General Motors Co. plans to build its next-generation four-cylinder Ecotec engine at its former Saturn plant in Spring Hill, Tenn.
The Ecotec 2.4-liter engines are designed to provide reduced noise and friction while achieving 182 hp and 172 pounds-feet of torque. The engine's direct-fuel-injection feature can reduce cold-start hydrocarbon emissions 25 percent.
The all-aluminum engine features chain-driven, dual-overhead camshafts; variable valve timing; electronic throttle control; and automatic tension adjusters for the timing chain, GM says.
The company plans to begin production in Spring Hill in 2013 and in a plant in Tonawanda, N.Y., in 2012, an unidentified GM spokesperson told the Detroit Free Press. The Spring Hill plant currently builds Ecotec engines for the GMC Terrain and Chevrolet Equinox crossovers and the Chevy Malibu, and Buick Lacrosse sedans.
The former Saturn assembly portion of the plant was idled last year in the wake of GM's Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization.
The plant plans to recall 1,045 workers for powertrain production. In the future, the Spring Hill and Tonawanda plants will make all versions of the engines.
GM said it plans to make a formal announcement about the plans Friday at the Spring Hill plant.