General Motors invited media to a technical brief recently at the Radisson Admiral Hotel Toronto to discuss its continued commitment to diesel engine technology.
Presentations were made by Dan Nicholson, GM Vice-President Global Propulsion Systems, who spoke about the importance of diesel for General Motors, and Michael Siegrist, Regional Chief Engineer, Ecotec 1.6L Turbo Diesel, who broke down the highlights of the Ecotec four-cylinder turbocharged 1.6 litre diesel engine.
General Motors (through its Chevrolet and GMC brands) offers 11 diesel engine models in its portfolio. Globally, GM offers 34 diesel engines (including recently sold Opel models), which includes engines from 1.0L three-cylinder to 6.6L V-8. The Ecotec 1.6L diesel engine, highlighted at the briefing is a global engine as development is spread across many countries (including Canada, Italy, Germany, and US), with final production of diesel models (Cruze and Equinox) done in Mexico.
Michael Siegrist, Regional Chief Engineer, Ecotec 1.6L Turbo Diesel. The Ecotec 1.6L diesel engine, nicknamed the ‘whisper diesel’ includes a variety of technologies to make it fuel efficient, durable, quiet, lightweight, low emission, while having good performance. It has 137 horsepower and 240 foot/pounds of torque. It offers variable geometry turbo charger, intake manifold with variable swirl, low emission combustion system, aluminum block and bedplate, ceramic glow plugs, solenoid fuel injection system, high-efficiency exhaust gas recirculation, timing system on rear of engine, a variable displacement oil pump, solenoid controlled piston cooling jets, and diesel particulate filter and selective catalyst reduction system.
“It is very fun to drive, with torque on demand at all speeds,” said Nicholson. “In fact, the engine delivers 90 per cent of peak torque between 1,500 and 3,250 rpm. The strong torque provides the feeling of a larger engine, with exceptional smoothness and quietness.”
The 1.6L is available on the Chevrolet Equinox, Chevrolet Cruze, Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback, and GMC Terrain. Comparing fuel economy for gas and diesel engines on selected vehicles shows why diesels are known for their efficiency. Equinox AWD models with the 1.6L diesel have a combined rating of 7.4 L/100km, while 1.5L gas and 2.0L gas AWD models are 8.9 and 9.7 L/100km respectively. Looking at the Cruze shows the diesel sedan automatic transmission model doing a combined 6.5 L/100km, while a base Cruze automatic with a 1.4L engine offers 7.1 L/100km.
“The Cruze Diesel Sedan combines best-in-class fuel efficiency and fun-to-drive performance into a vehicle that offers compact car drivers yet another innovative alternative fuel option from Chevrolet,” said Shane Peever, Brand Manager, Chevrolet Cars in Canada. “With its unparalleled fuel consumption rating, the Cruze Diesel delivers durability and torque in a package that suits our customers’ diverse lifestyles and driving habits.”
General Motors line up also includes a 2.8L turbocharged four-cylinder Duramax diesel engine that offers 181hp and 369 ft/lbs of torque and is available on the Chevrolet Colorado, Chevrolet Express, GMC Canyon, and GMC Savana.
Rounding out the North American diesel engine lineup is the 6.6L turbocharged V-8 Duramax engine with 445hp and 910 ft/lbs of torque, and is available on the Chevrolet Silverado HD and GMC Sierra HD.
General Motors Canada has sold 12,481 diesel-powered cars and trucks year to date, including 3,914 vehicles into fleet.