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GM revives revered 'Tripower' name for new fuel-efficient four-cylinder

No, this doesn't mean the GTO is coming back.


Bringing old respected names back from the dead doesn't always work -- take the backlash over the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross, for example -- but GM thinks it can make it work.

General Motors will revive the Tripower name, Automotive News reports, a term it hasn't used since 1966. But instead of being used for performance this time around, it'll stand for a triumvirate of fuel-sipping technologies that can be found in its new 2.7-liter I4 turbocharged gas engine, which will make its debut on the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado.

Hopefully GM will find room on the engine cover to slap a cool Tripower badge.

General Motors

The most straightforward of the three technologies comprising Tripower is cylinder deactivation. GM's 2.7-liter will be capable of operating on just two cylinders during periods of light load. The next bit is active thermal management that can change temperatures across the engine to ensure it's operating efficiently. Lastly, valve lift control can limit the length the intake valve opens to further improve fuel economy.

GM's 2.7-liter I4 will put out an impressive 310 horsepower and 348 pound-feet of torque, more twisting force than the V6 it replaces. The engine also features other economy-minded bits like an electric water pump, an exhaust manifold integrated into the cylinder head and stop-start tech. 

It's designed as a truck engine, so I wouldn't count on seeing a hopped-up Cruze with this under the hood, although that'd be pretty righteous. It could very well show up in future iterations of the midsize Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon pickups, though, at the least.

The Tripower name first appeared in the 1950s. As Automotive News notes, it originally referred to the trio of double-barrel carburetors that GM used in lieu of more expensive fuel injection on its muscle cars, including the badass-until-the-end-of-time '66 GTO, which was the first year that the GTO was its own model and not just an upgrade for the Tempest. 360 horsepower was nothing to sneeze at back then, but what's even more impressive is that this new four-banger is almost knocking on the original Tripower's door, output-wise.