Astra Likely to Get Turbocharged Powerplant


Automotive News says that General Motors will begin to offer cars with smaller, turbocharged engines to help combat rising gas prices, fuel economy concerns, and upcoming Government mandates.

"To achieve quick improvements in fuel economy," the periodical says "General Motors is adopting an off-the-shelf technology: small engines with turbochargers." According to the report, GM will start by installing a 1.4L turbo engine in its small cars. "The Chevrolet Cobalt and Saturn Astra are candidates for the engine, which is available without a turbocharger in the European Opel Astra."

Jim Queen, VP of global engineering at GM, confirmed the report, and told the publication that midsize vehicle could see turbocharged engines as well. "You're going to see turbocharged four-cylinders in vehicles that no one could have ever imagined that they would be in," he told them.

Its not known yet where the engines will be made, what their fuel economy figures might be, when Saturn might start offering the new engine, or how much it might cost. Jim Hall, director of industry analysis at 2953 Analytics in Detroit told Automotive News that "turbochargers could cost GM $200 to $450 per vehicle depending on the system's sophistication."

Source: Automotive News

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Aura Green Line Hybrid Coming


The Chicago Tribune reports that General Motors has confirmed rumors surrounding the company's plans for a hybrid version of the upcoming Saturn Aura. has been reporting about a hybrid Saturn midsize car for quite awhile, but it is believed that this is the first time that a GM executive has publicly spoken about it.