GM bringing 3-Cylinder to North America

GM is planning to power its compact cars and SUVs with 3-cylinder power, thus instilling them with both fun and efficiency.

At first glance, a 3-cylinder engine may not sound like fun – but rest assured, in the right vehicle, an inline 3-cylinder is a riot, shedding weight from the nose while reving with the silky smoothness of an inline-6.

In fact, you can think of an inline-3 as half an inline-6 (Captain Obvious speaking) – not just numerically, but in character. Sharing the same inherent balance and eagerness to rev, inline-3s also sound great, very muck akin to a 6-cylinder.

GM’s new 1.3-litre inline-3 is expected to produce 155 horsepower while achieving better than 30 mpg (7.8 L/100 km) on the highway; official figures are yet to be released.

We most recently drove an inline-3 while reviewing Ford’s now-discontinued 3-cylinder Focus, which debuted in 2012. Ford’s 1.0-litre triple proved to be a fantistic engine, blending fun and efficiency in a brilliant package. Frankly, we’re sad to see it go. So satisfying was the driving experience that we frequently dream of what Ford’s new 3-cylinder Fiesta ST would feel like when driven at full song. It must be a glorious thing.

It’s more fun to drive a slow car fast than a fast car slow, according to an old automotive adage, and we couldn’t agree more. To this end, a small-displacement triple can be fully unleashed, enjoyed to its full performance envelope without even breaking the law – or at least, not by as big a margin as more powerful cars at full attack.

Thankfully, GM is planning to fill that void, most likely installing its new 3-cylinder in the Buick Encore GX and the Chevrolet Trailblazer in the first quarter of 2020, according to a report from Automotive News. True, neigther of these vehicles are particularly sporty, but we’re hoping GM will share the joy of its new inline-3 in other compact offerings.

[Photo credit: GM | Source credit: Automotive News]


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