According to Dan Hancock, vice president of GM Powertrain’s Global Engineering, the vehicle manufacturer is adding to its extensive diesel engine capabilities (e.g., it offers, or will soon (as of ’09) four I-4 diesels, 1.3-liter (90 hp); 1.7-liter (125 hp); 1.9-liter (150 hp); 2.0-liter (150 hp); two V6s, 2.9-liter (250 hp, coming in ’09); 3.0-liter (180 hp); and two V8s, 4.5-liter (310 hp, coming in ’09); 6.6-liter (365 hp)). That’s because it is buying 50% of VM Motori S.p.A., a diesel engine designer and manufacturer based in Cento, Italy, founded in 1947. The other half is owned by Penske Corp. (Bloomfield Hills, MI).
GM has been working with VM Motori on the development of the 2.9-liter turbo diesel that will be used in the Cadillac CTS for European applications. While being mum on specific future product aspects, the sense given by Hancock when asked about the deployment of that engine in CTS models in the U.S. was one that could be characterized as “unlikely anytime soon.”
Hancock explains that there is a bur-geoning market for light commercial vehicles in various developing markets, such as Thailand and China. These areas are, he says, places where the VM Motori diesels (which primarily produces four-cylinder diesels from 140 to 160 hp) would be well suited. As the rest of the world has taken to diesels in a way that the U.S. hasn’t, this helps strengthen GM’s global market penetration.—GSV