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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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Whats the big deal, my TDI is a four cylinder...
By Lord 666 on 9/1/2010 12:42:48 AM , Rating: 2
Plus, it never needs a spark plug change.

RE: Whats the big deal, my TDI is a four cylinder...
By Spuke on 9/1/2010 9:33:00 AM , Rating: 3
Plus, it never needs a spark plug change.
How often do spark plugs get changed nowadays? LOL! My first change is scheduled at 100k miles. Whoop de sh!t!

By Kurz on 9/1/2010 10:17:02 AM , Rating: 2
And I changed mine in 30 minutes first time too.

By Lord 666 on 9/1/2010 10:23:16 AM , Rating: 1
You *obviously* missed my sarcasim. Diesels don't have spark plugs by design silly rabbit.

But those platinium spark plugs you speak of along with the expected failure, physical cost to replace, and labor to replace are negated by a diesel. Sure, you can say glow plugs might need to eventually replaced, but they do not negatively affect performance or mpg like spark plugs do when they wear out.

By YashBudini on 9/1/2010 9:37:01 PM , Rating: 3
How often do spark plugs get changed nowadays?

About 1/4 as often as I used to, but they cost 4 times as much.

By chunkymonster on 9/1/2010 11:30:14 AM , Rating: 2
I hear ya! Consistently get over 40mpg with my 2005 Jetta TDI and it even has 165K miles on it. It runs as torquey and peppy as the day I got it.

It just cracks me up that seemingly all of a sudden American car makers are starting to wake up and smell the change. Maybe if GM Leadership didn't have their heads up their asses for so many years Obama would not have wasted my tax dollars keeping them afloat and GM might actually have products that American car buyers want!

By Spuke on 9/1/2010 1:04:47 PM , Rating: 2
It just cracks me up that seemingly all of a sudden American car makers are starting to wake up and smell the change.
It just cracks me how people can't remember anything past 5 minutes ago. LOL! Didn't the government change the EPA standards? So how is it that ONLY American companies are "waking up" when EVERY single car manufacturer that sells cars in the US MUST meet the new EPA fuel economy AND emissions standards. And NONE of them meet them right now. So who's got to wake up again?

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