General Motors: Iconic Corvette Began 60 Years Ago

Chevy Corvette Celebrates 60 years

From General Motors:

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – On Sunday, Chevy marked its 60th anniversary of the Corvette, an iconic American sports car. The first Corvette went into production in Flint, Mich. on June 30, 1953. Since then, Corvette has become an American icon that continues to offer the best in today’s technology and performance.
“During the past six decades, the Corvette has been woven into the fabric of American culture, as the sports car of choice for movie stars, musicians and astronauts,” said Chris Perry, vice president, Chevrolet Marketing. “The very best Corvettes represent the state-of-the-art for their eras in terms of design, technology and performance.”

Here are some key facts highlighting 60 years of Corvette history:

• Corvette is the world’s longest-running, continuously produced passenger car. The longest-running vehicle of any type is the Chevrolet Suburban.
• Corvette made its debut as a concept vehicle at the General Motors Autorama in New York City on Jan. 17, 1953. It was such a success that a limited run of 300 production Corvettes began on June 30 of that year.
• All 1953 models were Polo White with a red interior and they were priced at $3,498. In 2006, the third 1953 Corvette produced sold for a record $1.06 million at auction.
• Corvette was exclusively available with an inline six-cylinder engine until 1955. That year, the optional V-8 engine was ordered by 90 percent of buyers. The six-cylinder was dropped in 1956. Corvette has been available exclusively with V-8 power since.  
• Corvette was produced only as a convertible for its first 10 years. The fixed-roof 1963 “split-window” Corvette Sting Ray coupe launched the second-generation Corvette.  Sales doubled and it became a year-round car for drivers in colder climates.
• Approximately 1.56 million Corvettes have been produced since June 30, 1953. The 500,000th Corvette was built in 1977; the 1 millionth was built in 1992, and the 1.5 millionth Corvette rolled off the line in 2009.
• Corvettes have been produced at three facilities: Flint, Mich. (1953); St. Louis, Mo., (1954-1981); and Bowling Green, Ky. (1981-2014). The change from St. Louis to Bowling Green happened during the production year. The first 1981 Corvette was built in St. Louis, and the last 1981 Corvette was built in Bowling Green.
• No 1983 Corvettes were sold to the public. The model year was skipped in preparation for the all-new 1984 Corvette, which launched the C4 generation. Forty-four Corvette prototypes were built as 1983 models. Only one remains, and it is on display at the National Corvette Museum, in Bowling Green, Ky.

General Motors: 2014 Cadillac XTS Packs Twin Turbo Power

2014-Cadillac-XTS-twin-turbo-front-view

From General Motors:

DETROIT – Cadillac will add a new option to its XTS luxury sedan: More power and torque. Starting in August, the all-new Cadillac Twin Turbo V6 will go into production as an optional engine for the 2014 XTS.

The new Cadillac Twin Turbo V6 is also a signature feature of the upcoming all-new 2014 CTS luxury performance sedan. In the XTS, the twin turbo will produce an SAE-certified 410 horsepower (306 kW) and 369 lb-ft of torque (500 Nm), making it one of the most power-dense six-cylinder engines among luxury cars. The engine delivers 105 lb-ft more torque over the standard V-6 from1900 to 5600 rpm, providing seemingly endless torque for vehicle responsiveness.

“The addition of the new Cadillac Twin Turbo expands and elevates the XTS luxury sedan,” said Bob Ferguson, vice president Global Cadillac. “This is a compelling enhancement to what is already one of the most technically advanced sedans in our history.”

In both the CTS and XTS product lines, the twin turbo will be the centerpiece of a new model offering called Vsport. The new Vsport is inspired by and slotted “underneath” Cadillac’s elite high-performance V-Series models. Vsport includes the best-performing technical elements inside the “regular” car line in a single model, headlined by Twin Turbo engine.

The new Cadillac Twin Turbo is a comprehensive upgrade to the 3.6L dual overhead cam V6 that is standard in the XTS in the U.S. market. Almost every component is unique, including:

• All-new cylinder block casting
• Strengthened connecting rods
• Machined, domed aluminum pistons with top steel ring carrier for greater strength
• 10.2:1 compression ratio
• Patented, integrated charge air cooler system with low-volume air ducts
• Two turbochargers producing more than 12 pounds of boost (80 kPa)
• Vacuum-actuated wastegates with electronic control valves
• All-new direct injection fuel system
• Tuned air inlet and outlet resonators, aluminum cam covers and other features that contribute to quietness and smoothness.

