruze.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      The 1.6T won’t fit under the hood of Gamma, as I understand it.

      I’m flummoxed by that because if you open the hood of an Encore, there is plenty of room.

      I suspect that there is engineering work beyond ‘bolt it in’ to get the 1.6 in there, while adding the more powerful 1.4L turbo mill is likely plug and play.

      The Encore needs the extra go go power – will be interesting to see what the new mill can do.

  • avatar
    Jellodyne

    There’s also a new Encore trim called Encore Sport Touring and it has a spoiler and 18-inch wheels and body-colored door handles.

    Back to the engine, the aluminum block has been specifically built to reduce friction and increase cooling, GM said in a statement announcing the Buick Encore Sport Touring.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    “In addition to its aluminum block and heads, GM said low-friction piston rings, camshaft drive and a low-friction oil pump will boost efficiency. A steel crankshaft was used to reduce engine vibration, and steel connecting rods used with aluminum-alloy pistons with low-tension rings will cut weight without sacrificing durability.

    The small engine will also use a variable-flow oiling system that matches oil supply with engine load, removing excessive oil pumping. Oil jets will help cool pistons to increase efficiency.”

    Read as… “Will burn as much oil as a Wankel Rotary.”

    • 0 avatar
      bryanska

      My Chrysler 300 has this on the Pentastar. It’s an oil pump with two vanes. A solenoid clicks over at around 3k RPM to engage the high flow vane. Has oil jets too.

      I don’t burn any oil, but the oil pump solenoid is proving to be problematic on Pentastars, necessitating an oil pump chanegout.

      • 0 avatar
        JimC2

        Yeah, wondering if “variable” for this new Buick engine means two stage (or more) or does it mean an axial piston pump.

        Hopefully they do it in a way that is reliable for the life of the car.

    • 0 avatar
      el scotto

      -cough- Vega engine -cough- Has GM ever made an everyday aluminum engine that worked? No, not some COPO or performance only engine. I have doubts about this one.

  • avatar
    RideHeight

    I doubt this will make one whit of difference to the core Buick buyer.

    If Encores weren’t GM, I’d have been one of those by now. And all I care about is it’s tall and would leave lots of space around it in the garage.

    That’s not an easy combination to find.

    • 0 avatar
      bryanska

      I would have one by now except for the power problem. it’s dog slow, and this tiny HP bump isn’t going to help much.

      it needs a GS trim with 175HP.

      • 0 avatar
        RideHeight

        I live in the right lane.

        • 0 avatar
          PrincipalDan

          And when RideHeight is going the speed limit and comes up on a vehicle going 1 to 2 mph slower than he is, he pulls out to pass and does not speed up one single iota.

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            “And when RideHeight…pulls out to pass..”

            I’m seldom that rash. Only if I really have to pee.

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            @RideHeight, just so you know I’m the guy in the granite grey Highlander with dark tints who’s screaming at you to “speed up”.

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            PD, for better vision to my right I’ve removed the RVMs from my last three vehicles so I’ll never see you till you’re past :-)

      • 0 avatar
        Brumus

        No, “dog slow” is the the anemic Crosstrek or HR-V.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        I’m in the same camp — I would strongly consider an Encore. I’m a borderline empty nester (one part-timer left) and live near an urban center with suck for parking. For the most part my driving is a ball of suck in stop and go traffic, and I have a toy for the need for speed. But it is just way too under powered in current configuration.

        The updated 1.4L bows at the altar of torque so I’m reserving judgement – I’ll drive one with the updated mill.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      RideHeight, you need an HR-V.

      • 0 avatar
        RideHeight

        Nooo… I bonked my head getting in one at the Honda store!

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          It’s that low? Dang. I haven’t seen one in person yet and just assumed that it would be like the Encore/Trax.

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            Well, in fairness, I’m stonewalling a hip replacement, left hip of course, so scrunching sideways upon entry isn’t really an option.

            And while the roof height of the HR-V is nominally fine, a lot has to do with the height of the actual door cut-out. For instance, I can get in my wife’s Fit no problemo.

            But I was pretty disappointed with the HR-V’s accessibility, sightlines and the &$#@ obligatory downward slope of the rear roof, reducing the opening size of the hatch as it does plus cutting cargo space.

  • avatar
    ajla

    With a Trifecta Tune this thing will get 50MPG while towing and easily run down Teslas and Hellcats.

  • avatar
    carguy

    Does anyone know ow much lighter it is than the old 1.4 cast iron lump?

  • avatar
    Chan

    Americans are in for a nasty surprise with the move to turbo engines smaller than 1.8L.

    Off-boost, these engines need full throttle to produce meaningful acceleration.

    One only needs to revisit the 1980s for truly gutless engines, but this will be some serious nostalgia.

