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The midsize Hyundai Sonata will only be available in naturally aspirated, turbocharged, or hybrid four-cylinder configurations
Four-bangers surged strongly in 2009

In early January, DailyTech reported on slow death of the V6 engine in mainstream vehicles. With new CAFE regulations pushing for increased fuel economy -- to the tune of a fleetwide 35.5 mpg average -- many manufacturers are turning to direct injected four-cylinder engines and turbocharged four-cylinder engineer to increase fuel economy.

However, it's not just the government that is shoving higher fuel economy down the throats of auto manufacturers -- the buying public is also moving en masse towards four cylinder engines. According to Edmunds, 90 percent of midsize sedans sold in the United States (think Camry, Accord, Altima, Malibu, Fusion, etc.) come with a four-cylinder engine despite the fact that vastly more powerful V6 engines are available on the options sheet.

Wards Auto reports that a number of factors have resulted in V6 and V8 engines seeing a sharp decline for 2009. Wards cites that consumers have less money to spend these days, so more fuel efficient four-cylinder engines which get better fuel economy are being chosen. In addition, a sharp reduction in the production of light trucks has contributed to the downfall of engines with six or more cylinders.

In fact, Wards states that four-cylinder engines accounted for 61.9 percent of new car sales for 2009 -- this compares to just 51.7 percent in 2008. Whereas V8 engines were found in 88.9 percent of new cars sold way back in 1969, that figure is just under five percent today.

Other sectors that are showing gains are diesel engines (3.7 percent market share), turbocharged engines (2.9 percent market share), and hybrid powertrains (2.4 percent market share).

Companies like the new industry darling Hyundai are dropping V6 engines entirely from its midsize sedan offerings. The new 2011 Hyundai Sonata can currently only be had with a direct injected 2.4-liter four cylinder engine (paired with a 6-speed stick or 6-speed automatic) which produces 198 hp and get 35 mpg on the highway. Later this year, Hyundai will also introduce a turbocharged inline-four engine which will closely match the 35 mpg of its naturally aspirated counterpart while at the same time delivering power comparable to the 3.5-liter to 3.6 liter V6 engines offered in vehicles like the Toyota Camry and Chevrolet Malibu.

Hyundai also plans to release a four-cylinder hybrid variant of the Sonata before the end of the year to complete the four-cylinder trifecta.



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Depends how you look at it.
By Smilin on 3/18/2010 4:04:18 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
Whereas V8 engines were found in 88.9 percent of new cars sold way back in 1969, that figure is just under five percent today.


I just cherry picked a few here..
1969 Ford F150 pickup truck with a 360cui V8 = 215 HP
2010 Acura RDX crossover SUV with a 2.3L i4 turbo = 240 HP

It's not like we're really missing out all that much by having a lot of 4cyls.




RE: Depends how you look at it.
By DanNeely on 3/18/2010 4:18:00 PM , Rating: 3
That's a big part of it. The 'entry level V6 used by us automakers is ~200HP as well. It's main advantage over a turbo V4 used to be that the turbo lagged a few seconds before kicking in when you hit the gas. I've read that the lag is now down to almost zero on new designs; assuming this is available fleet wide it's largely eliminated the one advantage that a non-turbo v6 had over smaller v4's.


RE: Depends how you look at it.
By Spuke on 3/18/2010 4:37:26 PM , Rating: 3
The lag was eliminated or drastically reduced because of turbocharger design and sizing. Todays 4 cyl turbo's with lots of low end torque use REALLY tiny turbo's that spool to an acceptable boost level really early in the rpm range. And with a little more throttle can hit max boost super quick. Turbo lag, nowadays, has more to do with perception than anything as most turbo's make boost and power at really low rpms, regardless of size. 20 years ago, turbo's took a while to even start making boost. That's actually lag.


RE: Depends how you look at it.
By Samus on 3/19/2010 2:25:03 AM , Rating: 1
I agree.

In fact, V-engines will probably be used exclusively in high-torque applications (trucks) in the future. Face it, even muscle car's are going to have turbo I4 (possibly I5 and I6 engines) in the future, but at least with current technology, we wont have another Mustang SVO.

The only problem is the fuel quality in this country (especially diesel fuel) is so far behind the rest of the world that we can't properly boost cars. Some places you can actually get 93 octane, but most of the states are 90-91 octane at a premium.

For example, the LOWEST quality fuel in Japan is 95 octane. However, it is ~$8/gallon too.


RE: Depends how you look at it.
By iamezza on 3/19/2010 4:09:54 AM , Rating: 3
I really can't see V engines being dropped by sports cars any time soon. The whole reason for V6's and V8's being so popular is you can fit more power in a shorter package. A V8 is only a bit longer then an I4 and a V6 can be shorter than a I4. This is why V6's are so much more popular than I6's and why they haven't made I8's for a very long time.

Octane ratings are calculated differently in different countries which is the reason for the apparent low ratings in the US & Canada. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Octane_rating


RE: Depends how you look at it.
By JAB on 3/22/2010 10:36:01 PM , Rating: 2
I6's are just too expensive to make. With a modern i4 engine and turbo you can nearly the same power and save a ton of weight for quick turning and acceleration. If you design the car with an I6 and only that in mind you can get better performance over a V8 if handling is a priority but the cost and length is not worth it.


RE: Depends how you look at it.
By the goat on 3/19/2010 9:34:19 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
The only problem is the fuel quality in this country (especially diesel fuel) is so far behind the rest of the world that we can't properly boost cars.

This is a common misconception. Actually in Japan (and other non USA/Canada countries) they use a different scale to measure Octane. They use RON (Research Octane Number). Where we use the average of RON and MON (Motor Octane Number)

US regular gasoline (87 octane) would be 91-92 octane in Japan.
US Premium gasoline (93 octane) would be 97-98 octane in Japan.

The gasoline quality is basically equal to Japanese gasoline quality.

Also the quality of diesel fuel argument is wrong. The USA introduced stricter diesel fuel requirements (mostly related to surfer levels) a couple of years ago. But before that, yes the USA had dirtier diesel fuel.


RE: Depends how you look at it.
By Bremen7000 on 3/19/2010 2:51:13 PM , Rating: 3
Equating octane with quality is a failure.


RE: Depends how you look at it.
By Iaiken on 3/19/2010 10:00:34 AM , Rating: 2
Look at the new Peugeot 1.6L direct injection i4 twin spool turbo.

This is the same engine that is used to get the Mini JCW moving. Boost starts at 2000RPM(just over idle for that car) and maxes out at 4500. The car can also "overboost" between 4500 and 7000 which causes a dramatic increase in torque (265 ftlbs+).

It's novel little engines like this that are going to help keep the internal combustion engine moving toward market domination until something better comes along.


RE: Depends how you look at it.
By piroroadkill on 3/19/2010 4:38:52 AM , Rating: 3
V4's are pretty rare, iirc


RE: Depends how you look at it.
By ebaycj on 3/19/2010 1:41:45 PM , Rating: 2
Is there a reason why?


RE: Depends how you look at it.
By porkpie on 3/19/2010 1:48:16 PM , Rating: 4
In general, the inline configuration is just a little simpler mechanically, that's all...the reason that 8 cylinder engines are commonly made in a V configuration is that inline, the engine would be extremely long and thin, and thus a bit difficult to fit into your average engine compartment.


RE: Depends how you look at it.
By lagomorpha on 3/19/2010 7:53:48 PM , Rating: 3
I4 engines create minor vertical vibration at twice the engine rpm. V4 engines have companion cylinders diagonally from each other and create fairly severe twisting vibration especially when the displacement starts to get over 1.5L. It's not so much a problem for motorcycle engines (Yamaha V-Max, Honda Interceptor) because they tend to have a short stroke and small displacement.

The other issue is that I4s are rarely too long for car engines, and in the few cars they are it's possible to make a shorter, smaller bore I4 or an I3. In a motorcycle you want a shorter stroke/wider bore and a more narrow engine has less of a tendency to make a rider bow-legged.

The current V6 that Ford uses as the base engine in the Mustang actually started life as the 1.2L Ford Taunus V4 in 1962 with 40hp. Making it a V4 instead of an I4 let them use the same tooling and mounts as for a V6. That also made it use the ideal angle between cylinders for a V6 instead of a V4 so it had splayed crankpins. Then there's the balance shaft that it required than an I4 doesn't require.


RE: Depends how you look at it.
By EJ257 on 3/20/2010 8:36:59 PM , Rating: 2
V4s might not be common but the flat 4 (boxer engine) is. Any reason why its not used in more cars than just Subaru and Porsche?


