What is EcoTec?
In the search for a new car, you come across a lot of automotive jargon. On top of that, you run into marketing terms that are unique to each brand. From Mazda’s Skyactiv Technology to Ford’s EcoBoost, there are words that are unfamiliar to the casual car shopper. General Motors has a few terms of its own that refer to brand-specific components and attributes. One of the most popular terms you hear in ads and read in vehicle reviews is EcoTec. But what is EcoTec? We’ll take some time to explain what it means and how it works so you can better understand your prospective vehicle.
EcoTec stands for Emissions Control Optimization Technology. These engines are available, at least as an option, on most new Chevy, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles. Specifically, the word EcoTec lends itself to various emissions technologies that General Motors implemented in its engines to help them run cleaner and more efficiently. Within the EcoTec world, there are various families of engines that range from traditional gas engines to to diesel and turbo engines.
While EcoTec engines have been around since 2000, they have gone through several generations of innovation, and although they use many of the same parts to make for quick and affordable repair, GM engineers have made drastic improvements in efficiency and power output capabilities. Within each generation, there also are various block iterations and families that are utilized in vehicle applications.
Currently, we’re in the fifth generation of EcoTec, but the automaker is working toward rolling out a new modular EcoTec engine family. The new generation will focus on smaller displacement engines. Engines like the award winning 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine that are found in select trims of 2015 Chevy Cruze fit within the new generation. The new family of engines is expected to be rolled out by 2017 and will include 11 new engines. This new generation will utilize direct-injection and turbocharging to lift power and efficiency to new heights.