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DATE News (chronologically)
04/08/09
automotive
GM expands Direct Injection engine lineup  

How Direct Injection Works
Direct Injection Cold Starts
Direct Injection Photography

The all-new, five-passenger 2010 GMC Terrain joins the rapidly growing list of vehicles with GM’s direct injected (DI) engines that use less fuel, make more power and produce fewer emissions. The Terrain brings to 18 the number of North American GM models that will feature DI in 2010 – more than any other manufacturer.

“Direct injection is a key component of GM’s Advanced Propulsion Technology Strategy that uses multiple technology pathways to achieve increased efficiency and the diversification of energy sources,” said Tom Stephens, vice chairman, Global Product Development. “Because there is no single solution, we’re applying advanced technology where it makes the most sense for customers in regard to fuel efficiency, performance and cost. The efficiency gain with direct injection represents a great technological value that customers can benefit from immediately.”

Both of the Terrain’s available engines – a new 2.4L four-cylinder and a 3.0L V-6 – come standard with DI, with 2.4L-equipped models estimated at 30 mpg on the highway (EPA certification pending). That puts GMC’s new crossover SUV at the top of its segment in highway fuel economy.

Additional new GM models with DI include the 2010 Buick LaCrosse luxury sedan, the sporty 2010 Chevy Camaro, the redesigned 2010 Cadillac SRX and the 2010 Chevy Equinox crossover. They contribute to GM’s global initiative that will see eight distinct DI engines offered in 38 vehicle models around the world next year.

“Direct injection is a near-term solution – along with hybrids and biofuels like E85 – that fits well within GM’s current portfolio, but our strategy envisions mid- and long-term powertrain solutions that will ultimately reduce vehicle emissions to zero, increase fuel efficiency dramatically and displace petroleum as the primary energy source,” said Stephens. “Vehicles like the 2011 Chevrolet Volt extended-range electric vehicle and our advanced fuel cell-electric prototypes are tangible examples of GM’s vision.”

In a conventional port fuel injected engine, air and fuel are mixed before they enter the combustion chamber. With GM’s DI engines, fuel is sprayed directly into the cylinder where it is mixed with air. As the piston approaches top-dead center, the mixture is ignited by the spark plug; and when the fuel vaporizes in the cylinder, the air and fuel mixture is cooled. This enables the use of a higher compression ratio in the combustion chamber, which improves the engine’s power and efficiency.

On cold starts, direct injection can be controlled to create a richer air/fuel mixture around the spark plug, making it easier to ignite in a cold engine. This results in a smoother operation of the engine and lower emissions during the cold start and warm-up, when most harmful tailpipe emissions are typically created. GM’s direct injected engines reduce cold-start vehicle emissions by 25 percent.

GM’s DI lineup

The range of 2009 and upcoming 2010 GM models that offer the efficiency of direct injection includes the following – with additional models to be announced later:

Buick Enclave: This popular crossover offers an efficient 3.6L DI engine that delivers a class-leading EPA highway rating of 24 mpg (FWD models).

Buick LaCrosse: All-new for 2010 and going on sale this summer, the redesigned Buick LaCrosse will offer DI engines exclusively, including a 3.0L V-6 and 3.6L V-6.

Cadillac CTS and CTS Sport Wagon: The CTS sedan and new CTS Sport Wagon come standard with a 3.0L DI V-6 in 2010. Also available is a 3.6L high-feature DOHC V-6 engine that was named to Ward’s AutoWorld’s 2009 “Ten Best Engines” list for North America – for the second consecutive year. With the 3.6L DI engine, the CTS sedan is rated at 26 mpg on the highway.

Cadillac SRX: When it hits the street this summer, the redesigned 2010 SRX crossover will offer a 3.0L DI engine that is expected to deliver highway fuel economy in the mid-20s (testing is ongoing).

Cadillac STS: The STS uses a version of the CTS’ award-winning 3.6L DI V-6, giving this full-size sedan EPA-rated 26 mpg on the highway.

Chevrolet Camaro: Chevy’s iconic sports coupe is back, with a powerful 3.6L DI V-6 that turns out 304 horsepower (227 kW) and EPA-rated 29 mpg on the highway.

Chevrolet Cobalt SS: This sporty compact blends high performance with high efficiency; its 260-horsepower (194 kW) 2.0L turbocharged engine is EPA-rated at 30 mpg on the highway.

Chevrolet Equinox: Arriving in dealerships this summer, the redesigned 2010 Equinox will offer two DI engines – a 2.4L four-cylinder rated at 30 mpg and a 3.0L V-6. Consumers who drive the 2.4L-equipped Equinox 15,000 miles per year will save 134 gallons of fuel or about $270 to $400 annually (assuming gas prices of $2 or $3 per gallon), as compared to the 2009 Equinox.

Chevrolet HHR SS: Employing the same 260-horsepower (194 kW) 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder DI engine as the Cobalt SS, the HHR SS model delivers 29 mpg in EPA-rated highway mileage.

Chevrolet Traverse: The 2009 model with its 3.6L DI engine enjoys best-in-class highway fuel economy of 24 mpg (FWD models) of any eight-passenger SUV.

GMC Acadia: An efficient 3.6L DI engine (similar to the Chevy Traverse, Buick Enclave and Saturn Outlook) contributes to this crossover’s class-leading EPA-rated 24 mpg (FWD models).

Pontiac Solstice GXP: A turbocharged, 2.0L DI engine delivers driving thrills and fuel-economy thrift, with an EPA highway rating of 28 mpg (manual-transmission model).

Saturn Outlook: This full-size crossover delivers downsized fill-ups, with its 3.6L DI V-6 rated at a class-leading 24 mpg (FWD models).

Saturn Sky Red Line: Equipped with the same turbocharged, 2.0L DI engine as the Solstice GXP, Saturn’s sporty roadster also delivers 28 mpg on the highway (manual-transmission model).

GM’s fuel-saving initiative

GM’s direct injection push is part of a larger effort to implement multiple fuel-saving technologies across its vehicle portfolio. Twenty models in GM’s 2009 lineup deliver EPA-rated highway fuel economy of 30 mpg or more – more than any other automaker.

GM’s non-hybrid models also rank first in highway fuel economy in both the midsize sedan and subcompact segments, with Chevrolet Malibu and Saturn Aura rated at 33 highway mpg; and Chevrolet Cobalt XFE and Pontiac G5 XFE rated at 37 highway mpg.

Additionally, GM offers more models with fuel-saving six-speed manual transmissions than any other manufacturer in North America. That contributes to GM’s 2009 domestic car and light truck lineups’ estimated fuel savings of 700 million gallons when compared with the 2008 lineup, during the life of the vehicles. That means a saving $1.4 to $2.1 billion in fuel costs, assuming gas prices of $2 to $3 per gallon. It’s estimated that GM’s 2010 lineup will add another 1.1 billion gallons of fuel savings and $2.2 to $3.3 billion, relative to the 2008 lineup.

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