DETROIT – The Ecotec 2.0L turbo I-4 engine that powers the all-new 2012 Buick Regal GS is one of WardsAuto World’s 2012 “10 Best Engines” for North America.
The Ecotec 2.0L turbo’s 270 horsepower is the highest specific output of any GM production engine, and at 135 hp per liter, is the most power-dense engine certified by the Society of Automotive Engineers.
“The turbocharged Ecotec 2.0L belongs on the list this year because it makes an outrageous 135 hp per liter in the Regal GS, and it’s a blast to drive,” said WardsAuto World Editor-in-Chief Drew Winter. “This engine delivers a level of power and sophistication that redefines Buick.”
The Regal GS achieves 0-60 mph in less than 6.7 seconds and runs the quarter-mile in 15.2 seconds at 98 mph. It also recently claimed victory in the 120-mph Grand Touring class at the Silver State Classic Challenge open road rally, with only a .019 deviation from a perfect time. A variation of the same engine powers the Regal Turbo. The engine is built at General Motors’ Spring Hill, Tenn. powertrain plant.
Ward’s reviewed 35 engines from 15 automakers in this year’s competition. Winners were chosen based on several factors, including power; noise, vibration and harshness; fuel efficiency; new technology; and comparative data for similar engines.
The Ecotec 2.0L turbo engine includes the latest in technology combinations.
“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,” said Mike Anderson, global chief engineer for Ecotec engines. “Having 295 lb-ft (400 Nm) of torque available over a wide range of engine speeds makes for a very exciting driving experience.”
The turbo engine is an all-aluminum, dual overhead cam, four-valve design with forged steel connecting rods. The A356 aluminum cylinder head is cast using a rotocast process for high strength, reduced machining and improved port flow. The exhaust valves have sodium-filled stems that promote valve cooling.
An advanced, electronically controlled turbocharger uses a twin-scroll design to increase power. Each of two scrolls on the turbine is fed by a separate exhaust passage – one from cylinders one and four, the other from cylinders two and three – to virtually eliminates turbo lag at low engine speeds, giving the engine immediate throttle response associated with a naturally aspirated high-performance engine.
The GS is equipped with Brembo four-piston front-caliper brakes, a HiPer Strut front suspension system, six-speed manual transmission, driver-adjustable suspension and steering settings, and 19-inch standard and 20-inch optional alloy wheels.