The cylinder heads are also unique. They feature a high-tumble intake port design that enhances the motion of the air charge for a more-efficient burn when it is mixed with the direct-injected fuel and ignited in the combustion chamber.

Pricing for the 2014 XTS starts at $45,525, including destination fees, unchanged from 2013, with standard equipment including the 3.6L V6 engine that makes 306 hp, CUE, intelligent brake assist and Magnetic Ride Control. Three option packages are available: Luxury, Premium and Platinum Collections. 

The XTS Vsport model will be offered only in the up-level Premium and Platinum Collections as all-wheel drive.

General Motors: Silverado V6: Best-in-Class Capability, 24 mpg Highway

General Motors Silverado V6 Best-in-Class Capability

From General Motors:

DETROIT – The 2014 Silverado with the all-new 4.3L EcoTec3 V-6 – the most capable standard V-6 in any full-size pickup truck – will also be a segment leader in fuel economy, helping save customers money when they buy and when they drive.

EcoTec3 engine technology enables 2WD Silverados to match Ram HFE’s 18 mpg city, while 4×4 Silverados achieve 17 mpg city, the best of any full-size pickup. EPA highway estimates are highly competitive: 22 mpg for 4×4 versions, and 24 mpg for 2WD models.

Reflecting Silverado’s straightforward approach to performance and fuel economy, these EPA estimates are achieved without expensive add-ons and apply to all three cab configurations, regular cab, double cab, and crew cab.

Silverados equipped with the 4.3L V-6 also will be the most-capable trucks with standard V-6 engines, with the highest available payload rating of 2,108 pounds and the highest available towing rating of 7,200 pounds.

“Budget-conscious customers often buy V-6 pickups to do real work, and the 2014 Silverado with the 4.3L EcoTec3 V-6 will combine unmatched capability and excellent fuel economy with surprising levels of refinement,” said Jeff Luke, executive chief engineer.

“Our V-6 has torque where you need it to get the job done, with 230 lb-ft of torque available at 1,200 rpm, and more torque available from 2,400 to 5,300 rpm than competitive V-6s make at their peak.”

Truck customers now returning to the showroom will find that Silverado’s standard V-6 now offers better performance than many V-8 powered pickups from just a few years ago, with far superior fuel economy.

“The average pickup on the road is more than 11 years old,” said Luke. “Customers driving these trucks with V-8 engines will be amazed at the power and refinement of Silverado’s new EcoTec3 V-6, which has fuel economy some 30 percent better than older V-8s with comparable performance.”

The new V-6 joins the mainstream 5.3L EcoTec3 V-8, with EPA-estimated highway fuel economy of up to 23 mpg, the best estimates of any V-8 pickup, and better than estimates for the Ford EcoBoost turbo V-6 (22 mpg EPA highway for 2wd models).

Seamlessly switches to four-cylinder operation

Silverado’s combination of capability and efficiency results in part from its EcoTec3 engines, which provide the proven power of a large-displacement truck engine when needed, then switch seamlessly to four-cylinder operation under lighter loads.

“In creating the 2014 Silverado 1500, we looked at a wide variety of powertrain configurations, and concluded that purpose-built truck engines could best provide the payload and towing capability that truck customers require with the long-term dependability they expect,” said Luke.

By creating a new trio of EcoTec3 engines for the 2014 Silverado, Chevrolet was able to make the most of the size and performance of each entry:

-The 4.3L V-6 is a rugged and refined standard engine with best-in-class torque, payload and towing.
-The 5.3L V-8, expected to power three out of four Silverados, gives mainstream customers 355 horsepower, with fuel economy better than any V-8 competitor or Ford’s EcoBoost turbo V-6.
-A new 6.2L V-8, available this fall, will be the most powerful engine offered on any light-duty pickup, with an estimated 420 horsepower and 450 lb-ft of torque, and a maximum available towing rating of 12,000 pounds.

All three EcoTec3 engines feature direct fuel injection, Active Fuel Management (cylinder deactivation) and continuously variable valve timing, a combination not found in competitive trucks. The engines also use a compact overhead valve design and weight-saving components such as aluminum blocks and cylinder heads to reduce the mass of the engines for additional energy savings.

