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WardsAuto: Camaro engine and Volt propulsion system among 10 Best in industry

The all-new 3.6L V6 powering the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro and Voltec propulsion system for the 2016 Chevrolet Volt are among the winners of Ward’s 10 Best Engines.

WardsAuto reviewed 31 engines from 11 automakers in this year’s competition, which looked at power, fuel efficiency, new technology and refinement, and compared it with data for similar engines and propulsion systems.

“This recognition is a win for our customers with improved efficiency and performance and a credit to our engineering teams and supplier partners,” said Dan Nicholson, vice president, Global Powertrain. “It isn’t enough to just be good. Many of our competitors are good. At GM, we are committed to consistently delivering great propulsion systems.”

3.6L V6 technology fueled power and efficiency

“The 3.6 delivers the kind of power and lusty exhaust note you associate with a V-8 for the price of a V-6. Plus, it’s loaded with advanced technology, including fuel-saving cylinder deactivation,” said Drew Winter, director, Content at WardsAuto.

The 3.6L V-6 available in the Camaro LT, produces an SAE-certified 335 horsepower (250 kW) and 284 lb-ft of torque (385 Nm), for the highest specific output of any naturally aspirated V-6 in the segment. The engine incorporates technologies for uncompromised efficiency and performance, including direct injection, continuously variable valve timing and, for the first time, Active Fuel Management (cylinder deactivation), which disables two cylinders under light throttle applications to enhance efficiency. Environment Protection Agency-estimated fuel economy for the V6 with the 8-speed automatic transmission is 23 city and 28 highway mpg.

GM’s Active Fuel Management system temporarily deactivates two of the 3.6L’s cylinders in light-load driving conditions to enhance fuel efficiency and seamlessly reactivates them when the driver demands full power.

Noise-reducing features, including an all-new cam drive system, contribute to the new 3.6L being up to 4 dB quieter under low-load driving conditions than the benchmark Infiniti 3.7L V-6.

The 3.6L V6 is manufactured in Romulus, Mich.

Voltec propulsion system, second generation  “General Motors has taken what already is the most innovative and disruptive propulsion system in the auto industry and made it lighter, stronger and a lot more fun to drive. In fact, the new Voltec system delivers the impossible: an exciting electric car with zero range anxiety,” Winter said.

The new 2016 Voltec system includes the drive unit, range-extending engine, power electronics and battery.

The system is capable of 53 miles of EV range, and a total driving range of more than 420 miles. With regular charging, Volt customers are expected to drive more than 1,000 miles between fill-ups. The two-motor drive unit is up to 12 percent more efficient and 100 pounds lighter (45 kg) than the first-generation. The ability to use both motors helps deliver a 19 percent improvement in electric acceleration from zero to 30 mph (2.6 seconds) and a 7 percent improvement from zero to 60 mph (8.4 seconds).

The all-new 1.5L range extending engine with direct injection is designed to use regular unleaded fuel and offers a combined EPA-estimated 42 mpg.

The Volt uses an 18.4 kWh battery system featuring revised cell chemistry developed in conjunction with LG Chem. While overall system storage capacity has increased, the number of cells has decreased from 288 to 192 as the result of the revised chemistry. The cells are positioned lower in the pack for an improved (lower) center of gravity and the overall mass of the pack is 21 pounds (9.8 kg) lighter.

The Voltec drive unit is manufactured at GM’s Warren, Mich., transmission plant. The 1.5L range extender is manufactured at GM’s Toluca, Mexico, engine plant and will transfer to the Flint, Mich., engine plant in the second half of 2016. The battery pack is assembled in Brownstown, Mich.

Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world’s largest car brands, doing business in more than 115 countries and selling around 4.8 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature engaging performance, design that makes the heart beat, passive and active safety features and easy-to-use technology, all at a value.

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