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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 Hiawa23 on 9/1/2010 9:33:12 AM , Rating: 2
I am kind of curious as to how they are going to achieve the gas mileage CAFE standards. Just using my 2006 Mitsu Lancer Ralliart, 2.4L engine vehicle as a base. The sticker said 31hwy 23cty. The car has never gotten 31mpg, why don't car manufacturers just skip the whole hwy vs city & just report this is what the car gets combined as no one usually drives only hwy or just in the cty? I think my tank is 12-14 gallon & the car only get 250-270 if I stretch it per tank. I would never buy a Prius as that has to be one of the ugliest cars I have ever seen, so gasoline vehicles is it for me.


By Kurz on 9/1/2010 10:18:41 AM , Rating: 3
Um... because people live anywhere from New York Traffic to Wide open highways of the midwest.


By Spuke on 9/1/2010 12:20:06 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I am kind of curious as to how they are going to achieve the gas mileage CAFE standards. Just using my 2006 Mitsu Lancer Ralliart
Direct injection, HCCI, and diesel. Your cars gas mileage is not all that great for what it is though. My car has 260hp and gets EPA 19/28. I have a 13 gallon tank (fill at 12 gal) and consistently get 28 mpg (80% freeway) from it.


By wookie1 on 9/1/2010 11:06:12 PM , Rating: 2
"why don't car manufacturers just skip the whole hwy vs city & just report this is what the car gets combined as no one usually drives only hwy or just in the cty?"

Car manufacturers don't rate the fuel efficiency, the EPA does. The manufacturers just put the EPA number on the sticker. The new test cycle seems better than what they used to use several years ago, but I agree that most drivers don't get that mileage.


By DanNeely on 9/1/2010 11:16:07 PM , Rating: 2
Because the numbers on the sticker are mandated by the EPA and done in tests designed by the EPA.

On your train of thought however, a half dozenish years ago (IIRC 2 before the EPA changed their tests to get lower numbers that were closer to how we drive today) one of the car makers was threatening to sue the EPA for the right to also post a lower number from their testing that was supposed to reflect typical user results.


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