Print 45 comment(s) - last by Saist.. on Jul 10 at 6:42 AM

The V8 formerly known as Hemi will continue as the 5.7-liter V8

In the heyday of the muscle car era, the Hemi in the Plymouth and other Mopar muscle cars was one of the most desired power plants on the car market. As the fuel crisis of the 70's heated up, the Hemi eventually died out with the other gas guzzling power plants of the late 60's and very early 70's.

When Chrysler decided to revamp its image and appeal to buyers who wanted more power (and remembered the Mopar Hemi engine from the muscle car era), the automaker brought the Hemi back to the market. Many will recall the commercial featuring the pair of rednecks asking, "That thing got a Hemi?" that helped cars and trucks packing the engine to sell very well for Chrysler.

The problem today with the image of the Hemi is that many consumers and automakers are now starting to focus on green vehicles with better fuel economy and less focus on performance and power. With the entire image of the Hemi built on power and performance, Chrysler is now reportedly retiring the Hemi moniker again.

The Wall Street Journal reports that some dealers have stated that the Hemi name is being retired, but the 5.7-liter V8 engine that bears the name will live on in cars and trucks. Rather than the vehicles wearing the Hemi badge and marketing, the vehicles will simply be sold with a 5.7-liter V8.

The WSJ reports that the retirement of the Hemi name is a reflection of the changes being made under the new management from Fiat with more focus on fuel economy and features making the vehicles using the V8 easier on the wallet and environment. One of the features that will be touted is displacement reduction that can turn off cylinders when not needed to improve fuel economy. 

Unlike Chrysler, Ford is reviving its famous performance name “5.0” for its new 2011 Mustang. The new Mustang GT gets a potent 5.0-liter V8 engine with 412 hp and very impressive fuel economy offering power and green features in one package while the new V6 packs in V8 levels of performance while sipping fuel.

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All I want...
By quiksilvr on 7/8/2010 9:52:37 AM , Rating: 2
Is a 50 mpg, 4-door sedan thats not a hybrid and runs on petrol for under $20k. Is it really THAT hard to make?

RE: All I want...
By Spivonious on 7/8/2010 9:57:18 AM , Rating: 5
No, but you won't be happy with the 30 second 0-60 time when merging onto a highway.

RE: All I want...
By Spuke on 7/8/2010 7:00:17 PM , Rating: 2
No, but you won't be happy with the 30 second 0-60 time when merging onto a highway.
Not to mention, it will cost more than $20k.

RE: All I want...
By fleabag on 7/8/2010 10:19:27 PM , Rating: 2
More like 12 seconds... but what's 18 seconds between friends anyhow? Don't forget that the Original VW Beetle had a 0-60 of 30 seconds and that thing got horrible mileage for the shift box that it was (like 25mpg).

RE: All I want...
By Mitch101 on 7/8/2010 9:59:29 AM , Rating: 3
I would imagine no if you could get away with a 1000lb sedan with 12 horse power that does 0-60 in a week.

Ive seen plenty of people with far superior mathematical skills outline why this doesn't exist.

From a business perspective I would say that if one car manufacturer could pull it off they would produce it to rule all other manufacturers.

Mythbusters also did an episode on 100mpg car myths.

RE: All I want...
By ghost03 on 7/8/2010 12:31:14 PM , Rating: 5
Some quick math to back you up Mitch:

Energy Density of Gasoline:
~130 MJ/gallon

Power to cruise at 65 MPH in a mid-size sedan (cruise, !not! accelerate):
~30 HP -> ~22.5 kW

Energy required for sedan to travel for an hour at 65 MPH (note that 1 watt = 1 joule/second):
22.5w * 10^3 * 60^2 = 81 MJ

Scale that into terms we're all familiar with:
130 MJ / 81 MJ = 1.6
1.6 * 65 MPG = 104 MPG.

In theory, the *maximum possible* mileage for a mid size sedan on the interstate is ~100 MPG.