RE: Depends how you look at it.
By lagomorpha on 3/21/2010 6:04:22 PM , Rating: 2
Likely packaging and noise. Boxer 4s are wide and flat compared to I4s which makes I4s a better package for front wheel drive cars when transversely mounted.

Plus H4s has a rumble caused from their left-left-right-right firing order that some people don't like.


RE: Depends how you look at it.
By Skraeling on 3/22/2010 10:43:52 AM , Rating: 2
Not entirely from its firing mechanics. Unequal length exhaust headers contribute greatly to this. Look for sound clips of wrx/sti with equal length headers really changes the sound.


RE: Depends how you look at it.
By Spivonious on 3/18/2010 4:18:52 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly. With efficiency gains, a 4cyl might not sound as good to the ears as a nice rumbly V8, but performance can still be quite good.


RE: Depends how you look at it.
By Shining Arcanine on 3/18/2010 6:49:35 PM , Rating: 3
It is ironic... I always thought that anything that made noise was displeasing to the ears unless it was classical music. This is an improvement to my ears, but it seems that is not the case for everyone's ears.


RE: Depends how you look at it.
By afkrotch on 3/18/2010 9:11:30 PM , Rating: 3
Nah, for cars, ppl like the rumble from the engines. I've always been a fan of Subaru and I love it's purring.


RE: Depends how you look at it.
By Mr Perfect on 3/19/2010 1:38:09 PM , Rating: 2
It's more of the tone of the noise, not so much the volume. V8s make that deep grumbly tone, while i4s are a higher pitched scream. People who go flying around in their i4s still make a lot of noise, it's just shriller.


RE: Depends how you look at it.
By lagomorpha on 3/19/2010 7:57:33 PM , Rating: 2
The grumble from V8s come from crossplane V8s having an uneven firing order between cylinder banks (LRLLRRLR). Firing twice left then twice right causes a bit of grumble in the exhaust note. Flatplane V8s like the ones in Ferraris sound like I4s because they fire like I4s (2 cylinders fire at same time).

Personally I like the smooth even singing notes of an I6.


RE: Depends how you look at it.
By Spivonious on 3/22/2010 12:33:18 PM , Rating: 2
That's really interesting. I never knew that, but it totally makes sense.


RE: Depends how you look at it.
By Reclaimer77 on 3/18/2010 4:19:51 PM , Rating: 2
Yup great point man.

Also 4's now have a LOT more torque which used to be a major deal breaker for a lot of "big engine" die-hards. Torque is more important than HP for most daily driving situations.


RE: Depends how you look at it.
By Spuke on 3/18/2010 4:31:12 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Torque is more important than HP for most daily driving situations
You mean having an engine that makes more torque at low rpms than high rpms is more important for daily driving, right?


RE: Depends how you look at it.
By Reclaimer77 on 3/18/10, Rating: 0
RE: Depends how you look at it.
By Spuke on 3/18/10, Rating: 0
RE: Depends how you look at it.
By HotFoot on 3/18/2010 5:52:38 PM , Rating: 2
Well, for our kind, better would be to forgo the number (or put it as a footnote), and just show the torque curve, and gearing set-up.

I always find it odd that we've defaulted to HP being the first number discussed - it's just torque and rpm together.


RE: Depends how you look at it.
By The0ne on 3/18/2010 6:05:05 PM , Rating: 2
I couldn't agree more, much much more informative all around :)


RE: Depends how you look at it.
By Reclaimer77 on 3/18/2010 6:44:08 PM , Rating: 2
I'm pretty sure some dweebs at market research determined it's not all that important to people looking at a car purchase to have that info though.


RE: Depends how you look at it.
By afkrotch on 3/18/2010 9:13:38 PM , Rating: 2
Nah, most ppl who purchase cars go for looks first, then features, then power.


RE: Depends how you look at it.
By porkpie on 3/19/2010 12:31:53 AM , Rating: 3
"I always find it odd that we've defaulted to HP being the first number discussed "

HP is more informative than torque. You can design a 300 ft-lb engine that won't push a car more than 1 mph...but you can't design a 300HP engine that won't give reasonable performance (at least not until we can build engines that redline at 50K RPM)

See my other post for details.


RE: Depends how you look at it.
By Mint on 3/21/2010 4:39:38 PM , Rating: 2
Well put. I can hide a gear in any 100hp engine, and it will give me 1000 lb-ft of torque at 500 RPM of the output shaft. It's not going to accelerate any faster or be any more driveable than a 200 hp engine with a peak of 150 ft-lb of torque.

We should have a hp @ 2krpm figure accompanying max hp, not a meaningless peak torque figure.


RE: Depends how you look at it.
By Dorkyman on 3/18/2010 10:18:38 PM , Rating: 2
Torque is basically just how hard the crank twists.

Horsepower is how much work gets done i.e. torque x rpms.

Since an engine's purpose is to move a car, the first consideration for an engineer was creating an engine that could do the work required. That's horsepower. It relates intimately with a car's top speed.

The only reason torque is much-loved by purists is because, with few exceptions, engine rpms are usually tied somewhat to a car's speed, so at low speed we don't get much horsepower. But if an engine is designed with a lot of torque at low rpms, the engine feels powerful at low speeds. It may have low peak horsepower and thus the car would have a low top speed, but it would still be responsive to drive around town. Classic case in point from the '60's: big V8 with a modest carb.

Did I say it right?


RE: Depends how you look at it.
By goku on 3/18/10, Rating: 0
RE: Depends how you look at it.
By porkpie on 3/19/2010 12:10:17 AM , Rating: 3
Careful what you read on auto sites. One of those two articles is utter gibberish.


RE: Depends how you look at it.
By joex444 on 3/18/2010 11:19:01 PM , Rating: 2
Indeed, Torque is a rotational force. How hard the crank twists is how hard the car's wheels start moving. More torque = more acceleration. (Tau = I Alpha). Its torque you want.

HP is just a measure of power = energy/time. As a physicist, I can tell you that energy is not a fundamental quantity. You can't feel energy. You can't even feel power. The only thing you can feel is force and intensity.

Intensity is energy / time*area. For example... if I shine a laser beam consisting of 5J of visible red light into your eye, will you go blind? It's an impossible question. I need to know a) Over what time scale it is shined. Over a long enough time scale, that 5J can become a meaningless power, and is safer than staring at your phone's LCD screen. b) Over what area is the beam focused. If it is a fine point, you're in trouble (assuming a reasonably small time scale), but if its a big huge fat beam then it will be safe. As such, power only represents energy / time. And you can only feel intensity, so power is as meaningless as energy when you talk about the effect on humans. As such, it is the torque one must talk about. This is what makes a car feel 'fast.' Screw HP, that tells us nothing. And similarly, what one would truly need is the torque-curve, gearing ratios, final drive ratio, and curb weight. That is how one should compare vehicles... the engine is really only one ingredient. It is fundamentally easy to design a car with less HP and less torque to have a lower 0-60 time. You simply trade mpg for that effect.


RE: Depends how you look at it.
By porkpie on 3/18/2010 11:57:20 PM , Rating: 1
"Its torque you want....Screw HP, that tells us nothing."

I don't think a physicist would spread such obvious fallacies. Both torque and HP tell us something about an engine...it's not an accident that engine specs quote both. In fact, as a single unit, HP tells us much more than torque does.

To explode your fallacy that "horsepower is nothing", consider two engines, both generating 200 ft-lb. The first is outputting 80hp, the second 160hp. That means the second engine must be rotating twice as fast (it is, at 4200rpm). Now, hook both engines up to wheels. Which car is going to be accelerating faster?

Oops.

Horsepower is power. The rate of doing work. Work is moving an object (applying a force) over a given distance. If you want your car to traverse a given distance faster, you want more horsepower.

I also have no idea what you mean by 'fundamental quantity'. If you mean "fundamental unit", then neither torque nor power is. If you mean something that can be "felt", you can feel both. Grab hold the crankshaft...torque is how hard it twists your arm. Horsepower is how much it heats up your hand.

Some drivers say "torque is king" not because HP is meaningless (quite the opposite) but because all else being equal, an engine with high torque at low rpm is going to reach its hp (max power output) faster, which means quicker acceleration.


