General Motors Europe will launch two new engines from next year, and at least one of them is definitely on its way to South Africa.
The subsidiary announced earlier this week, that it was currently developing two new engines for its European line-up - a 1.6-litre compressed natural gas (CNG) turbo engine for the Zafira and a turbocharged 1.4-litre four-cylinder for the Astra and Meriva ranges.
Both engines have been developed at Opel's engine facility in Russelsheim, Germany,
"These new engines represent our ongoing approach to replace larger displacement engines with more compact, highly charged units for maximum performance and efficiency benefits," said Dan Hancock, GM powertrain vice president for global egineering.
"The CNG engine is possible in the long term, but is dependent on infrastructure and availability," Ryan Visagie, product brand manager for GMSA told Wheels24 on Tuesday.
"The 1.4-litre is definitely coming to South Africa, although only in the next generation. New Astra should be available from the first or second quarter of 2010."
The new 1.4-litre turbo unit should replace the normally aspirated 1.6- and 1.8-litre units currently in the line-up.
This follows a global trend of using smaller capacity engines with turbochargers.
"It's also to allow these engines to easier meet emissions requirements set out by the EU," Visagie continued.
Both engines are fully Euro5 compliant and according to GM Europe should result in an eight per cent improvement in fuel consumption compared with larger displacement naturally aspirated motors with similar outputs.