So, I just left General Motors' powertrain headquarters, where almost every Detroit-area autojourno (key word: almost) is scrambling to write something about GM's new small engines. But I'm not as concerned with that. I'm wondering why GM mentioned the Opel Adam a bunch of times today.
It's no secret that the Opel Adam is on our wish lists as something we'd like to drive over here, and Patrick has already made a solid business case as to why the Europe-only city car can work perfectly fine in the U.S. GM's top brass seems to agree it could work as a Buick, as they've spoken openly about the possibility.
The big news GM announced today was that it's planning to take over the world with smaller, gas engines with its Ecotec line. We know a little about the 1.0L, 3-cyl. turbo engine already. That's going in the next Opel Adam. GM also announced the next-gen Chevrolet Cruze — debuting in China first, mind you — will take an 1.4L turbo and a 1.5L naturally aspirated powerplant, both with four cylinders. There are eight other engine variants ranging from 1.0L to 1.5L that will be announced in the future, all spread out across the world.
That's the meat and potatoes of GM's presser, which are far more carefully orchestrated lately because of this thing. But throughout the presentation, executives kept bringing up the Adam. Why?
This presser was mostly American print journalists writing for American publications, with only a few writing for international wires — think Reuters, WSJ and the like. The majority of the writers here have no use to write about a car that's not sold to their audience. It's always been my experience that an automaker will only talk about a product if they plan on introducing it widely.
GM has said that the Ecotec architectures are global and that it wouldn't be a stretch to see something used in Asia and Europe to also be used here. And the other key announcement is that all of these engines are gas, which means they can be adopted easier in multiple markets.
That GM would lead a presentation by talking about the benefits of a gas engine in a car that's not sold in America makes me wonder: Is GM going to monitor how the Adam performs abroad to see if it would be viable here? Are they prepping the media for a potential Adam rollout?
Since they didn't say no when I asked them, I'll assume yes. GM also fired shots at their competition, specifically calling out Ford's 1.0L turbo three-cylinder that's going in the Fiesta that Jason just drove. ("It's 25% quieter!" one presenter said.) Now why would GM even bring up a little car with a 1.0L 3-cyl. turbo engine? Because maybe they're planning on launching its own little car with a 1.0L, 3-cyl. turbo engine.
This is all just rampant speculation but if the Adam does end up here, you know where you heard it first.
Photo via AP