Skip to comments.Insider: 1.4L Engine Discontinued in 2014 Chevrolet Volt
Posted on 06/11/2012 10:56:03 AM PDT by jazusamo
The 1.4L Four Cylinder Engine Currently Found in the Chevrolet Volt
All we had known for sure about the future of the Chevrolet Volt was that it will be undergoing a powertrain upgrade in about a years time. That is until now. A source inside the company (who did not wish to be identified) confirmed to InsideEVs that the 83 hp, 1.4L engine that is currently in use as an extended range generator for the Volt will definitely not be in the 2014 model year that begins production in the summer of 2013.
It is thought that the 1.4L engine found in the Volt today was never the first choice of engineers who were designing the car, but was mated to the platform strictly out of the availability of the engine. When debuting the concept Volt, GM had envisioned a specially designed engine to optimize performance for the Volt, but had to abandon any such plan because of a freeze on all research and development in the period where GM was entering bankruptcy, and the Volt was in development.
When asked about what the replacement engine might be, it was said that apparently a new 2.0L turbo has been thoroughly vetted on the platform, and will most likely see its way into production of the Volt (and upcoming Cadillac ELR). This is the same engine that GM has recently confirmed will also find a home in the
Chevy Cruze Deluxe Buick Verano, a car which incidently rides on the same Delta II platfrom as the Volt. The output of the 2.0L turbo currently ranges from 220hp to 270hp.
This new engine would not only give the Volt and Ampera a more capable engine, but will allow the all new ELR (which will built on the same platform), to perform more inline with its sporty appearance, and the expectations of the Cadillac brand in general.
Mike Anderson, who is Global Chief engineer for Ecotec engines at GM said of this motor, which is found inside the Buick Regal GS, Our continuously variable valve timing is tuned to work in tandem with direct injection and twin scroll turbocharging to achieve optimum fuel economy, lower emissions, and instant performance when needed. Having 295 lb-ft (400 Nm) of torque available over a wide range of engine speeds makes for a very exciting driving experience.
As for the fate of the current electric drive unit (149 hp/273 lb.-ft. of torque) that actually drives the current Volt wheels, our insider had no knowledge of any future decisions by GM. However, one assumes if the 1.4L is out for a much larger engine, that the electric motor has to go as well.
GM officials would not confirm or deny the inside information InsideEVs has obtained. Unfortunately, we do not comment on future product details, said GM spokesperson Kevin Kelly, so I cannot provide any information related to your inquiry.
The 2013 Volt will not have these engine changes, but as we reported previously the battery pack has be tweaked to squeeze out an additional 3 miles of range . There will also be an optional rear seat arm rest, a realtime energy use dashboard display, and replacement of the dark colored rear hatch door and roof panels by body paint. There will also be an additional two optional paint colors.
Looks like they are going to make the Volt a higher performance type sportscar, possibly with a larger electric motor.
If they want a serial hybrid why not use a high effencency Stiring type engine to run generators to re-charge the batteries?
They could computer control 2-3 banks of them to kick on as the battery gets lower and based off car speed, etc...
The Cadillac ELR is pretty cool...and I’m not a Cadillac fan...
“InsideEVs that the 83 hp, 1.4L engine”
Wow the 40 year old aircooled Type I engine in a worn out bug I have (admittedly souped up) produced 150 hp at 1.5 litres and got 30+miles on US gallon.
Perhaps they should just go make VW bugs.
Many an automotive insider has said if GM would junk the electronic and battery power and put a turbo 4 or V-6 in it it would be $10,000 cheaper and sell like Obama’s a Loser bumper stickers.
GM has always had talented engineers.
It was the management and union troglodites that gave us all the loser junkmobiles that now populate our list of reasons that we’ll never again purchase their cr*p.
Too little, too late.
I’ll take my advanced engineering from Japan or Korea.
150 hp from an air-cooled VW? How are you making the other 100 hp? Nitrous?
