By on June 14, 2018

Peugeot 208, Image: PSA Group

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]

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14 Comments on “America’s Future French Cars Will Have German Engines...”


  • avatar
    jpolicke

    Aren’t these the same engines that PSA, shortly after closing the deal, said were so technologically backwards that GM owed them compensation?

    • 0 avatar
      conundrum

      No. It’s using the Peugeot 1.6l block as the starting point, as the body of the article states. But I agree, the article is sloppily written, a TTAC trait of recent times. The real story, which actually makes sense, is here:

      https://int-media.opel.com/en/rüsselsheim-engineering-center-develops-next-four-cylinder-petrol-engine-generation-groupe-psa

  • avatar
    jh26036

    Seems like an incredibly dumb idea and a giant waste of $$$.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      This engine strategy, or PSA trying to re-enter the US?

      My answer? Yes.

      • 0 avatar
        conundrum

        It’s for worldwide use. From the Opel site linked above:

        “Market-introduction as of 2022 in China, Europe and North America”

        On a related note, PSA suffered a 50% drop in vehicle sales in China in 2017 compared to 2016. To French union uproar, they have been shipping “surplus” engines from China to France to keep the engine line rolling in China.

        Goodness knows where this Opel redesign overhaul of a PSA gasoline engine will be made from 2022. Probably both in China and Europe somewhere like now.

  • avatar
    Sub-600

    Zut Alors!

  • avatar
    "scarey"

    Let’s import French cars with Opel/Vauxhall engines ! And let’s assemble them in….oh, let’s flip a coin. What could go wrong ?

    • 0 avatar
      Ce he sin

      Well, that would depend, wouldn’t it? My father has had a series of German built Focuses fitted with French-designed engines made in Britain.
      How do you think that has gone?

  • avatar
    gasser

    I am old enough to remember, and have driven, some of the fine French vehicles of the 60s and 70s. Peugeot, Simca, Renault, Citroen were nightmares to maintain with very spotty dealer service, even in New York City. I really don’t think the French can steal me away from Japanese and Korean cars, even with fine Opel engines.

  • avatar
    Superdessucke

    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.

    • 0 avatar
      pdog_phatpat

      Makers arnt abandoning cars. PEOPLE ARE…and only THEY will be the ones to blame if and when gas prices spike.

    • 0 avatar
      lon888

      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…

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

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


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