RE: Depends how you look at it.
By Solandri on 3/19/2010 3:12:06 AM , Rating: 3
You guys are making it way too complicated. Ignoring a few constants like pi and some unit conversion factors, it's basically:

hp = torque * rpm


RE: Depends how you look at it.
By Amiga500 on 3/19/2010 4:03:38 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
"Horsepower sells cars, torque wins races."
-Carroll Shelby


No good torque curve = no good.

Single numbers tell us nothing. They are only good for PR bullsh!tters.

A simple graph of torque vs. revs tells us everything.


RE: Depends how you look at it.
By porkpie on 3/19/2010 8:59:56 AM , Rating: 2
"a simple graph of torque vs. revs tells us everything."

A simple graph of HP vs. rpm tells us everything also. If you have one curve, you can mathematically generate the other. There's no difference.

A single torque figure says nothing whatsoever about a car's performance. A single HP figure, however, gives us a reasonable, though imperfect, approximation.


RE: Depends how you look at it.
By Amiga500 on 3/19/10, Rating: 0
RE: Depends how you look at it.
By Spuke on 3/19/2010 9:35:44 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
250 bhp sounds plenty enough for a car yes?
Motorcycles are not cars. And show me two 250 hp cars where the difference in torque results in quicker acceleration to the higher torque car. And not some BS .1 difference in the 1/4 mile crap either.


RE: Depends how you look at it.
By porkpie on 3/19/2010 10:01:47 AM , Rating: 1
"Not if its out of a 600cc MotoGP engine its not. Unless you fancy a 20 speed gearbox."

You've proven my point. Working from a HP figure alone, even your most extreme case would still drive a vehicle.

However, one can easily build a 250 ft-lb engine (or even a 2,500 ft-lb engine) that wouldn't move a car more than a mile per hour, no matter how you try to gear it.

In fact, there are some enormous electric motors already in existence that generate truly gargantuan torque numbers...but don't have more than a few horsepower.

As a pure number, torque is meaningless. You can gear an engine (or expand its moment arm) to generate as high or as low a torque figure as you want. You can't do the same with horsepower though. It's an inherent factor that determines the rate the engine can do work.

Quoting a 'torque @ xxx rpm' value allows you to estimate somewhat the torque curve, and thus the hp curve. But a torque figure by itself is utterly without value.


RE: Depends how you look at it.
By Keeir on 3/19/2010 4:53:19 PM , Rating: 2
Hrm.

In the Seattle Space Needle, there is a revovling resturaunt.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SkyCity

It is powered by a single 1 1/2 Horsepower motor. You better believe that the motor has a crazy amount of torque (thinking of the change in rotational intertia as people enter/exit the ring... the motor must be designed to withstand a change of ~1,000 lbs enter/exit), but at 1 1/2 HP doubt it would ever produce a workable car.


RE: Depends how you look at it.
By porkpie on 3/19/2010 5:31:22 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
It is powered by a single 1 1/2 Horsepower motor. You better believe that the motor has a crazy amount of torque
An excellent example of why torque is a terrible measure of engine performance. With enough gearing, you can output as much torque as you need from even a tiny motor...if you're willing to settle for slow enough motion (SkyCity makes a little better than one revolution per hour ).

This is nothing but the angular version of Archimedes famous statement "give me a lever long enough and I can move the world". True...but he'd move it only trillionth of a trillionth of a nanometer, in exchange for his mechanical advantage.


RE: Depends how you look at it.
By Mint on 3/21/2010 4:45:48 PM , Rating: 1
I can't believe some idiot rated you down for this post. It's 100% correct.


RE: Depends how you look at it.
By Torment on 3/18/2010 6:41:00 PM , Rating: 3
A lot of them do. Or at least used to. The problem is the torque curve of four-bangers. I was considering a Honda S2000--240hp (naturally aspirated) and a curb weight around 2500 lbs--until I drove it. Without dumping the clutch, it was a dog off the line. I'd much rather have the low-end torque for daily driving.

Haven't driven a supercharged four. Not sure it could make up the difference with a six, let alone an eight.


RE: Depends how you look at it.
By dajeepster on 3/19/2010 12:39:00 AM , Rating: 2
being the once owner of 2 s2000 (2000 and 2002 yr).. this is sooo true. That's the one thing I disliked about the s2000... sucky low-end torque.. the car was fun to drive once it was moving.


RE: Depends how you look at it.
By lagomorpha on 3/19/2010 8:02:49 PM , Rating: 2
That's probably a big part of why so many companies have been making 4 cylinders in the 2.5L range. In the 90s 2.5L was somewhat common for V6s and now it's the size for a somewhat typical 4 cylinder. Engines haven't gotten smaller, just less complicated.


RE: Depends how you look at it.
By porkpie on 3/19/2010 10:10:05 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
That's universally understood, yes. Do you know any engines that make more torque at higher RPM's than lower ??
You mean besides every IC engine ever built?

A torque curve is a curve. Starts at a minimum value, reaches a maximum, then declines. At any RPM value below that peak, its generating less torque at lower rpm.


RE: Depends how you look at it.
By cmdrdredd on 3/18/10, Rating: -1
RE: Depends how you look at it.
By HotFoot on 3/18/2010 5:17:02 PM , Rating: 3
But when the study being talked about in the article is saying how market share has moved from V8s in the past to 4-cyl engines today, it's a pretty fair thing to look at why a modern 4-cyl can fill the need people used to choose a V8 for.

Another way to look at it would be to look at just how crappy an i4 was in the 70s.


RE: Depends how you look at it.
By Smilin on 3/18/2010 5:40:38 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
plus you're comparing a 1969 truck to a MODERN car. That's a pathetic comparison right there.

Duh. 1969 vs MODERN was the point of the comparison.
quote:
Lets look at a 2010 F150 with a 4.6L 2 valve V8. 248 HP @4,750 RPM. Also 294 lb,-ft of torque.

No, lets not.
I was comparing 1969 to 2010.
quote:
The i4 you listed only has 260 lb,-ft of torque.

ONLY 260lb in a 4-cyl huh? I'm not sure what you find impressive.
quote:
If you really want to get into an argument how about..

No. I think you're the one wanting to get into an argument here. I feel like I'm having a discussion with Hank fcvking Hill after I said I prefer charcoal to propane.
quote:
That's a better average than the Acura You listed

Sorry, it was the Acura that I cherry picked to illustrate my point.
quote:
Point is, sometimes a big engine isn't so bad after all.

No that's your point. You totally missed my point which is why you ambushed with an argumentative response instead of starting your own OP.

My original point is: We're not missing much by having using 4cyls now vs V8s from 1969.

My new point: settle down, Beavis. You don't have to draw knives every time someone says something on teh intarweb. You're gonna jack up your blood pressure. Geez.


RE: Depends how you look at it.
By smithkey08 on 3/18/2010 4:25:24 PM , Rating: 2
Back then all they knew were V8s. They put V8s in every car. Today V8s (V10s or V12s) are mostly in luxury sedans and sports cars, which isn't that big of a market to begin with.

To say the V8 is on its way out is like claiming that PC gaming is dying. Hell, I'm waiting to hear back from the bank about my loan for a 1974 Plymouth Duster I've been eyeballing. So much for my next car having 4 cylinders...


RE: Depends how you look at it.
By Nfarce on 3/18/2010 4:59:04 PM , Rating: 2
Oh there are really countless comparisons of old tech vs. new tech. As another example, the stable of GM's V6 engines back in the mid-80s and well into the 90s was the 3800 3.8l V6. That engine produced anywhere from 150hp to upwards of 205 in supercharge mode. But most produced were at 165hp.

Compare that to later years: a base Nissan Altima's 2.4 liter I4 has had 150hp since the first generation ('93) and today's 2.5l has 177hp.

And let's also not forget how lame the early 4 cylinder engines were: my very first car was a mid-80s Pontiac Sunbird (J-car) with a 1.8 liter 4-cylinder. It cranked out a tire shredding 84hp! But even with that I was able to smoke the tires with a manual as a front wheel driver: go in reverse really fast and then quickly put it in first and dump the clutch. Those were the days!


RE: Depends how you look at it.
By Smilin on 3/18/2010 5:47:13 PM , Rating: 1
My big memories of old-vs-new engines came from the Chrysler LeBarron my parents had. It was a 4cyl that was only able to get into triple digit horsepower if you bought the one with the turbo.

Then I picked up a Honda Prelude SH that was putting out 200hp normally aspirated.

I owned one of those Sunbird/Sunfire (?? one of em) for a while. Gawd what a rickety piece of shit. It was my first car though so I still have the love.


