GM reveals potent new 2.7L ‘Tripower’ turbo 4-cylinder

General Motors has announced a new ‘Tripower’ 2.7-litre turbo-petrol engine, offering one of the highest power outputs for a mainstream four-cylinder engine.

The new engine is set to be introduced in GM’s big trucks as soon as later this year, such as the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra. There’s also rumours that suggest it could be introduced in the Chevrolet Colorado (larger than our Holden Colorado).

GM is bringing back the Tripower name, which, in the Sixties, referred to a triple-carb setup for some of its V8 petrol engines. For the new unit the Tripower name refers to three key technologies that the engine adopts; cylinder deactivation capable of cutting two cylinders, active thermal management, and intake valve lift control.

These technologies are all aimed at optimising power and efficiency. Speaking of power, the unit develops an impressive 231kW. This makes it one of the most powerful engines in the class, and one of the most powerful four-cylinder production engines outright; the Mercedes-AMG A 45 holds the current record with its 2.0L unit developing 280kW.

Of course, being developed for heavy-duty work in large utes and trucks, the engine isn’t designed for maximum power. The torque level is also very important. And at 472Nm, it’s also one of the torqueiest engines of the class. For reference, Mazda’s latest 2.5 turbo produces 420Nm, which is regarded as quite high.

Some of the other technologies involved include a new type of turbocharger from BorgWarner, as well as an electric water pump to reduce the load on the engine and in turn increasing efficiency.

Given that it is designed for heavy-duty work, the 2.7 Tripower unit isn’t likely to make its way into passenger cars in the future, although, it could provide decent grunt for medium to large SUVs of the future.

Brett is the editor and founder of PerformanceDrive. He's obsessed with driving, having played with Matchbox cars until he was tall enough to drive a real one. After initially working as a mechanic, Brett earned a degree in journalism and entered media as an editorial assistant at Top Gear Australia magazine. He then worked at CarAdvice.com.au. His dream is to live next door to the Nurburgring in Germany.