    • 0 avatar
      Steve Biro

      In many ways, it feels like the late 1970s and early 1980s right now – when the automakers were attempting to use mechanical solutions for challenges in the areas of emissions and auto safety. The solutions worked – sort of – but weren’t pretty and certainly not seamless or elegant.

      Then we eventually got reasonably affordable electronics and everything changed. Of course, we still had to endure the teething period for electronics before things worked out pretty well.

      Perhaps these small-displacement, turbocharged powerplants are only a transition technology – the rough equivalent of the mechanical solutions of 35 years ago. They may be what we need now until we get to the next technological level.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I like your post but I disagree on this:

        “They may be what we need now until we get to the next technological level.”

        The next technological level is post conventional ICE, turbo does not get us there. Turbo simply acts as a crutch to allow tiny engines in ever so heavier models, and in reality wastes more fuel than is saves in practice. Conventional N/A 2.0L I4s make the most sense in many situations. The next technology will probably be hybrid (gasoline/lpg/ethnaol), but hydrogen may surprise us. If you asked me in 2005 what the future would be, I would have told you diesel.

        • 0 avatar

          I’m thinking that the next level is hybrids, hybrids everywhere. Not mild-hybrid, start-stop systems, but actual, real hybrids. And I’m okay with that. An electric motor really alleviates the stress put on the engine if done right, especially at low speeds, not to mention the increased fuel economy. This is why they have Escape Hybrid taxicabs with 400K miles still moving along like it’s nothing. Plus, as we’ve seen with some recent hypercars (McLaren P1, Porsche 918), it can really enhance performance in certain applications. There’s a particular hybrid, the Lexus GS 450h, that I really like…and that would be my first choice in a mid-sized, longitude-engined luxury sedan.

          Hopefully if it’s done in significant volumes, it will drive down the costs of the electric components and spur further research toward better battery technology.

          • 0 avatar
            HotPotato

            Agreed! Doubters need only drive a Focus with an automatic, followed by a C-Max. Same bones, vastly different driving experience. The C-Max is torquier, quieter, faster, and with its eCVT much smoother than the lurchy dual-clutch Focus, and gets considerably better MPG (city especially) despite being much larger in passenger and cargo room. I liked it so much, I bought it.

            In its two years with me, I enjoyed its frequent electric-only periods of operation so much that I replaced the household’s other car with an electric-only Fiat 500e, which is faster, quieter, smoother, and better-handling than the standard 500. Can’t go more than 100 miles without plugging in, but only a masochist would want to spend more than 100 miles at a stretch in a short-wheelbase city car.

            Weight and cost will need to come down for these to be mainstream solutions…but in the meantime, niche carmakers could have a field day. Could Mazda please give us a cool electric car with a Wankel range extender?

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          Done correctly (BMW, Saab) turbos are brilliant. Power when you need it, exceptional fuel economy when you don’t. There is no free lunch, the price for that combination is added expense, up front and down the road. I would rather pay a car maker and/or a mechanic than oil producers.

          • 0 avatar
            APaGttH

            Oh man, back in the day, when the Saab 900 was really something, I mean something…Saab did boost right.

        • 0 avatar
          Shinoda is my middle name

          Well said. Turbo on a small displacement ICE is a mask. It allows the vehicle to qualify for a high C.A.F.E score while driven benignly in the test environment. But in the real world, the vehicles waste more fuel than the larger displacement engines they replace because of how normal drivers drive them.

          The automotive equivalent of ‘teaching for the test’ in the education world. In education, you get students who can’t think their way out of a cardboard box. With automobiles, you get cars which technically pass an arbitrary standard which suck in the real world environment.

          Government needs to stay the hell out and let markets take care of both education and cars.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      @Chan

      No, they really don’t, with making max torque just off idle. I have driven plenty of rented Cruze with the 1.4T and have zero complaints. The slow ones are the 1.8L non-turbo – screaming revs if you want to get anywhere. If you want to go fast, buy something that is intended to be fast.

      • 0 avatar
        Featherston

        @ krhodes1 – Agreed, I’ve had the Cruze several times as a work trip rental (a 1.4T in each case), and the powertrain is fine. A friend got the NA 1.8 once and did describe it as “buzzy.”

        • 0 avatar
          APaGttH

          I’m up to 1,010 miles on a Cruze LT with the 1.4L right now (that’s 2 days of driving). It is OK, but I find it poky. The shifts are definitely soft – GM likes to tune those trannies to shift softly across the board it seems.

          Once it’s rolling, it will go – but you won’t win any drag races.

          Picked up at Dollar in Detroit – ALMOST took a Jetta out of curiosity but it was in penalty box trim and I’ve never had a chance to rent a Cruze. Guy in front of me got to the sunroof equipped LTZ before I did – bummer.

