To further innovation, GM is turning to the past to revive a truly one-of-a-kind-design: a three-cylinder engine. Offering a pair of new engines on both the 2021 Trailblazer and the 2020 Encore, GM is offering three-cylinder engines for the first time in over 20 years. While not all of the specs have been released yet, these engines are bound to provide superior fuel economy and reduced emission levels.
GM has offered similar engines around the world, but the three-cylinder has been absent from North America for more than two decades. For example, the Korean-version of the Chevy Malibu features a 1.3-liter EcoTec engine with 156 horsepower and 174 lb-ft of torque. GM hasn’t offered a three-cylinder engine in the US since the Geo Metro, which brand discontinued it in 2000.
According to Chris Chin at The Drive, “GM has teamed up with its former Opel subsidiary, the Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation, and MG Motor to produce a new EcoTec inline-three for subcompact Opel, Vauxhall, Chevrolet, and Buick models in overseas markets.”
To optimize fuel economy without sacrificing power, these engines will feature several innovative technologies. There’s an electrically assisted wastegate system, an electrically driven water pump, as well as an active vacuum system. Plus, the three-cylinder engines will be significantly lighter thanks to a reduced need for materials.
We look forward to seeing you at Ginn Chevrolet for some test drives when the three-cylinder-equipped Trailblazer and Encore hit the road later this year.