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Buick Regal GS

The current generation Chevrolet Malibu is available with I4 and V6 engines

The 2011 Kia Optima SX (pictured above) like its Hyundai Sonata relative will only be available with four-cylinder engines
CAFE leads to engine downsizing for GM

Manufacturers are preparing for upcoming CAFE changes which will require corporate fleets to average 34.1 mpg by 2016. As a result, a number of auto manufactures are turning to direct injection, turbocharging, hybrid technology, and full electrics to boost their fleet fuel economy.

General Motors is taking a big step, according to GM Inside News, to improve the fuel economy of its bread and butter midsize sedans. The next generation Chevrolet Malibu (due out as a 2012 model) will reportedly only be available with four-cylinder engines.

The current generation Malibu is available with a four-cylinder base engine and an optional six-cylinder engine like most other midsize sedans on the market. It's likely, however, that the next Malibu will use two new four-cylinder engines featuring direct injection technology -- the base engine will be normally aspirated while the uprated motor will be turbocharged.

GM already uses this approach with the new 2011 Buick Regal. The base Regal is available with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine producing 182 hp and 172 lb-ft of torque. An optional 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder engine producing 220 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque will be made available later in the model year. An even more potent Regal GS will come later next year with an uprated turbo four producing 250+ hp.

Another manufacturer that is going four-cylinder-only is Hyundai (along with its accompanying Kia brand). The 2010 Sonata is currently only available with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine (24/35 mpg). The 2011 Sonata will be available with a 2.0-liter turbo four cylinder which outpowers and outgrunts the optional V6s in other midsize sedans while delivering 22 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway. Both powertrains will also make their way into the upcoming 2011 Kia Optima.

Toyota's Camry and Honda's Accord are both due for complete redesigns within the next two years, so it would be interesting to see if they too go for a top to bottom four-cylinder engine lineup.

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RE: Sounds almost too good to be true...
By Spuke on 9/1/2010 12:13:30 AM , Rating: 2
This will probably be bad for sales. You might like the way it sounds, but a lot of people just won't want a four cylinder engine.
I don't know, people really like that new Sonata. Not to mention, when you tell people that this 4 cyl has their previous V6's power but WAY better gas mileage, they'll jump all over it. Americans aren't adverse to 4 cyl, we're just adverse to slow.

RE: Sounds almost too good to be true...
By Noya on 9/1/2010 2:15:05 AM , Rating: 2
Not to mention these modern direct-injected (higher C/R than 90's turbo engines) engines with twin-scroll turbochargers are much more responsive at low RPM's than turbocharged engines of yore. Of course they won't have the off idle torque of a 3.5L+ V-6, but how many family sedan owners are chirping their tires across intersections anyways?

By Spuke on 9/1/2010 9:21:05 AM , Rating: 2
Of course they won't have the off idle torque of a 3.5L+ V-6
Most V6's are not low end torque machines anyways and the current DI 4 cyl turbo's make as much low end grunt. The only difference I have seen is the turbo DI 4's have slightly worse throttle response. I imagine that will be tweaked as more of these engines hit the market.

By tng on 9/8/2010 10:54:49 AM , Rating: 2
I don't know, people really like that new Sonata. Not to mention, when you tell people that this 4 cyl has their previous V6's power

After having driven the V6 Sonata, I was surprised that it didn't have any horsepower, or at least not what I expected. I got better from I4 engines, so it seems that they are just catching up...

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