America's Future French Cars Will Have German Engines

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

Assuming PSA Group‘s plan to re-enter the U.S. market isn’t thwarted by an all-out tariff war, you can expect to see Peugeots or Citroëns plying the roadways of America by the middle of next decade. Maybe it’ll be sooner than that.

Whenever they arrive, the vehicles will boast four-cylinder engines designed in Germany by Opel, a former General Motors division whose parent decided to put it up for adoption.

Opel says its Rüsselsheim Engineering Centre will build the next generation of PSA Group’s four-cylinder gasoline engines. Promising improved fuel efficiency and lowered emissions, the company claims these new units will boast direct injection and turbocharging — and that they’ll be “optimised for operation in combination with electric motors.”

It’s only natural that with diesel on its way out the door in Europe, special consideration must be given to hybrid powertrains. Opel claims the new engines will meet emissions standards in three target markets: Europe, China, and North America.

While the automaker didn’t describe just how broad this engine range will be, it says it’s using the existing 1.6-liter PSA engine as a starting point. The engines should start appearing in PSA vehicles in 2022.

As for when PSA vehicles will start appearing on American shores, that’s far less clear. Until the dust settles in the current trade brouhaha, PSA can’t gauge the financials of returning to the United States. The automaker hopes to rely heavily on technology, not a dealership network, to move its wares, but there’ll be approvals needed first. Earlier this year, the company said it’s already engineering models that will be compliant with U.S. laws, adding that it could pull the trigger in about three years’ time, should it choose to.

[Image: PSA Group]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • Superdessucke Superdessucke on Jun 14, 2018

    Smart auto makers. They know that the US makes are abandoning the smaller cars. Hell, cars period. So once gas prices spike, and they will, they will be in giod position to fill that need. And hopefully we (taxpayers) won't be there to bail out GM, FCA, or Ford when they're standing there with their hands tied to their tender bits.

    • See 1 previous
    • Lon888 Lon888 on Jun 15, 2018

      The large SUV and pick-up drivers haven't figured out "what goes up always comes down". I've been driving since 1976 and have seen this cycle many times. Their 500 hp toys will be relegated to the BHPH lots when gas hits $5/gal again. People like me who have always driven small hatchbacks will just keep on going...

  • Mandalorian Mandalorian on Jun 15, 2018

    Would I rather buy an engine smaller than a soft drink ot a Hemi...

  • ShitHead It kicked on one time for me when a car abruptly turned into my lane. Worked as advertised. I was already about to lean into the brake as I was into the horn.
  • Theflyersfan I look at that front and I have to believe that BMW and Genesis designers look at that and go "wow...that's a little much." Rest of the car looks really good - they nailed the evolution of the previous design quite well. They didn't have to reinvent the wheel - when people want a Mustang, I don't think they are going to cross-shop because they know what they want.
  • Theflyersfan Winters go on around Halloween and Summers go on in late March or early April. However, there were some very cold mornings right after the summers went on that had me skidding a bit due to no grip! I do enough (ahem) spirited driving on empty hilly/mountain roads to justify a set of sticky rubber, and winters are a must as while there isn't much snow where I am (three dustings of snow this entire winter), I head to areas that get a bit more snow and winter tires turns that light, RWD car into a snow beast!
  • SCE to AUX My B5.5 was terrible, but maybe the bugs have been worked out of this one.
  • Zerofoo 5-valve 1.8T - and OK engine if you aren't in a hurry. These turbocharged engines had lots of lag - and the automatic transmission didn't help.Count on putting a timing belt on this immediately. The timing belt service interval, officially, was 100,000 miles and many didn't make it to that.