PONTIAC, Mich. --– General Motors announced its first V-6 application of fuel-saving Active Fuel Management on the 3.9L V-6 offered in the 2007 Chevy Impala, and E85 ethanol fuel capability on the 3.9L V-6 offered in ’07 Chevy Uplander fleet models.
“The application of Active Fuel Management (AFM) and E85 ethanol offers customers more choices when it comes to selecting efficient, fuel-conscious vehicles,” said Dr. Gary Horvat, assistant chief engineer, GM Powertrain HVV6 engines. “E85 fuel reduces the need for petroleum and helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions, while AFM offers improved fuel economy over comparable, non-AFM engines.”
Preliminary testing of the 2007 Chevy Impala equipped with the 3.9L V-6 with AFM indicates an estimated 20 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway -– improvements of approximately 5.5 percent and 7.5 percent, respectively, GM reported.
Active Fuel Management lets the engine automatically operate on half of the engine’s cylinders under light load conditions. This improves efficiency by reducing fuel consumption when the cylinders are deactivated. GM offers this fuel-saving technology in 11 vehicles for 2007, including trucks and SUVs. The Impala is GM’s first V-6 application of AFM in North America. GM also is launching a 3.0L V-6 with AFM in China that will debut in the Buick LaCrosse this summer.
The E85-capable version of the 3.9L engine enables customers of Uplander fleet vehicles to use a renewable, domestically produced fuel that produces fewer emissions. E85 is made of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline. GM vehicles with E85 capability can run on 100 percent gasoline or on E85 ethanol fuel or any combination of the two.
“GM has nearly 2 million flex-fuel vehicles on North American roads, and will offer 14 E85-compatible vehicles in 2007,” said Horvat.
In addition to AFM and E85 capability, the 3.9L V-6 features variable valve timing (VVT). Along with optimizing performance and economy, the VVT operation helps the engine maintain an adequate torque load to maximize the benefits of AFM’s fuel-saving mode.
Active Fuel Management was introduced as displacement on demand about three years ago on GM’s Gen IV V-8 engine. It was adapted to the performance and balance characteristics of a six-cylinder engine. As with AFM on V-8 engines, half of the 3.9L’s cylinders are deactivated during fuel-saving mode.
Fuel savings become possible whenever the engine switches to three-cylinder operation. Greater fuel economy benefits result during longer highway drives when the engine can stay in fuel-saving mode for longer periods. Complementing the fuel-saving benefit of AFM, the 3.9L also delivers strong performance. It is rated at 233 horsepower (174 kW) and 240 lb.-ft. of torque (325 Nm).*