This would be for a car that has 100% efficiency, meaning, the engine generates NO heat, NO drivetrain loss, the fuel is completely atomized, the car experiences no bumps or hills, etc. With current technology, none of these things are possible. The fact that we can even get 50 MPG in a prius size car is amazing.

RE: All I want...
By FATCamaro on 7/8/2010 2:30:17 PM , Rating: 1
Your math assumes
Power to cruise at 65 MPH in a mid-size sedan (cruise, !not! accelerate):
~30 HP -> ~22.5 kW

The point is we are trying to drop that number to lets say 15kW. Improbable, maybe? But at least our math is correct.

RE: All I want...
By Spuke on 7/8/2010 7:08:29 PM , Rating: 2
The point is we are trying to drop that number to lets say 15kW. Improbable, maybe? But at least our math is correct.
If possible, only with super slickery aero and lightweight materials that will cost MUCH more than $20k all by themselves. And more than likely will not make for a passenger friendly vehicle with the possibility of not meeting US safety regulations (super slick shapes generally don't leave much room for packaging).

Anyone have any formulas for figuring out what coefficient of drag and frontal area would be required to only need 15kW to run at 65 mph?

RE: All I want...
By afkrotch on 7/8/2010 8:31:54 PM , Rating: 2
Just get rid of all car panels. Just a bunch of titanium bars, engine, transmission, and 4 seats. That should give us 100 mpg.

RE: All I want...
By tank171 on 7/8/2010 10:49:13 PM , Rating: 2
Pfft.. Titanium. Thats far too heavy. Carbon fiber frame. Also, if all panels are removed, then we would have to make the engine/transmission more aerodynamic, which would be hard. We need some panels. 4 seats? Thats way too unaerodynamic. Try a bed that the passengers lie on. Much less drag that way. The driver would see with a camera and a small oled screen. Also, the passengers are too heavy. Screw having passengers and just make it remote controlled. In fact, screw having an actual car. Lets all drive virtual cars on our computers. We can get incredible speed, handling, aerodynamics, ride comfort, and fuel economy for next to nothing!

Actually, now that I think of it, computers are outdated, unaerodynamic, and heavy. Lets drive our virtual cars on iPads.

RE: All I want...
By MozeeToby on 7/8/2010 10:17:10 AM , Rating: 1
That depends, do you also want: Decent Acceleration? A high enough weight limit to actually haul 4 people and their stuff (seriously, the maximum load on a Lancer is ~850lbs)? What about all the modern comfort and safety systems that everyone expects: Air conditioning, anti-lock brakes, cruise control, air bags, etc. That all adds up in weight and power requirements.

If you answered 'no' to all or most of them, it's probably not that hard to make but the demand is far too low to make it profitable. But if 'yes' you're really going to need to open up to the possibility of a diesel. The VW Jetta TDI Diesel gets 42 MPG on the highway, and that's with the AC running and other requirements for the EPA tests. Turn off the AC and drive it nicely and I'd be shocked if you didn't see 50 mpg on the highway. Starting price is sadly just over your $20k at $23,.

RE: All I want...
By theapparition on 7/8/2010 12:44:33 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed, but you also left out the most important part of vehicle weight growth of the last 20years. Safety. Crush zones, reinforced doors, 10mph bumpers, etc. That alone has contributed to more weight than any other reason.

Add to that the room, capacity, performance and ammenities that you mentioned, and that's why it is so hard to sell such a product.

RE: All I want...
By theapparition on 7/8/2010 12:47:14 PM , Rating: 2
Reread you post. You did include safety.

RE: All I want...
By nafhan on 7/8/2010 10:25:49 AM , Rating: 2
Ford's new Fiesta might come close...

RE: All I want...
By Spivonious on 7/9/2010 12:01:23 PM , Rating: 2
While I like what Ford is doing, I imagine the poster meant "mid-size sedan" by "sedan".

RE: All I want...
By Lord 666 on 7/8/2010 12:05:32 PM , Rating: 2
Change that to diesel and the VW TDI Jetta meets your requirements now.

