New Cadillac 4-cylinder engine is a powerhouse

December 15, 2011
New Cadillac 4-cylinder engine is a powerhouse
GM hopes power, small size boost it in compact luxury race
By BRYCE G. HOFFMAN / The Detroit News
Warren —General Motors Co. has designed a new turbocharged four-cylinder engine for Cadillac that it hopes will take the fight to the Germans.

The 2.0-liter Ecotec delivers 270 horsepower. That translates into 135 horses per liter, making it one of the world’s most power-dense automobile engines.

By comparison, the 2.0-liter turbo offered in Audi’s A4 puts out 105.5 horses per liter, while the Mercedes-Benz C250’s 1.8-liter turbo generates 111.6.

And those are just the sort of automobiles GM hopes its new 2013 Cadillac ATS will compete against in the compact luxury segment.

“The 2.0T is one of the most advanced and efficient engines of its kind, and contributes to the ATS’ exceptional balance of performance and great fuel efficiency,” said Mike Anderson, chief 2.0T engine engineer. “It has the exhilarating, responsive power available when you want it, yet can provide the fuel efficiency that will make the ATS a fully competitive vehicle in global markets.”

The engine features direct-injection twin-cam, four-valve-per-cylinder with continuously variable valve timing, a twin-scroll turbocharger with air-to-air intercooler, forged-steel crankshaft with modular balance shaft system and a two-stage variable-displacement oil pump with jet-spray piston cooling, GM said.

“It’s an engine they need,” said analyst Jim Hall of 2953 Analytics. “The horsepower density is good, and they got the size right.”

He said several countries impose high taxes on larger motors. Since GM is hoping to turn Cadillac into a global luxury brand, it needs an engine that can deliver world-class performance while staying below that threshold, Hall said.

A naturally aspirated 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and 3.6-liter V-6 engine will also be offered on the new Cadillac, which is scheduled to be unveiled ahead of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit next month.

More details of the new compact Cadillac will be announced then.

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