With gas prices about 60 cents more than they were one year ago, and the federal government issuing fleet-wide fuel efficiency standards for cars and small trucks for 2025, automakers are under pressure to develop cars and update mechanical components that make vehicles more efficient. Hybrid and electric cars like the Nissan Leaf, Chevrolet Volt and Prius Plug-in Hybrid are green cars that have debuted recently, but automakers are also going back to the basics. They’re creating new engines for vehicles that will only run on gasoline.
General Motors is making some changes, and says in a press release it “will develop an all-new global family of small-displacement Ecotec gasoline engines over the next several years that will give customers in markets around the world improved fuel economy, higher quality, better performance and reduced carbon dioxide emissions.”
The new engines will be designed not only to increase fuel economy ratings, but also to be more refined by reducing noise, vibration and harshness. The engines will be 1.0 to 1.5 liters and have three or four cylinders. They’ll also be lighter, and will feature technologies such as direct injection, turbocharging and will be able to use alternative fuels.
General Motors says production will begin around 2015, and the engines will be introduced globally toward the end of the decade.
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