GM Ecotec engine
General Motors is putting the final touches on several new fuel-efficient small engines that it says will be quieter and more refined than those found in cars from other manufacturers.

The family of new engines will include 11 new powerplants ranging from a 1.0-liter turbocharged three-cylinder to a 1.5-liter turbocharged inline-four.

GM did not disclose how much it expects the new engines to boost the fuel efficiency of its small-vehicle lineup.

The three-cylinder engine is significant because rival Ford Motor Co. has been selling a highly reviewed three-cylinder engine in the Fiesta subcompact and Focus compact in Europe.

GM and other car makers are under high pressure from consumers and governments worldwide to improve fuel economy and lower emissions across its fleet without giving up power or performance.

GM is not saying when it will launch the new Ecotec engines in North America or which vehicles they will power. But Chevrolet’s small cars, which generally lag the fuel economy of key rivals, are likely to be the first to receive the engines.

GM is tight lipped on how much it's spending on the new Ecotec engines, recent reports said GM invested $200 million in its Flint plant to tool it up.