In a race to the fewest cylinder count in the name of fuel efficiency, Chevrolet has officially announced a stout 2.7L turbocharged inline four cylinder engine for the 2019 Silverado 1500. Expect GMC to follow suit shortly. The size and power density of the engine is on another level when it comes to GM four cylinder engines, with an SAE-certified 310 horsepower and 348 lb-ft of torque. It also scoots from 0-60 in less than seven seconds, and helps bring the weight down to astonishing 380 pounds less than the current base Silverado with its base 4.3L V6.
Given the compact cylinder count and the robust power density, we can’t help but think where this 2.7L engine should go next. Here are our picks:
The Camaro 2.0L Turbo represents the base line of the Chevrolet pony car. With a power-dense 275 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque, it has proven to be quite the athlete, with some skilled autocross drivers taking top positions with it on indexed times. The tuning crowd seems to like it, as well, as Chevrolet has seen some conquest from the hot hatch/Japanese sport coupe demographic thanks to the Camaro Turbo. However, when looking at its direct rival, the Ford Mustang EcoBoost, the Camaro 2.0T appears a tad overmatched on power. The 2.7L engine, and all of that juicy low end torque, could fix that. Just imagine that with a 1LE package. And maybe, with an engine offering like that, customers could look beyond that controversial 2019 Camaro refresh.
Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon
The 2019 Ford Ranger is on the way, and it seems to be offering a rather agreeable powertrain. The 2.3L EcoBoost engine, connected to a 10-speed transmission. For anybody that’s sampled either the Colorado or Canyon, in either V6 or diesel form, you’ve likely observed the there either doesn’t feel like enough torque from the V6 – which is essentially meant to be a car engine. Or, you’ve likely observed that the 2.8L Duramax lacks the sort of highway passing confidence that GM trucks otherwise provide. On paper, the 2.7L could deliver both ample horsepower and torque, while rivaling the expected output of the 2019 Ford Ranger in one fell swoop.
No, we’re not going to suggest that the 2.7L should replace the standalone 2.0L turbo engine in the 2019 Cadillac XT4. When looking at its similarly priced rivals, on paper, the power output of the XT4 is sufficient. What we are suggesting is that this 2.7L turbo engine slot above the 2.0L in the lineup, for a sort of XT4 V-sport model.
Chevrolet Traverse RS
The 2.0L turbo engine exclusively offered in the RS trim level of the Chevrolet Traverse, frankly, makes little sense. It’s marketed as the “sportier package” of the lineup, yet falls 55 hp short of the numbers offered by the Traverse’s standard engine – a 3.6L V6. The additional 29 lb-ft of torque the 2.0L offers over the base V6 appears net negative. The 2.7L, with 310 horsepower and 348 lb-ft, would match the hp of the V6, but offer nearly 100 lb-ft of more torque. In doing so, the Traverse RS would transform more into what the official messaging wants it to be.
Buick Regal GS
The 2018 Buick Regal GS moves like a welterweight prize fighter, and its sleeper car presence makes it all the more interesting. One of the few drawbacks of the Regal GS is that we wish it had more low-end torque from its naturally aspirated V6, which the outgoing model had. Sure, what performance enthusiasts really want in the Regal GS is a twin-turbo V6, but if a four cylinder engine is pushing out nearly 350 lb-ft of torque from the factory, it’s likely only few would still care about the cylinder count.
The suspected replacement of the Cadillac CTS/ATS, and the next passenger car in the Cadillac family is presumably the so-called CT5. While the naming leaves something to be desired, the new 2.7L turbocharged four cylinder engine likely wouldn’t. That said, we’d hope that Cadillac would also remember V6 and V8 engines for the CT5, as well.
Chevrolet Performance Crate Engine
Chevrolet made positive inroads with the tuner crowd by announcing the 2.0L LTG engine as a crate engine for longitudinal applications a few years ago. The 2.7L turbo four would build on that momentum, in a catalog that’s otherwise dominated by V8 crate engines.
Where would you like to see the 2.7L turbo? Sound off in the comments below.