RE: Depends how you look at it.
By afkrotch on 3/18/2010 9:19:46 PM , Rating: 2
I miss my old Daihatsu Mira J Turbo. 0.6L 3 cyclinder engine with a show stopping 65 hp. What's funny, I was taking modded out RX-7s off the line...for about 15 feet. That was about the distance necessary for their large turbos to kick in.


RE: Depends how you look at it.
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 3/18/2010 9:30:25 PM , Rating: 2
I thought that the supercharged 3.8 put out 240hp


RE: Depends how you look at it.
By Nfarce on 3/18/2010 9:46:27 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I thought that the supercharged 3.8 put out 240hp


That was the supercharged version of L67, which was basically a new generation of the original 3800 (called 3800 Series II) introduced in the mid-90s as a replacement of the original. It was a substantially different internal design over the original even though the displacement was the same.

Oh, and for the record, the natural aspirated version of the Series II produced 205hp. So you can call that yet another example of progress. ;)


RE: Depends how you look at it.
By JediJeb on 3/18/2010 6:14:54 PM , Rating: 2
I won't be so argumentative as a previous poster, but there is one problem with the comparison of the 69 truck to a modern midsize sedan. I understand your point, but there is another underlying point to be made in favor of the V8.

Most trucks that are actually doing work like pulling heavy trailers or crawling along dirt roads in rough terrain require that the torque of that engine is high in the off idle to maybe 2000 rpm range. If you have to rev the i4 up into the 4000rpm range to get that amount of torque you will be tearing up clutches and a lot of other things trying to take off without launching the truck like a dragster. If you made the comparison of a Camry to a 69 Valiant then it would be more obvious the differences and improvements since they were vehicles used for similar purposes. My sister has a Nissan Xterra and I can say it has more hp than my old truck did, but it definitely is not as easy to drive offroad or pulling a heavy trailer as say the 69 Pickup you mentioned because you are in such a high rpm range with the engine.

I had a 71 F100 with a 302V8 in it and you could put it in high gear( third was high back then lol) and dump the clutch at idle of about 850rpm and it would take off without stalling and it didn't have all that low gears in the rearend (3.7:1 if I recall maybe 3.53:1). Try that with an i4 and it would most likely die instantly. What's sad is it got 20mpg even with all that power over 30 years ago.

Also if you take a vehicle made in 1969 of a comparable size to a modern midsize sedan like the Camry which would have been along the lines of a Falcon or Valiant, most of those came with i6s back then and some with i4s. Not that many of those came with V8s, though the ones that did were pretty hot. Nothing really compared to my friends late 60s Falcon with the 428 V8 in it :)



RE: Depends how you look at it.
By RaisedinUS on 3/18/2010 6:25:41 PM , Rating: 2
Low HP but that 360 had around 350 ft/lb TQ at around 2400 RPM. After all, it was for a truck not high performance.


RE: Depends how you look at it.
By shaidorsai on 3/19/2010 4:53:04 PM , Rating: 2
HP is not even half the story on V8 engine buying unless your talking sports cars. People buy V8 engines in the F150 or other pickup more for torque than HP, although HP is a major part. Durability is also a strong V8 plus. That 2010 Acura RDX might sound like it's not giving up anything but compare it to a 2010 F150...not many people that are looking to tow or haul loads will ever look at the RDX.


RE: Depends how you look at it.
By Skraeling on 3/22/2010 10:42:09 AM , Rating: 2
My wrx is at 265 with a horizontal 4. Bump up to the STi your pushing 305. These cars can be adjusted for even more horsepower. With very minor modifications I can push close to 300hp.. at the wheels (currently about 220).

City driving kills my mpg, but crusiing ill hit close to 30mpg if I stay out of boost (the point at which the turbo starts cramming more air into the engine). AWD also kind of contributes to my lower mileage.

However I get the best of both worlds. Decent gas mileage if I dont get on it. A hell of a fun car when I do get on it.


Dammit
By djc208 on 3/18/2010 5:30:43 PM , Rating: 2
That means even more whiney little 4-cylinder cars slowing down traffic!

You're getting 32mpg, great. All I ask is do it in the right lane and let me enjoy the poor gas mileage and good performance of my V8.




RE: Dammit
By Spuke on 3/18/2010 5:39:43 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
That means even more whiney little 4-cylinder cars slowing down traffic!
Can't read, can you?


RE: Dammit
By dubldwn on 3/18/2010 5:45:47 PM , Rating: 5
I know. I got pulled over *again* yesterday, but the only reason I was going so fast was because I got frustrated with the assclown in front of me doing the speed limit in the left lane. It’s like, will you people die already?

BTW, my G37s tracks gas mileage, and I got it down to 12.9mpg (!) It's rated at like 22 combined. lol


RE: Dammit
By Smilin on 3/18/2010 5:52:08 PM , Rating: 2
My G35 sticks right at 21.5 for the commute I have. Can't get it to budge (over time). It'll do 27 on a road trip though.

I had a 76mph in a 35 the first week I owned the G. $375 ticket will wake you up quick.


RE: Dammit
By jacarte8 on 3/18/2010 11:26:03 PM , Rating: 2
My 350z Convertible gets about 29 on an all-highway trip, but I average right at 20-21 overall.


RE: Dammit
By Lazarus Dark on 3/18/2010 7:04:30 PM , Rating: 2
Dang dude. Lowest I've gone in my 5.7L v8 6-speed Challenger is 14mpg. What are you doing, revving at every light? I average about 16 in town, but I can get just this side of 29mpg on highway trips (several 300 mile round-trips have confirmed this)


RE: Dammit
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 3/18/2010 7:05:38 PM , Rating: 3
Who says that 4-bangers have to be slow? The aforementioned Hyundai Sonata is "fast enough" for its size even with "only" 198 hp. In the linked Edmunds article, it goes 0-60 mph in 7.7 seconds with a 6-speed stick. The 6-speed automatic should provide similar times I would imagine.

http://www.insideline.com/hyundai/sonata/2011/2011...


RE: Dammit
By afkrotch on 3/18/2010 9:36:37 PM , Rating: 2
Let's not forget the STI, Evolution, Focus RS, etc. Course, the Focus RS isn't available in the states.

I wouldn't want to see what he thinks of a race prepped 4 banger. The Ford Fiesta ST ERC is faster on take-off than a Formula 1 car.


RE: Dammit
By djc208 on 3/19/2010 10:11:48 AM , Rating: 2
Sure but those are about as small a fraction of the market as V8 powered cars (possibly even smaller).

My issue is the larger number of slower 4-cylinder mid size sedans that will be the cars that can't merge at highway speeds, overtake on 2-lane roads, or climb hills at a consistent speed without the engine sounding like it's going to orbit a piston or two.


RE: Dammit
By Spuke on 3/19/2010 12:21:02 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
My issue is the larger number of slower 4-cylinder mid size sedans that will be the cars that can't merge at highway speeds
The article isn't about the future, it's what's been happening over the last 30 years. More people buy the base 4 cyl in sedans and coupes than the V6's. The 4 cyl engines in these cars have more than enough oomph to get the job done. What IS changing is the amount of power coming from these engines. They're matching the V6's in power/torque but getting better fuel economy. Your "worries" are unfounded.


RE: Dammit
By Skraeling on 3/22/2010 10:46:46 AM , Rating: 2
I could pass you like you were sitting still.


I'll take a V6...
By Yawgm0th on 3/18/2010 5:07:40 PM , Rating: 2
In a Fusion hybrid that gets 40MPG and costs less than $27,000...

While, yes, modern four-cylinders are pretty powerful, a V6 is still way more enjoyable to drive. But it costs so much more and takes so much out of the the fuel economy that people can't justify it.

Hybrids are the reverse: The car either gets so expensive (Fusion Hybrid) or so weak (Prius) to be a turn off despite the improvements.

Anecdotally, I recently purchased a new Fusion SE. It would have been about $1,500 (About $2000 after financing for five years) more to get the V6 and would have dropped my fuel economy by 4MPG average (regardless of driving habits). This would have cost an additional $3000 in gas over the next five years at current prices. I'm not going to spend $5,000 to get 240HP when the 175 I have is more than sufficient.

Cars with six-cylinder engines will start selling if and when they ever figure out how to build one that isn't terribly inefficient and expensive.




RE: I'll take a V6...
By dubldwn on 3/18/2010 5:15:14 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
But it costs so much more and takes so much out of the the fuel economy that people can't justify it.