Additional Details and Data

Silverado 1500 4.3L EcoTec3 V-6
-285 hp (212kW) @ 5,300rpm
-305 lb-ft of torque (413 Nm)@ 3900 rpm
-Maximum available towing rating: 7,200 pounds
-Maximum available payload rating: 2,108 pounds

Horsepower and torque ratings are SAE certified using 87 octane regular gasoline.

Peak torque and horsepower, light-duty pickups with non-turbo V-6 engines

Peak torque
(lb-ft) @ rpm Peak horsepower @ rpm
Chevrolet Silverado 4.3L EcoTec3 V-6 305 @ 3900 285 @ 5300
Ford 3.7L V-6 278 @ 4000 302 @ 6500
Ram 3.6L V-6 269 @ 4175 305 @ 6400
Source: Published manufacturer’s information

EPA fuel economy estimates, light-duty pickups with non-turbo V-6 engines

City Highway Combined

2WD models
Chevrolet Silverado 4.3L EcoTec3 V-6 18 24 20
Ford F-150 3.7L V-6 17 23 19
Ram 3.6L V-6* HFE (regular cab only) 18 25 21
Ram 3.6L V-6* 17 25 20
Toyota Tundra 4.0L V-6 16 20 18

4×4 models
Chevrolet Silverado 4.3L EcoTec3 V-6 17 22 19
Ford F-150 3.7L V-6 16 21 18
Ram 3.6L V-6* 16 23 19
Source: Model Year 2013 EPA Fuel Economy Guide
* Optional engine for 2013 model year

Maximum available payload and towing ratings, light-duty pickups with non-turbo V-6 engines

Max available payload rating (lb.) Max available towing rating (lb.)
Chevrolet Silverado 4.3L EcoTec3 V-6 2,108 7,200
Ford 3.7L V-6 1,930 6,100
Ram 3.6L V-6 1,930 6,500
Toyota 4.0L V-6 1,580 4,900

Source: Published manufacturer’s information. For Silverado, maximum payload is for 2wd regular cab model; maximum towing is for regular cab 4×4 model.

Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world’s largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4.5 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature spirited performance, expressive design, and high quality. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.

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2014 GMC Sierra V-6 Delivers 24 mpg Highway

Efficient engine is also most capable standard V-6 in class

DETROIT – The same technology that makes the all-new 2014 Sierra’s 4.3L EcoTec3 V-6 the most capable standard V-6 in any full-size truck also makes it a segment leader in fuel economy, allowing owners to go farther on a single fill-up.

EcoTec3 engine technology enables 2WD 4.3L V-6 Sierra models to match Ram HFE’s 18 mpg city, while 4×4 models achieve 17 mpg city, the best of any full-size pickup. EPA highway estimates are highly competitive: 22 mpg for 4×4 versions, and 24 mpg for 2WD models.

Sierras equipped with the 4.3L V-6 also will be the most capable trucks with standard V-6 engines, with highest available payload rating of 2,108 pounds and the highest-available towing rating of 7,200 pounds.

“The 2014 Sierra offers capability, efficiency and refinement regardless of trim level or engine choice,” said Tony DiSalle, vice president of GMC Marketing. “All of the technology that makes this our most efficient half-ton pickup ever comes standard for every customer.”

EcoTec3 technology is comprised of direct fuel injection, Active Fuel Management (cylinder deactivation) and continuously variable valve timing, a combination not found in competitive pickups. The engines also use a compact overhead valve design and weight-saving components such as aluminum blocks and cylinder heads to reduce the mass of the engines for additional energy savings.

“Our V-6 has torque where you need it to get the job done,” said Jeff Luke, executive chief engineer. “With 230 lb-ft of torque available at 1,200 rpm, and more torque available from 2,400 to 5,300 rpm than competitive V-6s make at their peak.

“The average pickup on the road is more than 11 years old,” said Luke. “Customers driving these trucks with V-8 engines will be amazed at the power and refinement of Sierra’s new EcoTec3 V-6, which has fuel economy some 30 percent better than older V-8s with comparable performance.”

The new V-6 joins Sierra’s 5.3L EcoTec3 V-8, with EPA estimated highway fuel economy of up to 23 mpg, the best estimates of any V-8 pickup, and better than the 22 estimated highway mpg for the Ford EcoBoost turbo V-6.

A new 6.2L EcoTec3 V-8, available this fall, will be the most powerful engine offered on any light-duty pickup, with an estimated 420 horsepower and 450 lb-ft of torque, and a maximum available towing rating of 12,000 pounds.