          I would never, EVER own a Cruze after racking up these miles.

          No lumbar support in the driver seat and no way to adjust. I don’t feel beaten to death, but when you drive 500 miles you definitely feel it. The knob for the temperature control is in a ridiculous location, my knee would bump it constantly as it is outward and low in the center stack. There are build quality issues also.

          Infotainment is solid – when driven gently (e.g. 55 MPH roads so 62 with cruise control) it lives up to the MPG sticker. Drive at 78 and get the turbo spooled up and it drops to about 33 – under whelmed.

  • avatar

    Does anyone read a GM press release about new engine functions and not immediately think it sounds like a lot of future problems coming down the line. GM has sunk to the point where someone would be more surprised by something showing robust and resilient design as opposed to wondering what else is going to go wrong once the one daytime running light goes out at 6k miles. I saw a nearly new GMC truck the other day with the LED running light not working on the driver side. I think at this point it’s just tradition.

  • avatar
    infinitime

    Apparently the General has no issues about sharing this engine with its Chinese partners in the upcoming Roewe 360… as the “top” engine.

    http://www.carnewschina.com/2015/07/17/officially-official-this-is-the-new-roewe-360-sedan-for-china/

    Dollars to donuts that at least SOME of those Chinese-built engines (or parts of hte engine) will make its way into North American GM cars.

    People go on about how the Chinese will flooding the market with their cars, but it likely that the first wave to hit the US will be from GM and Honda (last generation Honda Fit), rather than any Chinese home-grown competitor.

    • 0 avatar
      threeer

      Volvo has already stolen that march. Chinese-built Volvos will soon be sold here, and those Americans buying them are likely to care less (or even know…they’ll just assume they are still Swedish).

    • 0 avatar
      RideHeight

      “(last generation Honda Fit)”

      Only Fit VINs I’ve seen here are Japanese or, now, Mexican. I think that Chinese Fit stayed in dragon land.

      Oops, according to the NYT Canada and 26 other countries got some but not the US.

  • avatar
    Rday

    I dunno. GM always uses its’ customers to test their new products. So I would guess that the problems will not get worked out for a while, if ever. The new low displacement/boosted engines IMO put alot of stress on the units that are most likely not designed for that kind of abuse. I think mileage claims have been overstated by the car companies. and CR does not have much good to say about the domestics as far as reliability goes. Hint…direct injection gas engines, boosted small displacement engines. etc.

    • 0 avatar
      wmba

      Well, since these brand new engines were announced by Opel 6 or so months ago, and their write-ups are available on the internet, why on earth would you think they weren’t designed as a turbo engine to begin with? There’s also a 3 cylinder version in the Opel Adam.

      I’m not a fan of GM myself, but some of the arguments posted here in the comments seem ludicrous and ill-thought out. Mere opinion based on nothing in particular.

  • avatar
    Acubra

    This reads like a description of a VW 1.4TSFi “engine” – and I will not be surprised to see the same scope of issues – so intimately familiar to many a VW owner (although it is debatable, who gets owned here) in Europe.

    • 0 avatar

      Currently, the 1.4-liter turbo engine is only sold in one car here in the States…the Jetta Hybrid. And it’s mated to the 7-speed dry-clutch DSG because that is the only engine it can handle; it cannot handle the higher-displacement engines without wet clutches.

      However, I hear that Volkswagen is going to make the 1.4-liter turbo the volume engine in the Jetta, with only the “Sport” and possibly “SEL” trims having the larger 1.8-liter turbo. The good news is that the 1.4-liter will replace the ancient 2.slow boat anchor in the base “S” trim.

  • avatar

    I’m not concerned about horsepower figures outright; I’m concerned about how the car drives. People balk at my Golf SportWagen TDI and its meager 150 HP; however, I have no trouble when I need to accelerate quickly, and it’s very well matched to the size and weight of the vehicle, the latter of which is only 100 pounds more than the regular Golf, if that. But I’ve found that most subcompact crossovers—including the Encore with its current 1.4-liter turbo and my grandmother’s 2014 Soul, which has the DI 2.0-liter N/A engine—feel woefully underpowered. So if this new engine gives the car more get-up-and-go and helps it to get out of its own way, then I’m happy.

    • 0 avatar
      Chan

      That’s the inherent problem with small turbo gasoline engines. Off-boost, you have all of 1.4L to propel your 3500-lb. crossover. And when the boost comes on, a surge of power provides more acceleration than expected.

      Diesel motors are an entirely different animal as they have tons of low-RPM torque. They run out of steam very early in the rev range, which is only problematic in high-speed passing situations. Small diesels and hybrid setups are good power solutions for stop-and-go driving.

