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CATEGORIES (articles) > Engine, Gearbox > Vauxhall Engines > GM Family II engine

GM Family II engine

The Family II is a straight-4 piston engine that was originally developed by Opel in late 1970s for use in the Opel Ascona B and Opel Kadett D. Over time, the engine block has evolved to include many modern features such as DOHC and fuel injection. Many General Motors subsidaries, including Holden, GM do Brasil and recently GM Powertrain have adopted this design.

20XE, 20XEJ, C20XE

The older, naturally-aspirated 16-valve version of the 2.0 L(1998 cc) cast iron block engine is the successor to the OHC-engines and a predecessor to the 16-valve Ecotec-line of engines. OHC-derived block with 86 mm bore & stroke and a Cosworth-developed DOHC cylinder head (Cosworth Project KB). Cylinder heads were manufactured by Cosworth and Kolbenschmidt. Power output is rated at 110 kW (150 hp) @ 6000 rpm and 196 N·m @ 4600 rpm (C20XE) or 156 hp (20XE). Russian car manufacturer AutoVAZ also used the C20XE in a limited-edition sports version of its Lada 110 model.

This engine is used in:

  • Opel Kadett GSi
  • Opel Vectra 2000
  • Opel Vectra GT 16V
  • Opel Calibra 16V
  • Opel Astra GSi
  • Lada 110

C20LET Turbo

A turbocharged version of the C20XE. Features a one-piece exhaust manifold and turbine casing in cast iron and a KKK-16 turbocharger. Bore & stroke are both 86 mm, compression ratio is 9.0:1 and cylinder displacement is 1998 cc. Engine management is hadled by Bosch Motronic 2.7. Power output is rated at 150 kW (204 hp) @ 5600 rpm and torque is 280 N·m @ 2400 rpm. The engine was used in the turbocharged four-wheel drive Opel Calibra and Opel Vectra. The cars in which C20LET was used, always featured four-wheel drive and a six-speed Getrag F28 manual transmission.

  • Opel Calibra
  • Opel Vectra


Ecotec name was adopted in 2000 for the new generation of Family II engines. The name was already used for the Opel Family 1 and Family 0 ranges. GM intends for this new Ecotec to become its global 4-cylinder.

The Ecotec Family II is a modern chain-driven DOHC 4-valve design with an aluminum block and head (L850), designed for displacements from 1.8 to 2.4 L. It was developed by an international team of engineers and technicians from Opel's International Technical Development Center in Rüsselsheim, Germany, GM Powertrain in Pontiac, Michigan, and Saab in Trollhättan, Sweden. Much of the development work on this project was carried out by Lotus Engingineering, Hethel, United Kingdom. The engine uses aluminum pistons and cast iron cylinder liners. Vibration is reduced with twin balance shafts.

The current Ecotec line is manufactured in Tonawanda, New York, Kaiserslautern, Germany, and (for Saturn) in Spring Hill, Tennessee.


Saab uses three different 2.0 L turbocharged versions of the aluminium-block Ecotec in the Saab 9-3 and Cadillac BLS. It has numerous features, including special oil jets to cool the pistons, an oil, stronger pistons, connecting rods and cylinder head. The Saab engine also features electronic throttle control, as do many Ecotecs. Opel also uses the 175 hp version of Saab's engine in the turbocharged Opel Vectra and Opel Signum.

This engine is used in:

  • Saab 9-3
  • Cadillac BLS
  • Opel Vectra
  • Opel Signum


Opel/Vauxhall offers a turbocharged version of the 2.0 L(1998 cc) Ecotec in a cast iron block; it features 86 mm (3.39 in) bore and stroke, 9.5:1 compression, 175 hp (129 kW) and 195 ft·lbf (265 N·m) of torque.

This engine is used in:

  • Opel Astra
  • Opel Zafira


Pontiac will offer a Gasoline direct injection version (redubbed Spark Ignition Direct Injection) for use in the 2007 Solstice GXP. Displacement is 2.0 L (1998 cc) with an 86 mm (3.38 in) bore and stroke. Compression is 9.2:1, delivering 260 hp (194 kW) and 260 ft·lbf (353 N·m) of torque. The "Gen II" block is similar to the 2.4 L and also features VVT technology.

Unique LNF features. include:

  • a twin-scroll turbocharger
  • Gasoline direct injection
  • Variable valve timing on both intake and exhaust
  • Sodium-filled valves
  • Oil-cooled low-friction cast pistons
This engine is used in:
  • 2007 Opel GT
  • 2007 Solstice GXP
  • 2007 Saturn Sky Red Line


A high-end direct injection version of the 2.2 L Ecotec is available for:

  • Opel Vectra
  • Opel Signum


Ecotec L61 engine in a Chevrolet Classic

The basic Family II architecture was substantially reengineered in 2000, becoming the Ecotec 2.2, model L61 (or L42 for the CNG version). First appearing in the 2000 Saturn LS1, the L61 spread throughout North American GM products, displacing the Quad 4 and its descendents.