Additional Details and Data

Sierra 1500 4.3L EcoTec3 V-6
-285 hp (212kW) @ 5,300rpm
-305 lb-ft of torque (413 Nm)@ 3900 rpm
-Maximum available towing rating: 7,200 pounds
-Maximum available payload rating: 2,108 pounds

Horsepower and torque ratings are SAE certified using 87 octane regular gasoline.

Peak torque and horsepower, light-duty pickups with non-turbo V-6 engines

Peak torque
(lb-ft) @ rpm Peak horsepower @ rpm
GMC Sierra 4.3L EcoTec3 V-6 305 @ 3900 285 @ 5300
Ford 3.7L V-6 278 @ 4000 302 @ 6500
Ram 3.6L V-6 269 @ 4175 305 @ 6400
Source: Published manufacturer’s information

EPA fuel economy estimates, light-duty pickups with non-turbo V-6 engines

City Highway Combined
2WD models
GMC Sierra 4.3L EcoTec3 V-6 18 24 20
Ford F-150 3.7L V-6 17 23 19
Ram 3.6L V-6* HFE (regular cab only) 18 25 21
Ram 3.6L V-6* 17 25 20
Toyota Tundra 4.0L V-6 16 20 18
4×4 models
GMC Sierra 4.3L EcoTec3 V-6 17 22 19
Ford F-150 3.7L V-6 16 21 18
Ram 3.6L V-6* 16 23 19
Source: Model Year 2013 EPA Fuel Economy Guide
* Optional engine for 2013 model year

Maximum available payload and towing ratings, light-duty pickups with non-turbo V-6 engines

Max available payload rating (lb.) Max available towing rating (lb.)
Chevrolet Silverado 4.3L EcoTec3 V-6 2,108 7,200
Ford 3.7L V-6 1,930 6,100
Ram 3.6L V-6 1,930 6,500
Toyota 4.0L V-6 1,580 4,900
Source: Published manufacturer’s information. For Sierra, maximum payload is for 2wd regular cab model; maximum towing is for regular cab 4×4 model.

Would you take any of these home? Leave a comment below, or send us a tweet to @PowerBlockTV.

From General Motors: 2014 Chevrolet SS Priced at $44,470

From General Motors: 2014 Chevrolet SS Priced at $44,470

DETROIT – The suggested retail price for the 2014 Chevrolet SS sports sedan is $44,470, including a $995 destination charge, Chevrolet announced today. Title and license fees are extra. The SS goes on sale in the fourth quarter of 2013.

The U.S.-exclusive SS – Chevrolet’s first rear-drive performance sedan since 1996 – comes well-equipped in only one model, with a power-operated sunroof ($900) and full-size spare tire ($500) as the only options.

“The all-new SS is engineered for performance enthusiasts who’ve been clamoring for a rear-wheel-drive sedan,” said Chris Perry, vice president of Chevrolet Marketing.  “Adding the SS to the lineup further solidifies Chevrolet’s position as America’s best-selling performance-car brand that also includes the all-new 2014 Corvette Stingray and Camaro Z/28.”
Standard equipment includes:

•    High intensity discharge headlamps with Light emitting diode daytime running lamps
•    Automatic Parking Assist
•    Chevrolet MyLink with a color touch screen and GPS-based navigation system
•    Bose® premium audio system – including SiriusXM radio (with 12-month trial)
•    Color head-up display and color driver information center
•    Dual-zone automatic climate control
•    Alloy pedal covers
•    Heated and ventilated front seats with memory
•    Side Blind Zone Alert and Lane Departure Warning
•    Rear-vision camera with rear park assist
•    Keyless access and push-button start.

The LS3 6.2L small-block V-8 powers the SS, is SAE certified at 415 horsepower (310 kW) and 415 lb-ft of torque (563 Nm), which helps it sprint from 0 to 60 mph in about five seconds. It is matched with a six-speed automatic transmission that can be shifted manually using TAPshift paddles mounted on the steering wheel.

The rear axle has an aggressive 3.27 ratio that enhances the feeling of acceleration. Additional chassis and suspension features include:

•    MacPherson strut front and multi-link independent rear suspension geometry
•    Electronic power steering system, optimized for sport driving
•    Standard Brembo front brakes, with ventilated, 14-inch (355-mm) two-piece rotors and four-piston calipers
•    Forged aluminum wheels, wrapped in ultra-high-performance Bridgestone tires: 19 x 8.5-inch wheels with 245/40ZR19 tires in front; 19 x 9-inch wheels with 275/35ZR19 tires at the rear.

