Ford Motor Co. and General Motors plan to produce engines that until now have been considered more appropriate to niche automakers: inline five-cylinder engines.
Both Ford and GM's 'I-5s' are offshoots of new modular engine family programs that also will produce inline fours and inline sixes for future sport-utilities and other light trucks, and possibly compact and mid-sized cars.
Neither automaker has disclosed its plans officially. But the new I-5 engines are expected to appear in vehicles around 2004 or 2005, starting with compact pickups and sport-utilities.
The impetus behind the new engine programs and the creation of I-5 variants is the automakers' struggle to balance customers' desire for powerful engines with legal constraints on emissions and fuel economy. An I-5 can offer performance similar to that of a six-cylinder engine but with fuel economy and emissions closer to those of a four-cylinder engine.
Automakers embracing I-5 engines include:
Ford: Plans I-5 based on new inline engine family for use in small trucks, possibly mid-sized cars, in 2004 or 2005
GM: Plans I-5 based on new inline engine family for use in small trucks, sport-utilities within five years
Volvo: Offers I-5 in C70 coupe, S70 sedan, V70 wagon
Saab: Plans I-5 based on variable-displacement concept
DaimlerChrysler: The Jeep Grand Cherokee is equipped with a five-cylinder, 3.1-liter turbodiesel engine in Europe
Grinnall Specialist Cars: The British specialty builder will begin delivering a five-cylinder turbocharged Scorpion IV sports car next year.