Those following GM’s announcement of the all-new, 2016 Chevy Cruze may remember that the new compact will deliver GM’s all-new 1.4-liter turbo-charged four-cylinder engine. At the time, we thought that the Cruze will serve as the launch vehicle for the new boosted Ecotec, but as it turns out, it’s the 2016 Buick Encore in Sport Touring model that got the engine first.
Alas, the 2016 Buick Encore actually offers two turbo-charged 1.4-liter four-cylinder Ecotec engines:
- The new 1.4L Turbo LE2 in the Encore Sport Touring, and
- The old/outgoing 1.4L Turbo LUV in the other (non-Sport Touring) Encore models
New 1.4L Turbo Ecotec LE2 Overview
The new LE2 is part of GM’s new, global family of small, power-dense engines that was “developed to balance performance and efficiency with exceptional refinement”, according to GM. In the Encore, the 1.4T LE2 makes an estimated 153 horsepower (112 kW) at 5600 RPM and 177 pound-feet (240 Nm) of torque at 2000-4000 RPM.
|Horsepower (hp / kW @ rpm):||153 / 112 @ 5600*|
|Torque (lb-ft / Nm @ rpm):||177 / 240 @ 2000-4000*|
Though fuel economy has yet to be determined, expect it to be higher than the 25 mpg city / 33 mpg highway / 28 mpg combined in the Encore (FWD) with the 1.4T LUV, thanks to technologies like direct injection and engine stop/start:
- Direct injection helps the motor make about 11 percent more horsepower and nearly 20 percent more torque than the Encore’s standard 1.4L I4 LUV engine, making for a greater feeling of power on demand, particularly at low- and mid-range engine speeds.
- Engine stop/Start contributes to reduced fuel consumption in stop-and-go driving by automatically shutting down the engine when the vehicle comes to a stop under certain driving conditions, such as a stoplight. The engine automatically restarts when the driver takes his or her foot off the brake.
New 1.4L Turbo Ecotec LE2 Details
Some notable features of the 1.4L Turbo LE2 engine include:
- Aluminum cylinder block and head that enhance performance and efficiency
- Reduced friction configuration, including low-friction piston rings, a low-friction camshaft drive, and a low-friction oil pump, further enhancing efficiency
- Aluminum bedplate on the engine block enhances strength and refinement
- Variable-flow oil pump enhances efficiency
- Piston-cooling oil jets contribute to optimal performance, efficiency and refinement
- Dual-overhead-cam cylinder head with integrated exhaust manifold saves weight to enhance performance and efficiency
- Premium inverted-tooth camshaft drive chain contributes to segment-challenging levels of refinement and low noise
In the 2016 Encore Sport Touring, the 1.4T LE2 is mated to GM’s six-speed Hydra-Matic 6T40 MNH transmission.
New 1.4T LE2 vs. Outgoing 1.4T LUV
All those improvements translate to some pretty healthy gains — 15 horsepower (9 kW) and 29 pound-feet (40 Nm) of torque — compared to the 1.4T LUV, in a package that’s the same displacement and (we expect) more fuel efficient, too.
|Engine:||1.4T LE2||1.4T LUV||+/- LE2|
|Horsepower (hp / kW @ rpm):||153 / 112 @ 5600*||138 / 103 @ 4900**||+15 / +9|
|Torque (lb-ft / Nm @ rpm):||177 / 240 @ 2000-4000*||148 / 200 @ 1850**||+29 / +40|
Expected Future Uses Of The New 1.4T LE2
Going forward, we expect GM to use the 1.4L Turbo LE2 across a wide variety of small vehicles, including the:
- Chevrolet Sonic/Aveo (G2XX)
- Chevrolet Trax (refresh or all-newG2XX-based model)
- Chevrolet Equinox (D2XX)
- GMC Terrain (D2XX)
- Chevrolet Orlando (D2XX)
- LE2 figures are estimates provided by GM, and can thus vary when the engine undergoes SAE certification
- LUV figures are SAE-certified