Handling is also optimized with a nearly 50/50 weight distribution and a low center of gravity – attributes made possible in part by the aluminum hood and rear deck lid that are 30 percent lighter than traditional steel panels.

The SS will be available in five exterior colors – Mystic Green, Silver Ice Metallic, Red Hot 2, Phantom Black Metallic and Heron White.  All interiors will be Jet Black and feature sport front bucket seats.

The SS will be subject to the gas guzzler tax. Pricing information will be updated when the charge is determined.

 

Thoughts? Leave a comment below, or send us a tweet to @PowerBlockTV.

2014 Sierra Denali Pairs High-Tech Luxury and Capability

An all-new 2014 Sierra 1500 Denali full-size pickup arrives this fall with an available 6.2L EcoTec3 V-8 that will produce an estimated 420 horsepower and 450 lb-ft of torque, the most power and torque of any light duty truck engine.

From GMC:

DETROIT – An all-new 2014 Sierra 1500 Denali full-size pickup arrives this fall with an available 6.2L EcoTec3 V-8 that will produce an estimated 420 horsepower and 450 lb-ft of torque, the most power and torque of any light duty truck engine.

Final SAE-rated power and torque numbers will be available later this year. Now entering its third generation, the Sierra Denali is the most luxurious and technologically advanced GMC half-ton pickup.

Sierra’s 6.2L V-8 will also be available for Sierra SLT models this fall. With this engine, the Sierra is expected to have a class-leading maximum trailering capacity of 12,000 pounds. Like every 2014 Sierra, it offers more power and higher expected efficiency than its predecessor thanks to a trio of technologies including direct injection, active fuel management and variable valve timing.

Design cues for the 2014 Sierra Denali follow the formula that attracted two-in-10 GMC buyers to Denali vehicles last year. On the exterior, the truck has a signature Denali chrome grille, unique 20-inch chrome wheels, unique interior decorative trim, a polished stainless steel exhaust outlet and body-color front and rear bumpers. Denali-specific interior details include script on the bright door sills and embossed into the front seats and real aluminum trim.

Sierra Denali’s high-tech interior also features an exclusive eight-inch Customizable Driver Display that can show relevant settings, audio and navigation information in the instrument panel. Sierra Denali’s standard eight-inch Color Touch navigation radio with Intellilink, located above the center console, serves as the main hub for Bluetooth-connected phones and portable devices connected through five standard USB ports.

Other features standard on Sierra Denali include projector-style headlamps with LED signature daytime running lights, a Bose audio system, heated and cooled leather front bucket seats, a heated steering wheel, front and rear park assist and a power sliding rear window with defogger.

“The 2014 Sierra Denali has a combination of performance, capability and luxury that no other pickup can match,” said Tony DiSalle, vice president of GMC Marketing. “It leaves no boxes unchecked for those owners looking for the ultimate expression of ‘Professional Grade.'”

A 5.3L EcoTec3 V-8 is standard for the 2014 Sierra Denali. It produces 355 horsepower and offers better EPA-estimated fuel economy (23 mpg highway on 2WD models) than any V-8 or turbocharged V-6 pickup on the market.

Sierra Denali will be available with two option packages, including a Z71 Off-Road Package (4WD only) with monotube Rancho shocks, Hill Descent Control and transfer case shield, and a Driver Alert Package that includes Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Alert and patented Safety Alert Seat Technology.

Standalone options include the 6.2L EcoTec3 V-8, a sunroof and Rear Seat Entertainment.

Thoughts? Leave a comment below, or send us a tweet to @PowerBlockTV.

General Motors: 2014 Corvette Stingray Cranks Out 460 Horsepower

General Motors: 2014 Corvette Stingray Cranks Out 460 Horsepower

From General Motors:

DETROIT – The 2014 Corvette Stingray’s all-new LT1 6.2L V-8 engine is SAE-certified at 460 horsepower (343 kW) at 6,000 rpm and 465 lb-ft of torque (630 Nm) at 4,600 rpm, with the available performance exhaust system, Chevrolet announced today.

The Stingray is SAE-certified at 455 horsepower (339 kW) and 460 lb-ft (624 Nm) with the standard exhaust system. They are the highest standard power ratings ever for the Corvette, delivered with efficiency that is expected to exceed 26 mpg on the highway.

