Vauxhall_AdamVauxhall will launch a new 1.0-litre turbo engine option for the Adam at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show.

The new three-cylinder engine will be offered in two guises, 90hp and 115hp, with the promise of 62mpg economy and CO2 emissions as low as 99g/km.

More importantly, the new all-aluminium direct injection engine is a brand new development that should vastly improve the Adam’s currently mediocre engine portfolio.

It’s also mated to a new six-speed gearbox, which Vauxhall says has a snappy short-shift lever and much lighter engagement effort. Fans of other Vauxhall models, also take note: this lightweight gearbox is coming to other models, too.

The key draw of the punchy new 1.0-litre engine appears to be its big engine pulling power. Vauxhall says it has greater low-end torque and pulling power than non-turbo 1.6-litre engines; 122lb ft comes in at just 1,800rpm – 30% more than a comparable 1.6.

The 115hp model has a torque plateau that’s flat right up to 4,700rpm.

It’s set to be a refined new motor. Vauxhall says it has specifically focused on minimising the off-beat throb of a three-cylinder (some enthusiasts may say ‘pity’…), and has fitted a chain-driven balancer shaft to smooth things out. Even the turbo is a ‘low-hiss’ design. This helps it, during bench testing, put out less noise than comparable 1.6-litre motors.

“We not only set out to minimise fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, we also wanted to demonstrate that three cylinders can be just as refined as four or more,” says Dr. Matthias Alt, Vauxhall/Opel’s chief engineer, small gasoline engines.

“We tackled at source the balance, noise and vibration issues typical of conventional three-cylinder engines, and we’re confident Adam customers will be enthusiastic about the results.”

The new 1.0-litre turbo engine option will be sold in the Adam from this spring. It is also, MR hears, coming to the MG3 in time too – thanks to a joint development project with parent firm SAIC. That’s another car that’ll be greatly improved simply by fitting a better engine…