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The upcoming Chevrolet Cruze will use a turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine.

The Pontiac Solstice GXP uses a turbocharged, direct injection 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine.

Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid
GM goes high-tech to improve fuel efficiency

General Motors has seen the writing on the walls when it comes to efficient vehicles. Although gas prices have dropped more than 15 cents in the past few weeks, Americans are still gravitating towards smaller vehicles that are easier on the wallet when the times comes to fill up the tank.

GM has spent the past few years working on a number of technologies to bring lightweight, advanced, and fuel efficient powertrains to its vehicles and a number of them are already available or will soon be hitting the general populous.

GM's reinvigorated powertrain efforts revolve around traditional gasoline engines, diesels, hybrids, and Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI) engines according to Automotive News. GM is also looking to replace nearly all of its existing four and five-speed automatic transmissions with more efficient six-speed units.

For its gasoline engines -- much like Ford's efforts with its EcoBoost lineup -- GM is looking towards direct injection (DI) and turbocharging to extract V6 performance from four-cylinder engines and V8 performance from six-cylinder engines. GM's current turbocharged DI 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine can be found in the Pontiac Solstice GXP, Saturn Sky Red Line, Chevrolet HHR SS, and the Chevrolet Cobalt SS. In its current form, the engine delivers an impressive 260 HP and 260 lb-ft of torque.

In the near future, GM will apply turbocharging to its existing DI 3.6-liter six-cylinder engine to boost output from roughly 300 HP to around 400 HP. On the lower end of the spectrum, a new 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine will finds its way into the Chevrolet Cruz -- the replacement for the Chevrolet Cobalt -- in place of the existing 2.2-liter normally aspirated (NA) four-cylinder engine.

On the diesel front, GM points to its upcoming 4.5-liter V8 diesel engine which will be used in its light-duty pickups and full-size SUVs. According to GM, the engine itself is 75 pounds lighter than traditional diesel engines and will allow its hefty trucks to achieve 26 MPG on the highway.

When it comes to hybrids, GM is already making ground with its mild hybrid system in the Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid and Saturn Aura Green Line. Eventually, the company's more efficient two-mode hybrid system -- currently used in full-size pickups and SUVs -- will find its way into the Saturn Vue Green Line and GM's other mid-size cars and SUVs.

Finally, GM is also banking on HCCI technology to extract diesel-like fuel economy from a gasoline engine. DailyTech first brought you news of this technology when Mercedes unveiled its F700 research vehicle. According to GM, adding HCCI to a gasoline engine boost fuel economy by 15 percent and significantly reduced harmful tailpipe emissions.

GM hopes to stay a step ahead of its competitors with its upcoming powertrain advances; however, its competitors likely aren't sitting still when it comes to their own efforts in striving for greater performance and engine efficiency.

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RE: Reason for name changes
By theapparition on 8/26/2008 3:27:41 PM , Rating: 2
Not that your post deserves a reply......but can you name me many foreign cars that have held the same name longer than either Corvette or Mustang?

RE: Reason for name changes
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 8/26/2008 3:35:26 PM , Rating: 2
Chevrolet Corvette: 1953
Ford Mustang: 1964
Porsche 911: 1963
VW Beetle: 1938
Toyota Corolla: 1966

RE: Reason for name changes
By mdogs444 on 8/26/2008 3:55:55 PM , Rating: 2
Honda Accord: 1976
Toyota Camry: 1980
Honda Civic: 1972
Nissan Maxima 1976
Nissan Altima: 1993

Guess which car has been around longer?

Mitsubishi Galant: 1969

RE: Reason for name changes
By Jimbo1234 on 8/26/2008 8:25:45 PM , Rating: 2
Add another one to the list from the oldest car manufacturer (1871).

Mercedes S-Class: 1954

RE: Reason for name changes
By acer905 on 8/27/2008 12:40:28 PM , Rating: 2
Chevrolet Suburban: 1935

RE: Reason for name changes
By Spuke on 8/27/2008 1:13:26 PM , Rating: 2
Penis: 12 inches

RE: Reason for name changes
By theapparition on 8/28/2008 7:33:45 AM , Rating: 2
Subtract 20+ years from the Beetle's longevity, since it wasn't marketed in the US for a very long time.

I mean, if we're just going to use names, than why not throw Impala, Malibu, and GTO in there. The reason is because there was signifigant gaps in US availability.

I say, I'm somewhat confused by your reply. Don't know if you're agreeing with me or not.

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