Much like other automakers, General Motors is increasingly moving to turbocharged gasoline engines from naturally aspirated ones. An analysis by GM Authority found that the number of models sold with GM turbo gasoline engines has risen from 19 in the 2016 model year to 23 in 2021, which represents an increase of 21 percent in the span of five years.
This increase has happened despite the discontinuation of several model lines fitted with GM turbo gasoline engines in the intervening period such as the Chevy Cruze and Sonic, Buick Regal and Verano, and Cadillac CT6. However, the loss of those models was more than compensated for by the introduction of new models fitted with boosted motors, or the introduction of turbocharged engines in existing models.
|Buick Cascada||1.6L I4 LWC||-|
|Buick Encore||1.4L I4 LUV||1.4L I4 LUV|
|Buick Encore||1.4L I4 LE2||1.4L I4 LE2|
|Buick Encore GX||-||1.2L I3 LIH|
|Buick Encore GX||-||1.3L I3 L3T|
|Buick Envision||2.0L I4 LTG||2.0L I4 LSY|
|Buick Regal||2.0L I4 LTG||-|
|Buick Verano||2.0L I4 LTG||-|
|Cadillac ATS||2.0L I4 LTG||-|
|Cadillac ATS-V||3.6L V6 LF4||-|
|Cadillac CT4||-||2.0L I4 LSY|
|Cadillac CT4/CT4-V||-||2.7L I4 L3B|
|Cadillac CT5||-||2.0L I4 LSY|
|Cadillac CT5/CT5-V||-||3.0L V6 LGY|
|Cadillac CT6||2.0L I4 LTG||-|
|Cadillac CT6||3.0L V6 LGW||-|
|Cadillac CTS||2.0L I4 LTG||-|
|Cadillac CTS||3.6L V6 LF3||-|
|Cadillac XTS||3.6L V6 LF3||-|
|Cadillac XT4||-||2.0L I4 LSY|
|Cadillac XT5||-||2.0L I4 LSY|
|Cadillac XT6||-||2.0L I4 LSY|
|Chevrolet Blazer||-||2.0L I4 LSY|
|Chevrolet Camaro||2.0L I4 LTG||2.0L I4 LTG|
|Chevrolet Cruze||1.4L I4 LE2||-|
|Chevrolet Equinox||-||1.5L I4 LYX|
|Chevrolet Malibu||1.5L I4 LFV||1.5L I4 LFV|
|Chevrolet Malibu||2.0L I4 LTG||2.0L I4 LTG|
|Chevrolet Silverado 1500||-||2.7L I4 L3B|
|Chevrolet Sonic||1.4L I4 LUV||-|
|Chevrolet Trailblazer||-||1.2L I3 LIH|
|Chevrolet Trailblazer||-||1.3L I3 L3T|
|Chevrolet Trax||1.4L I4 LUV||1.4L I4 LUV|
|Chevrolet Trax||-||1.4L I4 LE2|
|GMC Acadia||-||2.0L I4 LSY|
|GMC Sierra 1500||-||2.7L I4 L3B|
|GMC Terrain||-||1.5L I4 LYX|
GM turbo gasoline engines fitted to cars in the 2021 model year range from the little 1.2L I3 LIH to the 3.0L V6 LGY. These engines, plus their power and torque figures (including variations), are shown in the table below:
|1.2L I3 LIH||137 horsepower||162 pound-feet|
|1.3L I3 L3T||155 horsepower||174 pound-feet|
|1.4L I4 LE2||148 / 153 horsepower||173 / 177 pound-feet|
|1.4L I4 LUV||138 horsepower||148 pound-feet|
|1.5L I4 LFV||163 horsepower||184 pound-feet|
|1.5L I4 LYX||170 horsepower||203 pound-feet|
|2.0L I4 LSY||230 / 235 / 237 horsepower||258 pound-feet|
|2.0L I4 LTG||259 / 272 horsepower||260 / 295 pound-feet|
|2.7L I4 L3B||310 / 325 horsepower||348 / 350 / 380 pound-feet|
|3.0L V6 LGY||335 / 360 horsepower||400 / 405 pound-feet|
Although the LGY motor is the strongest on this list, it is not as powerful as the discontinued twin turbo 3.6L V6 LF3, which produced up to 420 horsepower and 430 pound-feet of torque in the Cadillac XTS V-Sport, or the 3.6L V6 LF4, rated at 455 horsepower and 445 pound-feet of torque in the ATS-V.
Turbocharging is a form of supercharging, in which a compressor packs more fuel and air into an engine’s cylinders than they could draw in unaided. The advantage of turbocharging over other forms of supercharging is that the compressor is driven by exhaust gases and not directly by the engine, resulting in reduced power losses.
The disadvantage is that, because the exhaust gases move sufficiently quickly when the engine is under load, there can be a delay between an application of the throttle by the driver and the turbocharger reaching operating speed, but this has been largely reduced or eradicated in modern vehicles.
The first GM turbo gasoline engines were fitted to the Chevrolet Corvair Monza and Oldsmobile Jetfire in the early 1960s, but turbocharging did not become popular until more than a decade later. In those days, it was always used to increase engine power, but a new emphasis – improvements in fuel economy – was added during the first decade of the 21st century.
Automakers realized that a small turbocharged engine could produce the same power as a large, naturally aspirated one while achieving better fuel economy and lower exhaust emissions in official tests. This is because the engine uses very little fuel and emits only minimal exhaust when the turbocharger is not operating.
It’s also worth noting that since 2016, GM has doubled the amount of vehicles with turbo-diesel engines, as outlined in a recent GM Authority report. However, the Detroit-based automaker is aggressively moving in the direction of electric vehicles, and plans to introduce 30 new EVs by 2025.