“The 2014 Corvette Stingray’s LT1 engine is a triumph of advanced technology, delivering more power and torque than ever before with greater efficiency,” said Jordan Lee, Small Block chief engineer.

“The LT1’s performance complements the Corvette’s low mass with a tremendous feeling of power that builds as the rpm climbs. Drivers will experience more power and acceleration than ever before with the standard engine – in fact, its power and torque surpass many uplevel engines offered by competitors.”

At 74 horsepower per liter, the LT1 has greater power density than the C6 Corvette’s LS3 6.2L engine and even the C6 Z06’s racing-derived 7.0L LS7. It also produces comparable torque to the LS7 – up to 4,700 rpm – and its peak torque is within 5 lb-ft of the 7.0L engine. That torque is generated early and sustained across the rpm band, with 316 lb-ft available at only 1,000 rpm and 90 percent of peak torque available from 3,000 rpm to 5,500 rpm – giving the lightweight Corvette Stingray excellent acceleration at all speeds.

Chevrolet estimates the Corvette will run from 0 to 60 mph in less than four seconds.

The new LT1 engine’s high output, and high power density and efficiency are due to several advanced technologies, including direct injection, Active Fuel Management and continuously variable valve timing, which support an advanced combustion system.

Direct injection is a primary contributor to the engine’s combustion efficiency, ensuring a more complete burn of the fuel in the air-fuel mixture. That’s achieved by precisely controlling the mixture motion and fuel injection spray pattern. Direct injection also keeps the combustion chamber cooler, which allows for a higher compression ratio. Emissions are also reduced, particularly cold-start hydrocarbon emissions, which are cut by about 25 percent.

Active Fuel Management, or cylinder deactivation, is a first-ever application on Corvette. It helps save fuel by imperceptibly shutting down half of the engine’s cylinders in light-load driving. Continuously variable valve timing is refined to support the LT1 AFM and direct injection systems to further optimize performance, efficiency and emissions.

These technologies support the all-new, advanced combustion system, which incorporates a new cylinder-head design and a new, sculpted piston design that is an integral contributor to the high-compression, mixture motion parameters enabled by direct injection.

Additional engine features include:

Advanced oiling system with oil-spray piston cooling and available dry-sump oiling
Engine-mounted, camshaft-driven fuel pump to support the direct injection system
Intake manifold with “runners in a box” design that allows for high-efficiency airflow packaged beneath the Corvette’s low hood line
High-flow, four-into-one exhaust manifolds based on the design of the LS7 engine.
Small Block legacy

The 2014 Corvette Stingray’s LT1 engine is the fifth generation of the Small Block engine family, which debuted in the Corvette in 1955. It displaced 4.3L (265 cubic inches) and was rated at 195 horsepower, drawing air and fuel through a four-barrel carburetor. Five years later, Small Block power helped Corvette secure its first victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

In 2012, the Small Block-powered Corvette Racing C6.R beat Ferrari, BMW and Porsche to sweep the drivers’, team, and manufacturer championships in production-based American Le Mans Series GT class. These championships make Corvette Racing the most successful team in ALMS history, with a total of 77 class wins, eight drivers’ championships, and nine manufacturer and team championships since 2001.

The 2014 Corvette Stingray coupe goes on sale this fall, with a convertible following by the end of the year – each sharing an all-new aluminum frame structure and enhanced chassis, as well as completely new exterior and interior designs.

Thoughts? Leave a comment below, or send us a tweet to @PowerBlockTV.

General Motors: Impala’s 2.5L Engine Delivers Quiet Power, Fuel Efficiency

Drivers of the new 2014 Chevrolet Impala will enjoy sweet sound and sweeter savings at the pump thanks to precision noise reduction and a new advanced valvetrain technology on the Ecotec 2.5L four-cylinder engine, arriving in dealerships this month.

From General Motors:

DETROIT – Drivers of the new 2014 Chevrolet Impala will enjoy sweet sound and sweeter savings at the pump thanks to precision noise reduction and a new advanced valvetrain technology on the Ecotec 2.5L four-cylinder engine, arriving in dealerships this month.

Chevrolet expects the 2.5L model to be a popular choice among Impala buyers. More than two-thirds of Chevrolet cars sold in the first quarter of 2013 had a four-cylinder engine.
“Impala customers have three engines to choose from, appealing to a wide array of needs,” said Chris Perry vice president, Chevrolet Marketing. “But the 2.5L model in particular offers both improved fuel economy as well as an accessible starting price of $27,535.”