Typical GM practice. Start production before the car is ready then put the car out there no matter how bad and try to sell some to offset development costs. After thousands of buyers have been screwed begin redeveloping the car the way it should have been in the first place. What about the early customers who bought overpriced lemons? Screw ‘em! Hey, we’re GM, we don’t care about customers!
GM and Chrysler should have been allowed to go into bankruptcy to either restructure themselves or die gracefully instead of Obama’s gift to the UAW courtesy of the taxpayers.
Welcome to the great American test fleet.
I was expecting to see four gerbils on a treadmill.Even that would run better than these battery powered green pieces of crap made by government motors.
The “new” GM is as sleazy and corrupt as the old GM, which stiffed its bondholders while violating bankruptcy law, contract law, and common law. I am boycotting GM forever, and nothing they can do, whether sensible or foolish will change that decision. I don’t deal with crooks.
Good point. Also a turbine should work just fine, as the electric drive would solve the problems with lag and torque. And a diesel would be an improvement for fuel economy.
Back in the late 60s, the Opel Kadet featured a 1.1 liter motor that was tough as nails. Tuners could get 165 horses out of it, while turning 7,000 rpm.
You can get an insane level of power from a modded bug engine. Ported dual port aftermarket heads, compression, cams, dula carbs or injection, billet crank and rods...then there’s the big bore kits.
150HP is easy sans Turbo or the sauce. With boost, the only problem is keeping the factory block together. A fully aftermarket motor will hold hundreds of HP. The off-road guys pull 150 all day long and keep it together under the pounding of Baja.
Looks like the people at InsideEVs haven’t bothered to do their homework. The electric motor is not the only source of wheel power in the volt. Above a certain speed (like 30 MPH) or under hard acceleration, the gas engine is also powering the wheels mechanically. The Volt is just a hybrid, not an electric vehicle with a built in generator.
Maybe they should contact for the 1.0l 3 cylinder Eco-Boost from Ford in the 125 hp trim for the Volt for a power upgrade and weight reduction all in one shot....
Ohhhhhh !!!! bam slam kappooee!
IMHO they are gonna do this because the new Ford Fusion especially the "Energi" variant is gonna make the Volt look like the pile of merde' it is...
The Volt has something called ‘Mountain Mode’.
You put it in Mountain Mode, well before you anticipate hitting the hills...and some of the gas engine’s energy is used to not only power the electric motor; but, also to recharge the batteries, while on the fly. Obviously, the performance of the car is expected to drop while in this mode.
Then, when you get to the hills, you switch out, and use both battery and engine to power up the hill.
To me, it illustrates how absolutely inefficient the Volt’s powertrain is...
....and it has always left me wondering if a Volt in the Rockies would be stuck in the emergency lane, creeping along at 10 mph.
The switch to a larger engine tends to answer my question.
Mostly, they’re doing whatever they can to stop the laughter.
Looks like a NE liberal type car like Oprah would drive. At least the Volt looks like a real car and not a squashed Hot Wheels prototype.
This has been known since sometime around the initial release.
Where in heck is the water pump on that engine? It kinda looks like it’s driven by the timing chain on the “right” side of the engine. But there isn’t a water outlet, except that really small port.
Oh well at least it isn’t behind everything like it was on my son’s Grand Am. What a piece of poo that car was!
Plus I really don’t like serpentine belts! If the belt goes you are basically dead. BAH!
That said I am beginning to get used to mrs p6’s 1991 Saturn SL1 with ~ 40k original miles. It sat in her uncle’s garage for nearly 15 years. It was running when she got it but after sitting so long I have had to do a lot of work. Replaced the A/C compressor, belt and tensioner, hoses, tires, brakes and...computer...that was on advice, I think it was OK.
My biggest complaint is the stupid sideways engine. Leave enough room to work on it!
Meanwhile my beloved 98 Durango is getting some major work. I’m in the process of replacing the steering gear and wow is it stuck on the center link! Later this week I’ll torch it if nothing else works.
Sorry to get on a rant.
“150 hp from an air-cooled VW? How are you making the other 100 hp? Nitrous?”
Nope. Just a CB performance engine. I have a Baja that I have blasted all over the Negev.