Unlike its notably harsh predecessor, the L61 was designed for smoothness. dual in-block balance shafts were integral to the design, and all accessories were mounted directly to the engine block to reduce vibration. The oil filter was cast into the block with a removable cover and replaceable paper element.

Displacement is 2.2 l (2189 cc) with an 86 mm (3.38 in) bore and 94.6 mm (3.72 in) stroke. Compression is 9.5:1 or 10:1, delivering 135 hp to 143 hp (101 kW to 107 kW) and 142 ft·lbf to 152 ft·lbf (193 N·m to 206 N·m) of torque. The Ecotec line is manufactured in Tonawanda, New York, Kaiserslautern, Germany, and (for Saturn) in Spring Hill, Tennessee. The L61-powered Saturn ION replaced the Saturn-powered Saturn S-series.

There are a few variations to the standard L61. The new Chevrolet Malibu uses a version with electronic throttle control and a special unitized exhaust manifold and catalytic converter. The 2003 Saturn L-Series has a high output version with higher (10:1) compression and hotter camshaft. The Malibu and Saturn versions also use returnless fuel injection. There is also a stroked out version of the original 2.2L (the LE5 2.4L) that increases to 170 hp and 170 foot/pounds of torque, in the (2006) Saturn Ion 3.

The 2.2 L Ecotec is used in the following cars:

  • 2000-2002 Saturn L-Series
  • 2001-2005 Vauxhall VX220/Opel Speedster
  • 2002- Saturn VUE
  • 2002-2004 Chevrolet Cavalier
  • 2002-2004 Oldsmobile Alero
  • 2002-2005 Pontiac Sunfire
  • 2003-2005 Saturn L-Series (high output)
  • 2003- Saturn ION
  • 2004 Chevrolet Classic
  • 2004- Chevrolet Malibu
  • 2005- Chevrolet Cobalt (145 hp/155 ft·lb)
  • Pontiac Grand Am
  • Opel Astra/Vauxhall/Holden Astra
  • Opel Vectra/Vauxhall/Holden Vectra
  • Opel Zafira/Vauxhall/Holden Zafira/Subaru Traviq
Following the GM-Fiat agreement, the 2.2 L engine is also used in
  • Fiat Croma
  • Alfa Romeo 159


The Ecotec 2.2, model L42 is the CNG version of the Ecotec 2.2. It delivers 129 hp (96 kW) and 129 ft·lbf (175 N·m).


Ecotec LSJ engine in a 2006 Saturn ION Red Line

The LSJ is a de-stroked (to 86 mm) version of the L61 Ecotec with an Eaton M62 Roots-type supercharger and air-to-liquid intercooler. It is rated at 205 hp and 200 ft·lbs, but many dynamometer tests have shown up to 20% more power in actual cars.

The LSJ was on the Ward's 10 Best Engines list for 2006.

This engine is used in:

  • 2004-2006 Saturn ION Red Line
  • 2005-2006 Chevrolet Cobalt SS Supercharged Coupe


Ecotec LE5 engine in a 2006 Pontiac Solstice

The LE5 is a larger 2.4 L (2384 cc) version of the Ecotec. Both the 88 mm bore and 98 mm stroke are larger, and Variable Valve Timing improves low-end torque. Power is 170 hp (127 kW) and torque is 170 ft·lbf (230 N·m). The engine uses enfored "Gen II" block.

The LE5 is used/will be used in:

  • 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt
  • 2006 Pontiac Solstice
  • 2006 Saturn Sky
  • 2006 Saturn ION
  • 2006 Pontiac G6
  • 2006 Pontiac Pursuit
  • 2006 Chevrolet HHR
  • 2007 Saturn Aura
The LE5 is also used in the following overseas models:
  • 2006 GM Taiwan Buick LaCrosse
  • 2006 Shanghai GM Buick LaCrosse


Holden makes various Family II engines for GM India and GM Daewoo at its Melbourne plant. Variations include displacements from 1.8 L. to 2.4 L.


  • 1.8 L - Chevrolet Lacetti, Chevrolet Nubira, Chevrolet Rezzo
  • 2.0 L - Chevrolet Optra, Chevrolet Evanda, Suzuki Reno, Suzuki Forenza
  • C24SE, *2.4 L SOHC - Isuzu Rodeo

GM do Brazil

GM do Brazil specializes in SOHC, alcohol-powered and FlexPower (alcohol +petrol powered) engines.

  • C18YE - 1.8 L ethanol
  • C20SEL - 2.0 L DOHC
  • X20SE - 2.0 L FlexPower

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