The Opel Adam has been on the market for not even a year, but already big changes in store for the popular mini-car. Foremost, an all-new 1.0L turbocharged three-cylinder Ecotec engine, good enough for 85 kW (115 horsepower), and 166 Nm (122 pound-feet) of torque between 1,800 to 4,700 rpm. Set to debut in the Adam in 2014, the new engine is said to be 20 percent more fuel-efficient compared to Opel’s current 1.6-liter naturally-aspirated power unit.
The motor is the first of a new modular family of three and four-cylinder gasoline engines that will scale up to 1.6 liters. It hasn’t been officially rated just yet, but Opel expects the engine family to deliver impressive fuel economy and CO2 emissions significantly lower than 100 g/km. The boosted three-banger represents one of three new engine families and 13 new engines that will be introduced between 2012 and 2016, along with new transmissions.
Extensive work went into optimizing the refinement of the new three-cylinder. Composed of high pressure die-cast aluminum that’s far lighter than a cast-iron, the block reduces radiated and structure-borne engine noise. The high-pressure fuel rail and injectors are also structurally isolated from the cylinder head to minimize the sensation of unrefined pulsing, while the fuel pump and fuel line are also acoustically treated.
Meanwhile, a chain-driven, counter-rotating balance shaft in the oil sump also reduces noise and vibrations and operates at crankshaft speed. Other noise attenuation measures include:
- Acoustically-optimized covers for the top and front of the engine, the intake manifold and camshaft housings
- Crankshaft isolation with iron main bearing inserts
- Inverted teeth for camshaft drive chain
- A low-hiss turbo compressor
- A lower oil pan in steel
All in all, Opel claims that the new 1.0L three-cylinder SIDI turbo engine is quieter and more refined than many 1.6L four-cylinder units.
The transmission, a new six-speed unit, will also add to the Adam’s refinement. At just 37 kilograms (81 pounds), it’s 30 percent lighter than the outgoing unit and is capable of handling as much as 220 Nm (162 pound-feet) of torque.