Chevrolet expects its new flagship sedan to be more fuel efficient, due in part to the 2.5L engine’s Intake Valve Lift Control technology.

In older engines, valves operate strictly based on mechanical camshaft rotation, opening and closing the same way all the time. Chevy’s new system allows the valves to open and close by varied amounts and at different times depending on power demand to provide greater fuel efficiency or power.

When the technology operates in low-lift mode, the engine pumps only the air it needs to meet the driver’s demand. The system switches to high-lift mode at higher engine speeds or under heavy loads, providing the full output capability of the engine.

Impala’s 2.5L engine, which delivers SAE-certified 196 horsepower (146 kW) and 186 lb-ft of torque (252 Nm), achieves variable valve lift using an all-new rocker arm that switches between low and high lift intake cam profiles. The mechanism is actuated by an oil control valve through a dual-feed stationary hydraulic lash adjuster. It is the first of its kind for low friction roller-type finger-follower valvetrains in gasoline engines. The engine’s computer continuously selects the optimal lift profile based on conditions such as engine speed and load. 

“Intake Valve Lift Control works so seamlessly drivers aren’t likely to notice it at all,” said Mike Anderson, General Motors’ global chief engineer for Ecotec engines. “What they will notice is a fuel economy improvement of up to one mile per gallon.” The EPA estimated fuel economy for the 2014 Impala with the new 2.5L engine is 21 mpg city and 31 mpg highway.

The redesigned large sedan’s 2.5L engine with direct injection is engineered to be one of the quietest and most refined in the segment. The development team reduced engine noise intensity by 40 percent by specifically targeting the 2.5L’s noise frequency signature. They pushed radiated noises into a higher frequency range well above 2,000 hertz, which is more pleasing to the ear – particularly in the high-load operating ranges where engine sound is most intense.

The refinement-enhancing changes and improvements over previous Ecotec engines ranged from the comparatively simple – such as integrating a sound-absorbing cover into the intake manifold and specifying quieter drive chains – to more fundamental architecture items, such as relocating the balance shafts from the cylinder block to a cassette within the oil pan. 

Impala’s passengers get a quieter driving experience due in part to active noise cancelling technology and a more refined sound as the engine revs to its 7,000-rpm peak – a sound that GM Noise and Vibration Engineer Tom Slopsema likens to the precision purr of a sewing machine.

“We focused on reducing the overall engine noise level and placing the remaining noise in a higher frequency range,” Slopsema said.  “No fastener, cover or internal engine part was left unexamined in our quest to make this engine one of the quietest in the industry.”

Impala offers three fuel-efficient powertrains, including the 3.6L V-6, the new Ecotec 2.5L four-cylinder and the Ecotec 2.4L with eAssist.

2014 Sierra gains fuel economy, quietness from time in wind tunnel

DETROIT – The all-new 2014 Sierra full-size pickup truck spent more development time in a wind tunnel than any GMC pickup before it, resulting in design changes that benefit both fuel efficiency and interior quietness.

To achieve improved airflow, aerodynamic engineers like Diane Bloch examined every millimeter of the truck to find areas of improvement, debunking some popular myths along the way.

To study the way air passes over, under and around the Sierra, engineers used General Motors’ state-of-the-art Aerodynamics Lab, a 750-foot-long tunnel through which a 43-foot-diameter fan powered by a DC electric motor with the equivalent of 4,500 horsepower can generate winds of up to 138 mph. Aerodynamic advancement is one reason why the 2014 Sierra will be the most fuel-efficient V-8 pickup on the market.

“We can’t stop air; we can only guide it through the path of least resistance. It’s like electricity, without the shock,” said Bloch, GM aerodynamic performance engineer. “The biggest misconception is that it’s all about single components. But a certain side mirror design doesn’t create a certain amount of drag, its interaction with the rest of the vehicle does.”

For example, a new air dam below the 2014 Sierra’s front bumper successfully reduces drag because it directs air toward the ground and away from the truck’s rough underbody. And Sierra’s ducted flow path between the grille and radiator prevents air from swirling inside the truck’s front cavities.

Even the top of the Sierra’s tailgate and the center high-mounted stop light are optimized to guide air cleanly around the truck. And because Bloch’s team detected unwanted airflow between the cab and bed, new sealing has been added.