RE: All I want...
By MonkeyPaw on 7/8/2010 1:49:32 PM , Rating: 1
In theory, it is possible. I believe Motor Trend did some testing on the V6 mustang, and with very conservative driving, they got over 600 miles on one tank of fuel. The biggest killers of fuel economy are stop-&-go driving, and driving too fast. Just recently, my Spectra
5 pulled 38MPG driving at 70mph. If I went even 75, I bet that number would drop to 30 or less. If I did 60, I bet I could pull over 40mpg. It seems to me that people want too much. You can't drive aggressively and get good economy. Just driving more conservitavley will save you money, but you can't expect aggressive driving to get you good mileage.

RE: All I want...
By Hare on 7/8/2010 2:09:38 PM , Rating: 2
Wupdiduu. You can get around 1200km (~750 miles) with a diesel VW Passat, Audi A4, MB C-class and many others without doing any gimmicks (just drive mostly on highways). I guess the question is, how big is the tank... On the cars I just mentioned it's around 60 liters -> 16 us gallons. The figures change dramatically if you start talking about VW Polo, Audi A2 diesel and similar small cars which already get over 100mpg.

RE: All I want...
By Spuke on 7/8/2010 7:13:13 PM , Rating: 2
The figures change dramatically if you start talking about VW Polo, Audi A2 diesel and similar small cars which already get over 100mpg.
To save some confusion, we're talking about US EPA tested fuel mileage not European fuel mileage. Two different planets here. You can convert the numbers but there is no conversion for the testing methodologies.

RE: All I want...
By FishTankX on 7/8/2010 8:40:20 PM , Rating: 2
It's NOT hard to make.

The Honda Life
Is a 4 door Sedan that runs 45MPG, and costs about $10,000.

Issue is, it's hard to make them SAFE. It only weighs about a ton. One collision with an SUV and you're TOAST.

That, and it's humble 60HP engine means it can barley keep pace with highway traffic.

Put in a 4 cylinder 1 liter engine though, and it'll probably keep pace with traffic quite well, given it's 1 ton frame. Even better with a Turbo. Gas mileage will not suffer significantly.

50MPG might be a stretch. But the Kei Cars of Japan have been getting 45MPG for about $11,000 for a long, long time.

RE: All I want...
By fleabag on 7/8/2010 11:00:57 PM , Rating: 2
You keep mentioning this "1 ton frame" like as if that's really tiny.. No it's not.. A 1990 Civic DX SEDAN (4 door) weighed around 2100bs and a 1998 Civic DX SEDAN (4 door) weighs around 2300lbs. These aren't that small of cars at all yet weigh 1 ton. Whether or not a vehicle will survive colliding with a 3 ton vehicle is pretty stupid because with that logic people wouldn't drive any vehicles since there are semi trucks people could crash into and they can weigh (when loaded) over 40 tons!

RE: All I want...
By Spuke on 7/9/2010 11:31:36 AM , Rating: 2
A 1990 Civic DX SEDAN (4 door) weighed around 2100bs and a 1998 Civic DX SEDAN (4 door) weighs around 2300lbs.
This is really starting to get old. TODAY, in 2010, in the US, NONE of those cars would meet safety NOR emissions regulations. Those two things are the main reasons why cars are heavy. STOP voting to those regulations (via politicians that support them) and we'll get lighter cars but at the expensive of more emissions and less safety equipment. You CAN have both, both you'll need a sh!tload of super expensive (see Ferrari), lightweight materials which now takes that car WAY the f%^k over the magic DT price of $20,000.

Did I mention that Americans like super quiet cars? Well, that costs weight too. Soooo, if you want that lightweight car, it will be noisier, less safe, and it will pollute more. But it will get 100mpg though!!!

PS - What cracks me up the most is that even if the automakers built such a car, NONE of the people most vocal about wanting these cars would buy it at ANY price.

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

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