My 80 LeCar had a 1.4 engine. It wasn’t supposed to have been availble to the public but evidently they brought a few in expecting to test them then decided to dump them.
That silly little piece of French spittle went like stink and got 54 MPG city or highway! That was when it was running of course and when the rear windows weren’t falling out.
After I traded it...on another Renault, sigh...it ended up in the hands of some kids in WVA. One Thanksgiving I got a call from a state trooper asking if I owned the car. For some reason my name was still on the title even though I am in PA.
After I explained, the trooper told me it had been involved in a series of robberies. The kids were running from the cops on twisty mountain roads and the cruisers couldn’t keep up. At one point the kids rolled it, got out, turned it over and kept going.
They were stopped only by a roadblock and spikes.
The trooper asked if I wanted the car back!
What a joke. Calling the Volt an electric car is like calling a Suburban an alternative fuel vehicle after attaching a 5-gallon propane tank to it.
(Which a lot of people in Arizona did when, a few years back, the state government insanely offered to pay for half of your new car’s sticker price if it was an alternative fuel vehicle. They’re still clogging up our HOV lanes, because they got special license plates, too.)
Given the Volt sales to date, it is pretty clear that GM has not yet generated enough revenue to cover its original development costs. This is a financially painful move.
Most car models have a 4 to 5 year product cycle. The Volt was introduced mid-way through the 2011 model year. This is way too early in the product cycle for a major re-work of the power train. I'm left wondering about the motivation for this change.
Some highlights of the conversation:
Farah says that in his mind the Volt is unequivocally an electric car. "The Volt is an electric vehicle...because for the first 40 miles you can get full performance running on nothing but an electric motor until the battery is depleted," he said.
The Volt has three distinct motive forces in it: a large electric motor, a small electric motor/generator, and a 1.4 liter engine. Up to two of those three forces can be combined in select ways through the Volt's secret sauce drive unitgiven the road demands and state of charge of the batteryto drive the vehicle.
Only the large electric motor is capable of moving the car forward on its own. The small electric motor/generator and the gas engine can only ever be combined with one of the other motive forces to drive the wheels.
Even when the gas engine is on and partially driving the wheels, it cannot operate without electricity flowing to one of the other motors.
The gas engine, under most conditions, will be used to drive the generator and produce electricity, and will not be used to drive the wheels.
There is no "direct" mechanical linkage between the Volt's gas engine and the wheels, rather there is an indirect linkage that is accomplished by meshing the power output of the engine with the power output of one of the other two electric motors.
Motor Trend's reporting that the magic cutoff speed of 70 mph is what the car uses to determine whether or not to make the engine to partially drive the wheels is incorrect. The engine is used to partially drive the wheels when the car calculates that it will be a more efficient use of the engine's power. There is no hard cutoff point.
Who cares the Volt is a piece of Junk.. Plain and simple..
Good post and all true.
This may be a last gasp effort to save the Volt. Just a guess.
You beat me to it.
The planetary gearbox connects the gas engine to the wheels directly at (bypasses motor), I thought, speeds above 60MPH.
The Volt is a series-parallel hybrid. The engine can be mechanically coupled directly to the wheels to drive them. There may also be electric motors coupled, but that would seem to be the choice by the powertrain engineers, and not a requirement. If the engine can be coupled at any time, it can be coupled at any time.
An interesting test would be to disable the traction motor, and motor/generator. I'll bet you a dollar that there is a "limp home mode" that will move the car on only the ICE engine.
Or even a diesel, specifically tuned to one RPM range could get excellent efficiency. Maybe they are thinking of turning this thing into a "regular" hybrid?
Wow, I don’t know on this. I do know that GM has been less than honest on other things and if this is true it means GM’s Andrew Farah, Chief Engineer for the Volt simply out and out lied and it’s on audio tape at the link I posted.
It looks to me that his interview was 2 days after the Motor Trend allegations.
Things have really evolved in the 25 yrs or so since I was building air-cooled VW’s. WOW!
Oh boy a bigger engine for the Volt.
Should make it burn faster.
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