The I4 Accord gets 21/31 while the V6 gets 19/28. Would someone even notice a 10% difference in fuel economy? Camry has a similar disparity, so it’s a money/perception issue. But would you pay an extra $3000 for the V6? I certainly would.


RE: I'll take a V6...
By Reclaimer77 on 3/18/2010 5:18:44 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
But would you pay an extra $3000 for the V6? I certainly would.


In an Accord ?? I mean, why bother. Let's get some perspective here, it's a sedan dude.


RE: I'll take a V6...
By dubldwn on 3/18/2010 5:24:49 PM , Rating: 2
For 81bhp and 92lb-ft. Have you ever driven a 4-cyl Accord? It hurts. imho. Hey, apparently, 90% of buyers agree with you...


RE: I'll take a V6...
By Reclaimer77 on 3/18/2010 5:48:55 PM , Rating: 2
It's called VTEC, it's been around for a long time, and it's far from being "painful" to drive.

In case you haven't noticed, a lot of people are hurting financially right now. Having a fast family car isn't exactly that important right now.


RE: I'll take a V6...
By dubldwn on 3/18/2010 6:34:06 PM , Rating: 2
Camry I4 Auto SE $23,940 $399/month
Camry V6 Auto SE $26,615 $444/month
0% for 60 months

I'm surprised that more of the financially hurting people buying new 20-some-thousand dollar midsize cars aren't paying the extra $45/month for the V6.


RE: I'll take a V6...
By Keeir on 3/18/2010 7:00:22 PM , Rating: 2
Ummm...

A 4-cylinder Camry wieghs in at ~3300 lbs

Its carrying in the 4-cylinder ~20 lbs per Hp.
Probably around 9-9.5 second 0-60 times.

Other automakers consider that "sporty".
Torque at ~3,000 rpms should be sufficient for casual driving so... I am not really sure there is a benifit for the V6.


RE: I'll take a V6...
By afkrotch on 3/18/2010 9:40:57 PM , Rating: 2
If you're using a sedan to haul around the family and some junk in the trunk, the V6 would be nice. I'd opt for it. Those times when you're on a highway, trying to pass a semi, going uphill, with your whole family in the car.

My parents had an i4 Camry and it wasn't even worth trying. Just stay behind the semi, til the downhill.


RE: I'll take a V6...
By Iketh on 3/19/2010 5:09:13 AM , Rating: 2
hey dude, they come in coupes too


FYNQ
By kjboughton on 3/18/2010 6:23:55 PM , Rating: 3
I think I'll keep my 8.1L V8, thank you very much.




RE: FYNQ
By afkrotch on 3/18/2010 9:43:13 PM , Rating: 2
And many others will keep their 2.0L turbocharged I4 or 2.5L turbocharged H4, which probably produce the same power as your V8. Course gas mileage is probably the same too.


RE: FYNQ
By griffynz on 3/18/2010 11:18:45 PM , Rating: 2
Depend

Our Subaru 20K's turbo doesn't come in until 3000 rpm so it get 2 litre mileage around town and open road. Turbo spools really fast. 0-60 is 5.9 seconds, not bad for a 5 door wagon will no mods.
185 kw and 365 nm of torque
my 2001 Honda Integra TypeS JDM gets 5.5 litres/100km on the open road and 7 around town. 0-60 the same as a 5.0litre V8 1988-1999 Holden Commodore. Mostly power to weight here...


RE: FYNQ
By Runiteshark on 3/18/2010 11:51:52 PM , Rating: 2
Haha, I'd like to see a 2.0 or a ej25 produce even close to the torque that that 8.1l engine could.

My sr20 240sx w/ a gt2871r has 440hp, sure its quick, but I don't have torque until 4k+. And no, that's not when the boost kicks in, that's around 3300 or so. Its just the little engines can't produce as much as low down as an 8 can.


RE: FYNQ
By kjboughton on 3/19/2010 6:05:55 PM , Rating: 2
Power, sure. Torque, nuh-uh.


RE: FYNQ
By Spuke on 3/19/2010 12:45:16 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I think I'll keep my 8.1L V8, thank you very much.
Good engine, too bad they don't make it anymore.


About time the US buyers start seeing some sense
By BZDTemp on 3/18/2010 6:41:42 PM , Rating: 2
Now if only you can all realize a family does not need to be big as a bloody bus and that trucks should only be bought by those which really does need them.

Hauling around a big car every day just for it to be big enough that one or two days a year you need to move some stuff is a huge waste of money, energy, space and materials not to mention a smaller lighter car is way more fun to drive.

Oh, and and small light cars are still able to transport a load of big shopping be it garden furniture, a fridge or whatever. It is just a question of attaching a trailer and hey presto!




By afkrotch on 3/18/2010 9:46:18 PM , Rating: 2
Europeans stick to smaller cars and if they need to haul around a lot of items, they have a small like 4'x 4' trailer.

http://www.joe-ks.com/archives_feb2005/CarHaul.jpg


RE: About time the US buyers start seeing some sense
By Spuke on 3/19/2010 12:05:03 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
It is just a question of attaching a trailer and hey presto!
Laws are little strict here (US) on what you can tow with a car. Most people here would rather not bother with that. Occasional use (mostly recreational) is often overlooked although recently law enforcement has been getting a bit strict on that too.


By afkrotch on 3/19/2010 1:29:33 AM , Rating: 2
The laws usually just deal with requirements of your trailer. Like tail lights, turn lights, brakes, etc on your trailer. Max speeds while towing, regardless of posted speed limits. Also dimensions of your trailer.

It's probably the same in other countries too.


By Spuke on 3/19/2010 12:43:58 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The laws usually just deal with requirements of your trailer.
Yes but there are more restrictions on what car can tow what in US.

Example
French Spec Audi A3
1500 lb raw tow rating

US Spec Audi A3
Towing not recommended

These are similarly equipped cars. This just an example and yes these do get ignored. And yes this has often been overlooked in the past but that seems to be changing. Still, most people don't bother. One less, very expensive, to ticket to pay if you're in violation.


By Richardito on 3/21/2010 1:09:46 PM , Rating: 2
It has been a while since the big U.S. auto makers have actually invested in new engine technology. If you look back, even recent vehicles like the 2009 Equinox V4 had 16 MPG (City) because of its old and outdated engine. The new 2010 Equinox V4 now gives 22 MPG (City). It was very easy to get that increased MPG. But these big companies do not care about developing new things, they were all getting a lot of $$ out of big SUVs and neglected to put any $$ back into R&D. That is the biggest sin that has wrecked Chrysler and GM.




By porkpie on 3/21/2010 3:27:38 PM , Rating: 3
Your post couldn't be further from the truth. A few facts for you:

a) GM has spent more than any other automaker on new engine and materials technologies, everything from HCCI (which makes a gas engine as efficient as a diesel) to displacement-on-demand to electric to hydrogen to the use of advanced composite materials.

b) What "killed" GM and Chrsyler was not sales (GM is still selling far more cars than most automakers in the world) but a heavily-unionized workforce that not only cost them in direct wages and benefits, but prevented them from easily scaling back production to match demand.

c) At the time GM began receiving federal aid, they sold more 30+ mpg models than Toyota or Honda. Because of their cost structure, however, they tended to lose money on most of those vehicles. The high-margin SUVs is what kept them afloat as long as they were.


By Mint on 3/21/2010 5:07:13 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed on all your points, but it's wasn't the unions themselves that caused b). It was the management acquiescing to the demands, and then hiding the true cost of them on the balance sheet.

If they had any guts, like the NHL did a few years back, they would have take the short term losses of a longer strike for the future of the company. A pension plan with lifetime health benefits is like a deferred salary. GM should have been estimating the costs from the beginning, offering higher wages as alternative, and putting these costs down on the balance sheet (and possibly in a fund) the instant that they got any useful work out of their employees.


I'm proud of having a four cyclinder
By Rhl on 3/18/2010 7:48:29 PM , Rating: 2
I really enjoy having a four cylinder car. In my case, and as seems to be the case going forward, less is more.

Why am I so proud of my four cylinder? Probably because I drive a Honda S2000, and the F20C engine in it puts almost every V6 to shame, and can outdo a lot of V8's on the road. 9000 RPM and 240 naturally aspirated horsepower really hauls ass.

And best of all, I get pretty decent mileage too.

But what I'd really love is for Honda to make an S3000 with a fuel-injected F20C/F22 variant and see if they could bring us even more results 10 years later.

Sometimes less is more.




