In a recent conversation with Opel CEO Karl-Friedrich Stracke, Car & Driver asked whether six-cylinder engines, like the turbo-charged unit in the Insignia OPC, have a future at Opel.
While Stracke didn’t give a direct answer, he did say that a turbo-charged four cylinder is capable of making up to 350 horsepower. Yes, you read that right: 350 ponies from a 2.0 liter four.
The German-born mechanical engineer-turned-CEO went on to say that a mule of GM’s 2.0-liter ECOTEC equipped with two-stage turbocharging delivers close to the performance of a naturally-aspirated 5.3-liter V8. The 5.3-liter Vortec V8 in the Chevy Suburban, for instance (RPO LMG), makes up to 326 horsepower and 348 lb.-ft. of torque (on E85 ethanol).
The GM Authority Take
Many seem to believe that Ford and BMW are the only manufacturers utilizing advanced turbocharging to make small yet power-dense engines. This may be true today, but it may not be true in the near future. In other words, GM may not be there yet, but it certainly will be a force to be reckoned with when it comes to decreasing displacement in return for increased efficiency in the fuel economy and power departments.
And while boosted powerplants may only be available in performance sedans today, who says they can’t hold their own in SUVs, trucks, and mainstream vehicles? The only challenge, in our opinion, is making sure these high-pressure engines are as reliable as their naturally-aspirated counterparts — and if it takes GM a bit longer to bring them to market in exchange for increased reliability, we’re all for it.