“We discovered that in the computational analysis we perform,” said Bloch. “The most harmful air between the cab and bed was coming over the cab and down through the gap, so we paid the most attention to that specific area.”

The pickup market has a great number of available aftermarket accessories, and Bloch says those have varying impact on aerodynamics. Add-ons like bug deflectors on the hood, wider tires or aftermarket bumpers can raise the drag coefficient, which is the measure of how air pushes on a vehicle as it moves down the road. The result: added noise and increased fuel consumption.

A long-disputed topic among truck owners is whether a tailgate raised or lowered is better for aerodynamics, but Bloch says a tailgate in the up position is more aerodynamically efficient. As air flows over the truck, it falls over the cab and pushes forward on the rear of the truck. With the tailgate down, the benefits of that airflow are diminished.

“Replacing the tailgate with an aftermarket net is worse than having no tailgate at all,” Bloch said. “Imagine dragging a solid object and a fishing net through water. The net is going to require more muscle.”

So what accessories can truck owners add to help aerodynamics? Tonneau covers for the bed help smooth airflow over the truck, and Bloch says soft covers are more beneficial than hard covers because they form to how the air wants to flow. Running boards can also help air flow smoothly down the truck’s sides.

“Round, tube-style running boards can provide a minor improvement to the truck’s drag coefficient,” said Bloch, “Fully integrated, flush-mount running boards are even better.”

General Motors: 2014 Sierra’s New 4.3L Tops in Standard V-6 Pickup Torque

From General Motors:

DETROIT – When the all-new 2014 GMC Sierra full-size pickup arrives this summer, its standard 4.3L EcoTec V-6 it will offer the most torque of any standard V-6 in the segment – 305 lb-ft (413 Nm).

Buyers will choose from three new, advanced EcoTec3 engines – a 5.3L available at launch, followed by the 4.3L and 6.2L versions available later this year. All are designed specifically for the high trailering and hauling demands unique to truck buyers.

Torque is the turning force that generates off-the-line acceleration and confident trailering performance. Sierras equipped with the 4.3L EcoTec3 V-6 will have trailering ratings up to 7,200 pounds (3,266 kg) for a regular cab, short bed, four-wheel-drive model – 500 pounds more than the most capable Ford F-150 3.7L and 700 pounds more than a Ram 1500 3.6L. Sierra’s standard V-6 produces an SAE-certified 285 horsepower (212 kW) and is matched with a proven, efficient six-speed automatic transmission. EPA fuel economy estimates will be released later.

Like Sierra’s optional 5.3L and 6.2L EcoTec3 V-8 engines, the new V-6 features three state-of-the-art technologies – direct injection, active fuel management (cylinder deactivation) and continuously variable valve timing – that have been proven and perfected through 6 million hours of computational analysis by engineers studying the combustion process. In all, 10 million CPU hours were spent refining and making the most of the Sierra’s EcoTec3 engines.

“This is technology no other truck maker can match, and we offer it in every EcoTec3 engines, for every customer,” said Jordan Lee, GM Powertrain chief engineer. “It is a standard feature, so our drivers get our best and most sophisticated technology regardless of trim level.”

Although they share only a handful of parts with previous Sierra engines, the new EcoTec3 V-6 builds on experience gained from millions of trucks and billions of real-world customer miles resulting from a half-century of leadership in V-6 engine development. In 1960, GMC debuted the first V-6 pickup truck ever and offered it exclusively through most of the ’60s.

That engine, offered in various displacements starting at 5.0L, was designed with aluminum pistons, improved cooling and a stout crankshaft and bearings designed for unprecedented durability.

“The family of V-6 engines introduced in 1960 was designed to last, and I’ve heard of some owners going more than 450,000 miles on the original engine,” said Donald Meyer, GMC truck historian. “They had really high torque and pulled loads well. GMC engineers know how to build durable, reliable engines that never quit.”

Like the 2014 engine, the 4.3L V-6 introduced as standard equipment for GMC half-ton pickups in 1985 used geometry and engineering from the brand’s proven Small Block V-8. As with today’s V-6, engineers studied the combustion chamber, developing “Vortec” technology that swirled the air and fuel inside the engine to create a more homogenous mix, improving power and efficiency. That engine was the basis for new generations of engines through the 2013 model year.

2014 Sierra models with the 4.3L EcoTec3 V-6 go on sale later this year with a suggested starting price of $25,085, including a destination charge of $995 but excluding tax, title, license and dealer fees.

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