Cash for Clunkers?
By Manch on 3/18/2010 11:35:29 PM , Rating: 2
How much did the Cash for Clunkers inflate those numbers in those numbers? Is there a link for the 2007 and older stats? Maybe after they get the statistics for this year and if there are no more government incentives we'll have a better comparison on the trend.

Granted 4 bangers are getting better and i may buy one for commuting, but for now I'll ride my bike(35MPG city)




a gripe...
By Iketh on 3/19/2010 6:58:07 AM , Rating: 2
"Four-bangers surged strongly in 2009"

"surged strongly" is redundant

"strongly" is pretty feminine too, not trying to be sexist or anything




4 vs 8
By Shadowmaster625 on 3/19/2010 7:23:37 AM , Rating: 2
Well it is not surprising since most new 4 cyls today generate more bhp than a V8 from 30 years ago. Seriously, I had a camaro with a stock V8 that only had 170 HP. I had another that only had 160. And another that was HO and had 190. lol. It was faster than a 190 hp car from today, because they fudge the numbers a bit, but still its pretty close.




take note auto makers
By MadMan007 on 3/19/2010 7:31:52 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
paired with a 6-speed stick


That piqued my interest. Take note automakers, offering a manual transmission can be a competitive advantage even if the sales numbers are small the number of offerings with manual transmissions is too limited for people who prefer it.




cylinder count
By mikevictor on 3/19/2010 12:34:46 PM , Rating: 2
is correlated with fuel consumption, but the driver and engine displacement are bigger factors.

I don't see the end of the V6, because it has too many advantages: less length than an I4, less height, less vibration, sounds better, and higher specific output.

Yep, more horsepower per liter. Take a 2.5l I4 and a 2.5l V6: the I4 has a 3.75 to 4 inch stroke, and the V6 a 3 inch or smaller stroke, so it can turn more rpms. It also has more valve area for its displacement, so it has higher volumetric efficiency at higher rpms.




Oh please
By YashBudini on 3/19/2010 9:01:44 PM , Rating: 1
Who wants to be vibrated to death by a 2.5 liter 4 cylinder? Give the Lexus I250 2.5 liter V6 anyday.

Hyundai's V6 always did return lower than acceptable mileage. Maybe that's the reason they gave up on it?

Is that pro-corporate terrorist MAsher still around?




90%? Really?
By dubldwn on 3/18/10, Rating: 0
I hope cylinder based engines die
By Shig on 3/18/10, Rating: -1
RE: I hope cylinder based engines die
By michal1980 on 3/18/2010 3:57:41 PM , Rating: 4
because the rotary is a shining example of efficency?!

Just look at the mazda RX8, not excatly fuel sipping is it.

Maybe theres a reason why we use cylinders after all.


RE: I hope cylinder based engines die
By Etsp on 3/18/2010 4:17:47 PM , Rating: 2
It doesn't help that they don't use Turbo's in the RX-8's, and that the car was never designed to be highly fuel efficient.

Since the overall weight is lower on a rotary engine, I wonder how efficient they can be if they are designed to operate at 1 RPM, to used as a powerplant for a hybrid for example.


RE: I hope cylinder based engines die
By NullSubroutine on 3/18/2010 4:18:40 PM , Rating: 4
I am not saying rotary engines are the way to go, but you must be kidding?

Rotary engines receive a fraction of the research, development, and time compared to cylinder engines. I sure hope to god that cylinder engines are way better rotary after the amount of investment that has been put into improving them.


RE: I hope cylinder based engines die
By Reclaimer77 on 3/18/2010 4:22:48 PM , Rating: 3
Sorry but Rotary or Wankle engines have severe handicaps even today, after DECADES of Mazda and other companies spending millions in R&D. So your point doesn't hold up.


RE: I hope cylinder based engines die
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 3/18/2010 4:24:10 PM , Rating: 2
Don't rotaries also drink a lot of oil as well?


RE: I hope cylinder based engines die
By Reclaimer77 on 3/18/2010 4:29:11 PM , Rating: 3
Yes as well as fuel because they typically run hot. I know the RX-7 actually used extra fuel to help cool the engine through an evaporation process. Not sure about the RX-8.

It was really cool seeing Mazda win the 24 Hours Le' Mans race with a quad rotary car though :)


RE: I hope cylinder based engines die
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 3/18/2010 4:32:57 PM , Rating: 2
And there's news that they may be bringing back the RX-7 to do battle with the 370z and the upcoming Toyota FT-86.

FE RX-7 anyone? ;-)


RE: I hope cylinder based engines die
By Runiteshark on 3/18/2010 7:06:57 PM , Rating: 1
Please don't bring up the fat pig 370z. Its a disgrace to the rest of the Z cars.

Here's to hoping that the FT-86 isn't a monumental screwup. They got the ingredients there, so hopefully it will turn out good.

New RX-7 Would be very nice, but you forgot another player in the market; the Genesis Coupe 2.0T.

Add boost controller and retune = 300hp+.


RE: I hope cylinder based engines die
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 3/18/2010 7:17:25 PM , Rating: 3
Fat pig 370z?

Base trims
2010 370z -- 3232 pounds, 332 hp
2008 350z -- 3320 pounds, 306 hp
1996 300zx -- 3502 pounds, 300 hp

Or maybe I'm missing something?


By afkrotch on 3/18/2010 9:03:17 PM , Rating: 2
Not sure what he means either. I'm guessing size and not weight. Course even then, they're pretty much close to the same size.


By Reclaimer77 on 3/18/2010 7:24:11 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Please don't bring up the fat pig 370z. Its a disgrace to the rest of the Z cars.


So wrong it's not even funny. The 370z out performs ANY Z car ever made. And the Nismo edition is completely awesome. It beat the Cayman S on the Nurburgring idiot. Fat pig !?


RE: I hope cylinder based engines die
By Spuke on 3/19/2010 12:09:17 AM , Rating: 4
quote:
Please don't bring up the fat pig 370z. Its a disgrace to the rest of the Z cars.
"Cocaine's a helluva drug."


RE: I hope cylinder based engines die
By Iridium130m on 3/18/2010 4:42:34 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, they drink a lot of oil because the oil is squirted INTO the combustion chamber to keep the rotor and sidewall lubricated as opposed to pistons having an oil ring on the bottom ring to keep the oil in the crank case.

So by design, the Mazda rotary engine consumes and ultimately burns oil.


RE: I hope cylinder based engines die
By djc208 on 3/18/2010 5:38:59 PM , Rating: 2
Which even if they got 60mpg would make their emssions horrible. Oil isn't really designed to burn clean.


By Iridium130m on 3/18/2010 5:43:06 PM , Rating: 2
agreed.

rotary engine was designed to provide a lot of power in a very small package, which it does well vs. the classic reciprocating engine.

That doesn't mean it does it efficiently or cleanly though.


RE: I hope cylinder based engines die
By NullSubroutine on 3/18/2010 5:22:36 PM , Rating: 2
What Mazda has invested in these types of engines is nothing compared to the investment of the combined spending of every other car manufacturer in the entire world.


RE: I hope cylinder based engines die
By Reclaimer77 on 3/18/2010 8:14:17 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
What Mazda has invested in these types of engines is nothing compared to the investment of the combined spending of every other car manufacturer in the entire world.


You know what, we've probably spent trillions of dollars combined on Cancer research, guess what ? It's still not cured.

Some problems can't be fixed by throwing money at it. If we can put men on the moon, I'm pretty sure we can figure out if Rotaries are superior to conventional engines at this point. There is no breakthrough for the Rotary waiting to happen if only they had more money.

But hey, don't mind me I'm just the crazy guy using common sense here.


RE: I hope cylinder based engines die
By Reclaimer77 on 3/18/2010 10:23:29 PM , Rating: 2
/sidenote

Any advancement in technology that would benefit the Rotary would probably also benefit the cylinder engine and put it that much MORE ahead of it anyway.


RE: I hope cylinder based engines die
By porkpie on 3/19/2010 12:09:27 AM , Rating: 2
This isn't true at all. The engines are quite different, with different problems and areas of optimization. There are literally hundreds of ways a Wankel could be improved that would have no bearing whatsoever on a reciprocating engine.


RE: I hope cylinder based engines die
By Reclaimer77 on 3/19/2010 8:41:47 AM , Rating: 2
Porkpie I had no idea you were an engineer. Please enlighten us about the "hundreds of ways" to improve the Wankel that you alone seem to know about and nobody else.

I was speaking of metallurgy, composite materials, and other type of improvements by the way. Nothing engine specific.


