Vauxhall, a European brand that falls under the GM umbrella, has revealed a range of upcoming engines that pair technology with a small displacement to strike a balance between fuel economy and performance. The 1.6-liter engine will be available with a power output of up to 197 horsepower and find its way under the hood of the upcoming Cascada convertible first.
According to AutoCar, the car will arrive in European showrooms early in 2013 and will be the first to sport the aluminum block engine. In base trim, the Ecotec-branded powerplant will make 168 horsepower and 208lb-ft of torque. There will be a more powerful version, thus far dubbed Performance Turbo, that will make 197 horsepower and 211lb-ft.
Either uses SIDI tech (spark ignition direct injection) and a turbocharger to attain these numbers. Compared to the current engines available in the Astra (upon which the Cascada is based), the engine provide significant power and fuel economy (as much as 13 percent) improvements.
The engine joins other powerful 1.6-liter inline-fours, such as the PSA-BMW joint effort found under many MINI models that can make as much as 208-horsepower in Cooper S JCW trims. There is also the 188-horsepower engine in the Nissan Juke, and Hyundai bolts a 201-horsepower, 1.6-liter with a twin-scroll turbo into its Veloster Turbo. All use direct injection and forced induction, and Europe has even more variations of the PSA-BMW four-cylinder in various states of tune in French cars as well.
There is a faint possibility the engines may make their way to North America, as the Cascada was rumored to spawn a Buick variant for sale in the U.S.