PSA Peugeot Citroen has inaugurated its EUR717m (US$968m) production unit for a new family of three-cylinder petrol engines at its Trémery plant in Moselle, Eastern France. 

PSA said it had decided to conduct an in-depth overhaul of its small engine line-up, in a project it claimed was as important as its HDi diesel engine initiative.

Delivering 68hp to 82hp, the new three-cylinder engines will reduce fuel consumption and carbon emissions by 25% compared with today's four-cylinder engines, while energy consumption will be reduced by around 1.5L per 100km.

The new engines will be fitted on the future Peugeot 208, to be launched in first-quarter 2012, with CO2 emissions of 104g per kilometre for its 1.2-litre VTI 82hp version and 99g per kilometre for its 1.0-litre VTi 68hp version.

The Group has invested EUR717m in the project, launched in early 2008, of which
EUR460m is for research and development. In all, 52 patents have been filed and 1,200 engineers and technicians have been involved.

A total of EUR257m was allocated for capital spending projects in eastern France, mainly at the Trémery plant.

In the start-up phase since September 2011, the new EB engine will be produced at
Trémery. The project has a potential annual production capacity of 640,000 engines and will create 500 jobs.

Brought on stream in 1979, PSA says Trémery is the world's leading diesel engine production facility with a total output of 35m units. The plant currently has 3,720 employees.

In a second phase, the new engines designed in France will be produced in Latin America and China to meet local needs.

Auto market intelligence
from just-auto

• Auto component fitment forecasts
• OEM & tier 1 profiles & factory finder
• Analysis of 30+ auto technologies & more