RE: I hope cylinder based engines die
By porkpie on 3/19/2010 9:17:15 AM , Rating: 4
"Porkpie I had no idea you were an engineer."

I am, actually.

" Please enlighten us about the "hundreds of ways" to improve the Wankel that you alone seem to know about"

While I appreciate the childish, spiteful tone, the fact remains that any ME can tell you countless optimizations that would affect a Wankel. alone or more than a reciprocating ICE. The 3D combustion geometry and port timings are entirely different; any improvements here would have zero bearing on other engines. Improvements in the vastly complicated sliding seals a Wankel need would apply only to this type engine (that is, in fact, where Mazda spent most of its R&D).

Since a Wankel generates much higher temperature extremes (due to its steady-state operating conditions), any advance in "metallurgy, composite materials and other types" of improvements that reduced expansion-coefficient issues would help both engines. . . but a Wankel significantly more.

If you still doubt, here's a gedanken experiment that any cretin can manage. Look up some of the vast number of patents (each of which is a design improvement) that apply to Wankel engines only.


By B166ER on 3/19/2010 11:10:48 AM , Rating: 1
Holy fuck, wheres my popcorn, Porkpie and RascistClaimer77 goin at it! Ladies, make this fair, no hair pulling or bra snapping. And call each other bitch and slut. A lot.


RE: I hope cylinder based engines die
By Reclaimer77 on 3/19/2010 4:24:52 PM , Rating: 2
There is only so far I'm willing to go on pure speculation, which is what your entire argument is based upon. There are also hundreds of patents for the ICE that are sitting on the shelf too. As an engineer you should know in the real world things don't always work out like they do on the drafting board.

Your premise being that there are hundreds of ways to improve the Wankel for world domination if only some money came around is, no offense, absurd. It's speculative to the extreme, or at the very least an unfounded opinion. Also nowhere in your rational does cost effectiveness come into it. If it took 30 billion in R&D to get the Wankel ready for prime time under everyone's hood, is it really worth it ?

Don't get me wrong, I'm actually a fan of the Rotary and find it fascinating. But you have obviously allowed your fanboism for it to cloud your judgment and common sense.


RE: I hope cylinder based engines die
By porkpie on 3/19/2010 5:24:45 PM , Rating: 2
" There are also hundreds of patents for the ICE that are sitting on the shelf too"

I think you mean the reciprocating ICE, as a Wankel is an ICE as well. And your statement, while true, proves my point -- not yours. Optimizations for one type engine do not automatically carry over to all other tpyes.

". Also nowhere in your rational does cost effectiveness come into it."

Good god, man at least attempt to understand plain English. I'm in no, way, shape or form claiming the Wankel is a superior engine, or that it could be, given X amount of development dollars. I'm merely pointing out one cannot claim the engine is inherently less efficient by design, based on comparison to current implementations of the reciprocating ICE, a design that been much more heavily optimized.

Is the Wankel an inherently less efficent engine? No one on earth can answer that question at present...and without the unlikely event of a large R&D effort directed to it, we never will.


By Reclaimer77 on 3/19/2010 6:06:53 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Is the Wankel an inherently less efficent engine?


Wait.. my argument was never based on Wankel efficiency in the first place. That is but one of many issues it has.


RE: I hope cylinder based engines die
By SavagePotato on 3/18/2010 4:24:51 PM , Rating: 2
They never took off for a reason.

They are inherently less efficient and always have been. The rotary engine is a dead end.


By porkpie on 3/19/2010 12:59:01 PM , Rating: 2
This simply isn't true at all. Wankel and reciprocating ICEs are both four-stroke Otto-cycle engines; from base thermodynamic principles, there's no reason to suppose one would be more efficient than the other.

Reciprocating engines have had far more R&D effort, due to early problems with Wankel sealing. So at this point, there's essentially no way we can get an apples-to-apples comparison between the two.


RE: I hope cylinder based engines die
By Reclaimer77 on 3/18/2010 4:10:21 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
I really can't believe that 110 years ago someone was so innovative and creative that they invented the cylinder based engine that would rule all forms of transportation from that day on


Fixed that for you bub.


By Fritzr on 3/19/2010 4:31:59 AM , Rating: 2
Actually the piston in cylinder design is much older. Msrs Newcomen & Watt invented the piston engine. Monsieur Nicolas Cugnot built the first piston engined motorcar in 1769. It was designed as a replacement for the artillery mules.

The first gas fired models were steam engines using coal gas fed into the cylinder and fired. Since the steam cylinders were never meant to handle that kind of pressure, they tended to explode. Aren't you glad these dangerous experiments weren't viewed as the death of the internal combustion idea?

Along with changes that contained the high pressure were fuel intake designs that vaporised lamp oil fed into the cylinders. Then came the idea of direct injection of fuel. That only took 30 years or so to be an overnight success.

The Wankel is one concept that has had relatively little R&D compared to what has been and is continuing to be spent on piston engines. Moller developed a different rotary engine that is attracting a lot of interest for the various specialized applications where low weight per horse & ability to use multiple fuels without modifying the engine or mounting multiple fuel supply assemblies.

The Moller design has shortcomings, but it has proven to be better in some applications. Hopefully this will allow continued development and get it pas the equivalent of a 1920 or so Otto or Diesel cyle engine.

Wankel was not the first rotary design nor is it the latest. There will be more designs in the future, just as happened with piston engines. Who knows which one will be the better after anothr 50 years of R&D on rotary designs.


RE: I hope cylinder based engines die
By johnsonx on 3/18/2010 4:12:24 PM , Rating: 2
Good grief, my '91 RX-7 got about 14mpg, less if I was having too much fun with it. That's not the only reason I got rid of it, but it sure was a factor. I bought an Integra GS-R... spent half as much on gas, it was just as much fun to wind out to 8000rpm, and it handled better.


RE: I hope cylinder based engines die
By Iketh on 3/19/2010 5:28:36 AM , Rating: 3
My '86 rx-7 got 20mpg in city and 27 on highway, but I did some slight weight reductions, and it had a manual steering rack. I also knew how to drive it.

But your claim that the Integra GS-R handles better than a 50/50 weight distribution vehicle (rx7) only points to your lack of driving skills with a rear-wheel drive. Sorry.


RE: I hope cylinder based engines die
By sigilscience on 3/20/2010 9:29:23 PM , Rating: 2
Since the EPA rated mileage of the 86 RX7 is 15 city, 22 hwy, I'd say its pretty obvious you're full of sh*t. Your "slight weight reductions" won't do anything for highway mileage, and to get city mpg up to 20, you'd have to cut the weight by almost 1,000 lbs.

Oh, and if weight distribution was all there was to handling on a car, we'd all still be driving live axle leafsprings like a 1930s pickup.


By mikevictor on 3/22/2010 10:47:51 AM , Rating: 2
I've gotten 19 and 28 from my '85. To reach 19 around town, keep rpms under 3000, coast to the stoplights from 4 blocks away, roll through stop signs, take corners too fast, etc. 28 highway ( measured over 1700 miles, memphis to tampa and back ) is possible averaging 60 mph ( ~50 uphill, 70 downhill ) with the windows up, in a lowered car, on skinny overinflated tires, et c. That's basic hypermiling stuff, not too hard really.

Typically though, I drive it like I stole it and average 15 mpg in town.

Live axles are fine on smooth pavement: unsprung weight is irrelevant when there is no motion for the springs to control. The rear end skips around a little in bumpy corners though, and it can get scary sometimes. Rear swaybar removal helps a bit.

Leaf springs are awesome 'cause they're nonlinear: an initially soft leaf spring stiffens way up as load increases. This is cool 'cause less stroke is needed to soak up bumps, and pitch and roll are controlled better, and it still rides nicely. This works out really well for corvettes and F1 cars as well as dump trucks.

Let me give you some advice: put some 225/50 15x7s on the front of yer car. Asking those 195s to carry 60% of 2600 lbs and provide traction is just unreasonable. Leave the rear alone, it aint doin anything but keepin the gas tank from draggin.


RE: I hope cylinder based engines die
By Iketh on 3/29/2010 8:36:39 AM , Rating: 2
Most of the weight reduction was in the engine bay. No a/c system, smog pump, factory manual rack, and spare tire removed. So that also leaves just 1 belt turning the water pump and alt. This will definitely affect highway mileage.


RE: I hope cylinder based engines die
By Integral9 on 3/18/10, Rating: 0
RE: I hope cylinder based engines die
By afkrotch on 3/18/2010 9:09:11 PM , Rating: 2
Wankels have lower maintenance? I remember those apex seals giving out like crazy, if the engine was turbocharged.


