At the 2014 SEMA Show, Chevrolet Performance announced its first turbocharged four-cylinder crate motor to its 2015 catalog: the 2.0L LTG crate engine (part no. 19328837). Found in the Cadillac ATS at the time, and eventually the sixth-generation Camaro, the concept was simple: a power-dense, compact crate engine for longitudinal RWD applications that would offer superior fuel economy to a V8. Power numbers were officially rated at 272 horsepower at 5,500 RPM and 295 pound-feet of torque at 3,000 rpm, with the turbo pushing out a maximum boost pressure of 20 psi.
There was just one major problem, however. It cost $9,000. And supporting transmissions, high pressure fuel pump, clutch kit, accessory drive, and ECU were all sold separately. But the engine did carry a 24-month, 50,000 mile warranty. Regardless, customers didn’t seem to want it, and Chevrolet closed the chapter on offering a turbo four crate engine.
“The reality is that the market did not bare out as much. We didn’t have the sales that we thought,” said Russ O’Blenes, director of Chevrolet Performance variants, parts and motorsports in an interview with MC&T.
“We were doing that specifically as fuel prices were rising and we were doing that to give our customer multiple opportunities. And the reality is if you’re looking at the value of an LS3 or an LT1, unless you have something specific where you need a four cylinder, most people just end up choosing a V8. That’s just the reality of it. We took it out of the catalog. You can still buy the engine as a service part.”
A brand new LS3 crate engine, with 430 horsepower, costs thousands less. And a standard 350 small block costs just over a third of what Chevrolet charged for the LTG crate engine. This also provided a window of just how expensive it is for General Motors to produce the little turbo engine, relative to the simpler pushrod V8 mills that the automaker is famous for. Below is a video from Chevrolet Performance in 2017 that summarizes the LTG.