GM’s new 2.0 LTG Ecotec engine is a notable upgrade to the highly criticized LTG unit it replaces. Making it a better option for better fuel efficiency and scores of more horsepower than its predecessor.
This model will be found in all-new models like Chevy Malibu alongside aging nameplates such as Cadillac ATS or SSR, resulting in increased competition among different brands when it comes down to choosing which vehicle offers superior performance at affordable prices with an eye towards environmental sustainability.
What are GM LTG Engines?
The GM LTG engine is part of the third generation of Ecotec manufactured by General Motors. The engine is a two-liter, four-cylinder, turbocharged, direct-injection engine applied in a broad range of vehicles.
The GM LTG engine debuted in 2013 and was replaced by the previous 2.0L second-generation Ecotec engines – LNF, LDK, and LHU production codes.
GM LTG engines became famous as the available engine for the MY 2013 Cadillac ATS, Chevrolet Malibu, and the Turbo Chevrolet Camaro. The engine is also available in Chinese markets.
The GM 2.0 LTG engine has a lot to offer but among its widely sought feature is the turbocharger. It adds flavor to the already tasty output of the engine.
The LTG turbocharger is a twin-scroll design that uses an exhaust tune to balance optimum power with good turbo responsiveness, allowing the engine to offer a wide torque band.
It also promotes the responsiveness associated with naturally aspirated performance engines with greater displacements.
The airflow is controlled during transients with an electronic bypass valve, and the boost is controlled electronically with a pressure-actuated wastegate. These settings ensure that performance, throttle responsiveness, and efficiency are all optimized.
Engine Specifications and Design:
- Production Run: 2013 – Present
- Cylinder Head Material: Aluminum
- Cylinder Block Material: Aluminum
- Configuration: Inline 4
- Bore: 86.0 mm
- Stroke: 86.0 mm
- Valvetrain: DOHC four valves per cylinder
- Displacement: 2.0 L (1998 cc)
- Compression Ratio: 9.5
- Weight: 244 lbs.
- Maximum HP: 279 HP at 5,500 RPM
- Maximum Torque: 295 lb-ft at 2,000 – 5,500 RPM
Let’s take a closer look inside the engine!
The sand-cast cylinder block on the Ecotec 2.0L turbo is a step up from earlier Ecotec engine block castings. It’s dimensionally identical to previous Ecotec turbo block variations, but it has better structural support and allows for better noise, vibration, and harshness control.
The main bearing bulkheads, which support the crank bearings, and the cylinder bore walls have been greatly strengthened to accommodate increasing engine loads. Refinements enable improved oil flow throughout the engine to the oil distribution system.
An extension of the coolant jacket, combined with cast-in-place bore liners, allows for more exact bore roundness and enhances the block’s capacity to resist corrosion.
The A356T6 aluminum cylinder head of the LTG Ecotec 2.0L turbo is produced utilizing a Rotocast technique for high strength, less machining, and better port flow. The supercharged Corvette ZR1’s LS9 cylinder heads are cast using a similar procedure. The head was likewise created with direct injection in mind.
The fuel injectors in conventional Ecotec engines are located in the intake ports, whereas the LTG 2.0L turbo head has injectors positioned below the ports. Apart from the injectors, the head’s port and combustion chamber designs are standard, designed for direct injection and high boost pressure.
The intake valves in the head are nitrided for increased durability and undercut to enhance flow and decrease weight. The sodium-filled stems on the exhaust valves assist valve cooling.
The sodium inside the valve stem fuses and becomes liquid at normal engine operating temperatures.
The liquid sodium promotes conductivity, allowing heat to move from the valve face and valve guide to the colder end of the stem, where it may be dissipated more easily.
This helps maintain a lower, more uniform valve temperature, resulting in less wear on the valve guide and a constant seal between the valve seat and valve face during the engine’s life.
With the LTG Ecotec 2.0L turbo, performance was prioritized. Hence the exhaust manifold affixed to the cylinder head is built of cast stainless steel. It is incredibly long-lasting and provides excellent ventilation.
Direct injection brings the point where fuel enters an engine closer to the point where it ignites, allowing for more efficient combustion. It promotes a complete fuel burn in the air-fuel combination and operates at a lower temperature than traditional port injection.
This allows for a leaner mixture (less fuel and more air), using less fuel to create the same horsepower as a traditional port-injection fuel system. Direct injection also results in a 25% reduction in emissions, notably cold-start emissions.
Direct injection allows for a greater compression ratio due to a cooling effect when the injected gasoline vaporizes in the combustion chamber, lowering the charge temperature and reducing the chance of spark knock.
In addition to that, direct injection fuel injectors were designed to resist the higher temperatures and pressures found inside the combustion chamber. They have many outputs for precise injection management.
The fuel system works at 2,250 psi, compared to 60 psi in traditional port-injected engines.
Two-Stage Variable Displacement Oil Pump
The variable-flow oiling system contributes to increased fuel economy. Instead of the linear functioning of a traditional fixed-flow pump, the variable-flow system employs a crankshaft-driven oil pump that matches the oil supply to the engine load.
The variable-flow pump in the engine adjusts its capacity dependent on the engine’s need for oil. This saves energy by not pumping oil that isn’t needed for optimum engine operation—an engine oil cooler aids in the maintenance of optimal oil temperatures.