RE: I hope cylinder based engines die
By Iketh on 3/19/2010 6:52:56 AM , Rating: 2
"The first engines had problems with the seals, but that has long been solved, and the later engines, probably the latest versions of the 10A (the first engines built by Mazda) have not had seal problems. There can still be problems with the apex seals if the engine is used in very high rpm, high power situations, but even then there is a solution for that. The racers think nothing of turning the engine to 10,000 rpm, you saw that correctly, 10,000 rpm, some even to 12,000. And they run these engines a full season without tearing them down for rebuilds/repairs. Think of that, a full season of racing without anything being done to the engine, and it screeming at 8,000-12,000 rpm for long periods of time. Try that with a two stroke, or a four stroke piston ICE."

from http://www.nolm.org/rotary_engines.html

The rotary just needs more research, and proper education for owners when modding them.


RE: I hope cylinder based engines die
By Iketh on 3/19/2010 6:38:16 AM , Rating: 3
Now why did you post this? You basically posted mindless chatter you'd hear at car meets.

quote:
1) inefficient

Yes, but damn they're fun! Also, as has already been noted, the research into rotaries is so small in comparison to piston engines that there are actually non-profit organizations that you can donate to for rotary research. For example, http://www.nolm.org/rotary_engines.html.

quote:
2) cannot have VVT (to improve efficiency and power) as their are no valves. You would have to figure out how to change the size of the intake / exhaust ports on demand to do something similar.

You do not need to change the size, rather just open and close them. The Wankel has a 2-stage intake system. It's mazda's version of v-tec, but used long before v-tec. The second set of ports are opened at ~3800 rpm via an actuator, which provides much more air flow and increases intake-exhaust overlap.

If you buy an rx-7 today, chances are these ports are stuck closed and will starve the engine at 4000+ rpm of oxygen, yet hardly anyone knows they exist.

The Renesis (rx-8) uses a much improved 3-stage.

quote:
3) have to be wound up pretty high in comparison to cylinder based solutions to produce any usable amount of torque.

They drive just like a 4-cylinder at low rpm.

Many times, in the case of the rx-7, you'll come across one that has had the second-stage intake valves removed (instead of fixing them), which restores the high-end power but kills low-end torque.

quote:
So wankles are good for turning a propeller / rotor (you mostly see them in the air industry ) and for use in confined areas. I could see them adapted for use in a petrol-based battery recharging system, but not as the direct power plant for the vehicle of the future.

Mazda has made huge strides for the rotary, enough that they're being used again in production vehicles. There are still tons more to be made, the link for the non-profit research above is a good example of one.


If I wanted car news I'd go to AutoWeek
By phaxmohdem on 3/18/10, Rating: -1
RE: If I wanted car news I'd go to AutoWeek
By Lord 666 on 3/18/2010 4:11:28 PM , Rating: 3
Actually think its a good thing and based on the amount of responses, vehicles are a popular topic.

Remember, there is a ton of advancements in each vehicle and the entire purpose of technology is to improve the quality of life. If R & D finds a way to save money, reduce pollution, and stretch oil reserves, then it deserves a news article.


RE: If I wanted car news I'd go to AutoWeek
By invidious on 3/18/2010 4:20:03 PM , Rating: 2
the only thing remotely tech in here is the brief mention of hybrid powertrains. but no stats or specs were discussed.

file this one under soft news.


RE: If I wanted car news I'd go to AutoWeek
By Lord 666 on 3/18/2010 4:35:45 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Later this year, Hyundai will also introduce a turbocharged inline-four engine which will closely match the 35 mpg of its naturally aspirated counterpart while at the same time delivering power comparable to the 3.5-liter to 3.6 liter V6 engines offered in vehicles like the Toyota Camry and Chevrolet Malibu


Considering that many of the DT readers are engineers by by either school or trade, getting more from less is technology. If you read between the lines, there are specs given. 35mpg using petrol AND with 268hp/248lb is impressive, not to mention with their killer warranty.


RE: If I wanted car news I'd go to AutoWeek
By Spuke on 3/18/2010 4:40:29 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
35mpg using petrol AND with 268hp/248lb is impressive, not to mention with their killer warranty.
I'm sorry but that's just freakin awesome. DI FTW.


RE: If I wanted car news I'd go to AutoWeek
By Lord 666 on 3/18/2010 5:09:18 PM , Rating: 2
You know I'm a diesel nut, so the new Carbon Motors police car to me is "freakin awesome" with this petrol motor just being impressive. More hp, more torque, better mpg, and quicker 0-60.

http://green.autoblog.com/2009/06/12/carbon-motors...


RE: If I wanted car news I'd go to AutoWeek
By Spuke on 3/18/2010 5:22:34 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not a 0-60 guy. Doesn't tell the whole story. I'm a 1/4 mile and 60-130 guy as anything remotely fast will shred those two benchmarks. Interestingly, my car is only acceptable at either: 13.8@99 in the 1/4 and never did a 60-130 as I don't own a Vbox and, quite frankly, with my cars brick-like aero (.44 CD and 21 sq ft frontal area), it wouldn't do very well anyways.


RE: If I wanted car news I'd go to AutoWeek
By Fritzr on 3/19/2010 4:59:41 AM , Rating: 2
I was rereading some 1960 magazines on what makes a real "sportscar" what they wound up with is a car with the best all around performance. It could have a lousy top speed, lousy 0-60 etc. and still get from point A to point B 20% to 30% faster than the cars that had the flashy stats :P

If the top safe speed is 120, why is 150 better than 130? Apply this kind of analysis to all your specs and choose the car with excellent cornering, high performance brakes and slightly higher than safe peaks in the various performance numbers.

It may look lousy on paper, but what use is performance you can't use? Even closed track race cars are often limited by safety limits instead of performance limits.

There is a car that can do 240mph. Now try and find a public highway where more than 190 is safe :) Even 140 to 180 is usually only for short distances. That's without considering speed limits that are in effect for the majority of roads.


By Spuke on 3/19/2010 4:13:57 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If the top safe speed is 120, why is 150 better than 130?
60-130 isn't about top speed as owners of cars with 1300 hp use that benchmark along with owners of cars with 300 hp. In order to have a good 60-130, the car has to have great aero, gearing, AND power. A Chevy Cobalt SS with my engine would embarrass me. The Cobalt has better aero.

All sporty cars have decent enough handling to be fun. Enthusiasts, generally, want more than what the factory has to offer although starting with a good base REALLY helps. This is why I now drive sports cars instead of cars like the Civic Si, Mazdaspeed3, and etc. I like those cars but they ultimately pig understeer just when I'm starting to have fun. Now I drive something that isn't compromised to work in lesser trim because there is no lesser trim.

Can those cars be fixed so that they handle like a RWD sports car? Yep!!! I've seen Acura Integra's waste Evo's on a road course. Takes a few thousand in track days and suspension mods but it can be done. Not interested in that path when a Cayman with tires and alignment can be just as quick or quicker given the same awesome driver.

This is 2010 and I'm not interested in lousy. If that works for you, that's fine but I want as good as I can afford. And if I can't afford it, I'll save until I can.


By Iketh on 3/19/2010 7:05:32 AM , Rating: 2
I'm very techy and found this article very intriguing, as did most others.

Brandon is laughing at you behind the scenes eyeballing the link counter.


By Brandon Hill (blog) on 3/18/2010 4:13:02 PM , Rating: 2
In case you didn't know, DailyTech has a dedicated Auto category

http://www.dailytech.com/section.aspx?cat=33

And I only see two auto articles today...


By Brandon Hill (blog) on 3/18/2010 4:19:58 PM , Rating: 3
Actually, you're right, it's technically three. But the "bricking" article isn't so much about cars (in our usual coverage meaning fuel efficiency, hybrids, etc.) as it is about a former employee using a wireless "kill switch" system to screw over a bunch of people.


By HotFoot on 3/18/2010 5:39:55 PM , Rating: 2
And... it's not DailyElectronics. It's DailyTECH. Tech is a pretty big field covering everything except global warming. ;) I jest.


By Smilin on 3/18/2010 5:56:45 PM , Rating: 2
Don't feed the trolls, doofus. :P


By TETRONG on 3/19/2010 2:29:12 AM , Rating: 2
Dailytech should stop cribbin from Autoblog.
Autoblog should stop cribbin from Jalopnik.


"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov














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