By reducing weight, drag, engine size and other features, we’re continually making our traditional fleet more fuel-efficient.
We continue to make significant strides in the efficiency of our traditional fleet through the deployment of Efficient Fundamentals. This approach is designed to create leading-edge CO2 emissions improvements applied in a cost-effective manner across our product portfolio, regardless of the powertrain source.
Focusing on Efficient Fundamentals attacks the efficiency challenge at the most fundamental engineering levels, such as vehicle weight, vehicle drag, engine downsizing, transmission and engine efficiency, systems integration and reduction of complexity. Making our vehicles lighter and more powerful benefits our customers: Reducing mass by 10 percent improves fuel efficiency by about 5 percent. Lighter vehicles also eliminate billions of dollars in costs and millions of pounds in materials.
Our global mixed-materials strategy allows us to incorporate the most appropriate materials for each part of the vehicle—such as high-strength steel, aluminum, carbon fiber and magnesium— to maximize the performance and minimize the weight of our vehicles. The 2018 Cadillac XTS, for example, has a composite intake manifold that saves approximately 5.5 pounds over the weight of a comparable aluminum intake. The vehicle’s integrated cylinder head/exhaust manifold design also saves approximately 13 pounds per engine.
We employ a suite of technologies, including downsizing, turbocharging, “stop-start” technology, direct injection, variable valve timing and cylinder deactivation, to improve the thermodynamic efficiency of gasoline engines. Turbocharging is one of the most important innovations allowing lighter vehicles to achieve greater fuel economy. The technology allows us to make our engines smaller without sacrificing peak power, which enables our customers to go farther on a gallon of gas. GM has 15 gasoline turbocharged model vehicles in the U.S.
The Buick Envision’s 2.0-liter turbocharged engine benefits from the efficiency of stop/start technology.
These technologies are leading to a portfolio of GM engines that are considerably smaller, cleaner and more efficient than in the past, while maximizing usable power and performance characteristics important to our customers. Combined with improvements in weight and other characteristics, these engines are powering a fleet that is among the most efficient across our markets and which boasts reduced material usage, costs, and development time and expenses compared with previous generation vehicles.