Every once in a while we hear a rumor that makes us do a double take. This is one of them. The Chevrolet Volt is a range-extended electric vehicle, which means the gasoline engine primarily acts as a generator. Given this, not nearly as much power is required, and a compact design is important. For instance, BMW just announced production of a three-cylinder unit for its upcoming top-line i8 sports car.
The Volt is currently powered by a naturally-aspirated 84 horsepower 1.4-liter four-cylinder. A new report by InsideEVs says the engine will “definitely be replaced next year.” The Volt is scheduled to get a major mid-cycle enhancement for the 2014 model year. The exterior will get a redesign, and there is rumors in the works about upped battery capacity and possibly a price cut.
The engine could get replaced, but the engine InsideEVs speculates about it curious. They say the car could get the turbocharged 2.0-liter Ecotec, putting out 200 horsepower. That seems odd to us, given that the whole point is to feed the batteries; 200 horsepower is overkill. What’s more, the Volt has gotten criticism about the relatively-low 37 mpg mileage figure it returns when the range-extender is operating.
That is something we could see focused on in future updates to the car. The 1.4-liter four-cylinder was never the engine of choice for the Volt, but General Motors didn’t have the development dollars to develop a new one. A turbocharged and more compact three-cylinder similar to what BMW is doing would make more sense to us. GM doesn’t have any in its arsenal right now, but BMW and GM have been known to collaborate on technology in the past. So, anything is possible. As for the 2.0-liter turbocharged engine in the Volt though, we wouldn’t count on it. Given GM’s consistent updating of the Volt so far, we’re looking forward to seeing what happens for 2014.