  • avatar
    Speed3

    They should just make this the base engine and drop in the 2.0T. Also, I hope the Encore gets some serious interior upgrades in the mid-cycle refresh. The current Encore is pretty cheap and there is lots of room upmarket to move.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      The 2.0T won’t fit under the hood. GM had said that no 2.0T would go into the Sonic (that would be one FUN car to drive) because Gamma can’t fit the 2.0.

  • avatar
    Chan

    I gave this photo a second look, and have a question for the community here: What’s with GM and those terrible amber running lights? I can’t imagine that these are legal outside the US, and I recall that various American cars have had these over the decades.

    Is this the same outdated set of USDOT rules that still allows red rear turn signal lamps and still does not require side-mounted repeaters?

    • 0 avatar
      KalapanaBlack

      It’s the photo filter. They are actually high beams at 25%. GM and Chrysler have used amber DRL before, though (W-Body Intrigue and Regal/Century, first-gen 200, current Dart).

      • 0 avatar
        KalapanaBlack

        Doh. I just looked again. Looks like they turned the auto function off (disabling drls) then took the photo with the parking lights on. The actual drls are the high beams at reduced voltage on the Encore.

    • 0 avatar
      Onus

      Yes, FMVSS regulations allow amber or white running lights. In practice I have not seen much in the way of white running lights. Instead nearly universally the turn signals have 2 filaments bulbs that run on the dim filament.

      Though, with led DRLs that has been changing because the DRLs can work as running lights as well so why not? We don’t require DRLs in the US but since Europe regulations started to require them a few years back they are popping up everywhere.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        Most Japanese cars and many European cars have white running lights in the US market. Amber running lights are pretty much a North America-only thing. They’re all white everywhere else.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Hell, they’ve been doing up top amber lights since the Rendezvous.

  • avatar
    LectroByte

    > gasket seals around the exhaust ports have been removed

    Are gaskets that expensive? Think I’ll give them 4 or 5 years to see how well this engineering works out.

    • 0 avatar
      Denx57

      Are you refering to the ports on the fender?

    • 0 avatar
      shaker

      I think they mean that since the “water-cooled aluminum” exhaust manifold is now part of the cylinder head, gaskets for each port are no longer needed. I guess that is a “feature” rather than an obvious “duhh- not needed.”

      Unless I missed a sarcasm tag somewhere…

      The Encore definitely needed more “grunt”, it remains to be seen if this will be enough.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    Buick Encore Sport Touring? Does this mean GM still has a pinstripes and stickers will make it go faster department?

  • avatar
    "scarey"

    @ APaGttH
    July 20th, 2015 at 8:14 pm
    Oh man, back in the day, when the Saab 900 was really something, I mean something…Saab did boost right.

    SAABS ! Is that YOU ? I haven’t seen you since the Institute !
    Remember- SONY- Bony ?
    Jaguar- for men who want hand jobs from beautiful women they hardly know.
    Best Wishes, Hello.

    P,S. Does Buick build their engines (the 18%) in China ?

  • avatar
    Denx57

    All these fabulous specs. Reminds me of another GM debut.. the 1970 Vega with that high tech aluminum engine.

  • avatar
    shaker

    The thing that I HATE about CUV’s:

    Plastic “Off-Road” cladding all around the bottom of the car to “protect” it from — having to be waxed, as it looks like crap if you get wax on it.

    5 years, and the sun-fade sets in, and you’re applying “back-to-black” as often as some poor souls apply Preparation H…

    • 0 avatar
      RideHeight

      You are evidently not a salt-belter.

      Where you see plastic gakk, I see rockers that won’t rot out, even if the owner is too clueless to install splashguards.

      • 0 avatar
        shaker

        I am a “salt-belter” (PA), and I’m happy to say that the rockers on my 2013 Malibu are painted with color-matched “stone-chip” paint – the rear valance *is* the black plastic, but is small and subtle.

  • avatar
    RideHeight

    >>color-matched “stone-chip” paint

    Interesting option I knew nothing about. Did you or the dealer apply it and what if any warranty implications?

    Given the vastly better anti-corrosion treatments for sheet metal these days I guess you can assume only a surface chip in the paint surface will start the rot-out. So different from days of yore when every new car came with tin-worn larvae.

    • 0 avatar
      shaker

      AFAIK, it’s a factory-applied paint, on the bottom 2″ or so of the rocker panel. It could be a thick “clearcoat” layer over the base color. Also, it could be part of the “Crystal Red Tintcoat” color, which was an extra-cost paint option.
      Now, I’m going to get caught in my parking lot at work, kneeling next to rental Maliboos to see if it’s part of the standard paint colors… :-)

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    “which will be the first application of a new global-engine platform”

    AKA “Do not buy this particular GM vehicle.”


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