On top of that, the engine incorporates a heat exchanger inside the oil filter housing. The engine’s coolant circuit supplies coolant to the heat exchanger in deference to the design, maximizing oil cooling while minimizing pressure loss.
The method also allows for faster healing of the engine oil during cold starts, resulting in an early decrease of internal engine friction.
DOHC with Continuous Variable Valve Timing
Continuously variable valve timing improves turbo responsiveness and torque delivery by altering valve timing at lower rpm to enhance the engine’s turbocharging system. Hydraulically actuated vane-type phasers on both the intake and exhaust cams are controlled by a solenoid and directed by the engine management module (ECM).
The phasers rotate the camshaft concerning the drive sprocket, allowing for separate intake and exhaust valve timing adjustments.
Twin Scroll Turbo
The LTG Ecotec 2.0L turbo uses a sophisticated, electronically controlled turbocharger to boost power with a unique twin-scroll design.
Each of the turbine’s two scrolls is fed by a different exhaust passage – one from cylinders one and four, the other from cylinders two and three – virtually eliminating turbo lag at low engine speeds and providing the engine with the same immediate throttle response as a naturally aspirated high-performance engine.
The turbocharger produces a maximum boost pressure of roughly 20 psi. Because direct injection cools the intake process more than a port injection, the LTG Ecotec 2.0L turbo engine may safely run at a greater boost and a lower compression rating than a traditional turbo engine, enhancing performance and economy.
An intake charge cooler improves the turbocharging system’s power-increasing benefits. The air-to-air intercooler on the LTG Ecotec 2.0L turbo takes fresh air via a heat exchanger – similar to a radiator – to lower the temperature of compressed air delivered through the intake system by the turbocharger.
The inlet temperature is decreased by up to 212 degrees Fahrenheit (100 degrees C) since cooler air is denser, so more oxygen is packed into the cylinders for better combustion and, as a result, more power.
Applications of GM 2.0 LTG Engine:
- 2013 – 2014, 2015 – 2019 Cadillac ATS
- 2014 – 2016 Cadillac ATS 25T (China)
- 2014 – 2019 Cadillac ATS 28T (China)
- 2013 – Present Chevrolet Malibu
- 2013 – Present Opel Insignia
- 2014 – Present Buick Regal
- 2014 – Present Cadillac CTS
- 2016 – Present Buick Envision
- 2016 – 2018 Cadillac CT6
- 2016 – Present Chevrolet Camaro
- 2017 – Present Buick GL8
- 2018 – 2020 Chevrolet Equinox
- 2018 – Present Chevrolet Traverse
- 2018 – Present GMC Terrain
- 2018 – 2020 Holden Commodore
Problems Surrounding GM 2.0 LTG Engine:
The GM 2.0 LTG Ecotec engine is excellent. It combines the power of NA 3.0/4.0-liter V6s and V8s with the fuel efficiency of a tiny four-cylinder engine. It is the first inline-4 engine in a Camaro since the third-generation model.
The Camaro 2.0T LTG engine produces 275 HP at 5,600 rpm and 295 lb-ft of torque at 3,000 rpm. But, as the industry’s most powerful vehicle engine, some people raise eyebrows. Is the 2.0 LTG Ecotec dependable?
Surprisingly, this turbo-four delivers an excellent blend of horsepower and dependability. Of course, it is not without flaws, as is anything else in the world.
The following are some of the most prevalent GM 2.0 Ecotec LTG engine issues:
1. Faulty Pistons
The pistons, in many cases, are not made out of forged aluminum like other parts; instead, they’re cast, which makes for an even weaker structure when put under pressure during operation.
GM swiftly resolved these early faults with the engine, and later versions appear to be free of similar concerns. However, the pistons on the 2.0 LTG are not the most powerful element of the engine.
They are made of cast aluminum rather than forged steel and do not have a great margin of safety. They operate perfectly on a stock engine. However, if you intend to boost power by boosting it, replacing the 2.0T Ecotec pistons with aftermarket forged aluminum pistons is preferable.
2. Carbon Build Up
Every direct-injection engine has a problem with carbon buildup on the intake valves. This well-known disadvantage of direct injection is not specific to the GM 2.0 LTG Ecotec but across most direct-injection engines.
Some oil may be blown into the intake of all engines. It is not an issue for people who utilize traditional port injection since gasoline washes everything back into the combustion chambers.
However, when gasoline is injected directly into the combustion chamber, bypassing the intake valves and ports, blow-by oil develops deposits on the intake valves and everything else. This nasty black buildup can obstruct airflow to the point that performance and dependability suffer.
This usually occurs after/every 50,000 – 70,000 miles.
3. Intermittent Oil Leaks
Oil leaks around the timing cover are another typical issue on GM 2.0 LTG engines. Typically, slow seeping oil leaks burn off on the engine block, creating minimal smoke and some burning oil odors.
If you detect these symptoms, look for black patches on the cylinder block surrounding the timing cover. There might be an oil leak from the timing cover.
The GM LTG 2.0L Turbocharged four-cylinder engine is one of the most power-dense in the automotive industry, and it’s surprisingly efficient.
Thanks to advanced technologies like direct injection, it would be a great choice for custom tuner cars, or you could make your statement with this hot rod by putting an aftermarket intake on top, giving more airflow through those powerful pistons.
It is, by far, one of the best engines to be used for a smaller displacement but a big power production. In LTG 2.0 engine, there is no doubt that this engine is loved by many.