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Infiniti will turn to turbocharged 4- and 6-cylinder engines, hybrids, full electrics

"And another one gone, and another one gone / Another one bites the dust"
Well, it looks as though the recently approved CAFE standards that aim to increase automobile fuel economy to 54.5mpg by 2025 have claimed another victim. Infiniti currently has V8 engine options available in its M luxury sedan, FX crossover, and QX sport utility vehicles, but that likely won't be the case in future iterations of those vehicles.
According to a report by AutoGuide, increasingly stringent fuel economy and emissions regulations mean that V8 engines are no longer on the table for Infiniti vehicles. V8 engines have traditionally been available in luxury vehicles as a symbol of prestige and power, but Infiniti will look to new ways to bring powerful engines to its lineup while still keeping fuel economy in check.
“I don’t think any car that is on Infiniti drawing boards from here onwards we should expect a V8 to be included in that plan,” Johan de Nysschen, Infiniti's global president.
Infiniti's 5.0-liter V8 produces 385hp, its 5.5-liter V8 produces 420hp, and its 5.6-liter V8 (truck-based) produces 400hp.

Infiniti to say good-bye to V8 engines
There are numerous directions that Infiniti can take with the absence of a V8 engine. Automakers like Ford already have twin-turbocharged V6 engines that develop 365hp while still delivering respectable fuel economy. Even Hyundai is rumored to be getting in on the action with a twin-turbocharged 3.3-liter V6 which generates 395hp.
For entry-level and mid-range models will also see a shift in available engines as well. Infiniti's current workhorse engine is the 3.7-liter “VQ” V6, but Nissan is also working on a turbocharged four-cylinder engine to deliver comparable power and vastly improved fuel economy.
Other options for Infiniti include fully electric vehicles (like the LE Concept) and additional hybrid models (we’re hoping that Infiniti delivers a production version of the Emerg-E).
Infiniti isn't the only luxury maker to drop a V8 engine from its lineup. When Lexus redesigned its mid-range GS sedan, it dropped the 4.6-liter V8 engine option and instead launched the vehicle with a 3.5-liter V6 and a 3.5-liter V6/performance hybrid model for those that want the power of a V8.

Source: AutoGuide

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By Philippine Mango on 9/3/2012 11:28:21 PM , Rating: 1
In 1994, Lexus had the LS400 with a 4.0 liter V8 engine. If you want the "smoothness" that a V8 engine provides, they COULD just make a lower displacement engine. In my opinion, I think a 1.5-2.0L turbocharged inline 6 engine would be sweetness as it would provide the smoothness and balance of a V8 with the fuel economy of a 4 cylinder engine. The whole point of a V6 or V8 engine is for smoothness as you can easily make 4 liter 4 cylinder engine, it just wouldn't be smooth.

By FITCamaro on 9/3/2012 11:46:20 PM , Rating: 1
A 2.0L inline 6 would be pointless. Its too small an engine for that many cylinders.

By morgan12x on 9/3/2012 11:57:35 PM , Rating: 3
Agreed. Having a larger number of cylinders with a smaller displacement just takes the efficiency in the wrong direction due to internal friction and such. Either you would need more revs (short stroke/small bore) or more torque (long stroke/small bore) but both result in crappy power bands. On the other hand, large displacement 4 cylinders can be efficient but I agree they aren't very smooth.

By Philippine Mango on 9/4/2012 12:10:25 AM , Rating: 3
But that is the case with any engine of a smaller displacement, regardless of the number of cylinders.

By BZDTemp on 9/4/2012 4:03:33 AM , Rating: 1
More cylinders = more moving parts = more friction

By alpha754293 on 9/4/2012 3:43:04 PM , Rating: 2
You'd be amazed in some of the advances of lubrication systems; especially when it comes to synthetic lubrications.

There ARE "liquid engineers" (typically ChemEng or material science grads with either a master's or a Ph.D.) where pretty much all they do is manipulate materials and refinement/production processes in order to get the desired qualities/properties.

Think of the development of Mobil1 and then multiply that by like...a thousand!

If they can prepreg a soldier armor with a CWA detector; I'm pretty sure that they do wonders for friction - especially once the engine gets upto temp. (Low temp is still a pain.)

You also have to remember that the other advances in the engine where it's nearly variable EVERYTHING; any excess parasitic friction losses could probably be compensated for just by fine adjustments of the engine running/operating parameters, especially when onboard computers become more and more powerful, so rather than storing large lookup tables, it can actually do all the calculations and adjustments on the fly.

And the "smoothness" of an engine also has a fair bit to do with HOW you drive (since engine controls are mostly REactive rather than PROactive).

By fsd on 9/5/2012 1:12:02 AM , Rating: 2
They are typically called tribologists.

One thing to note is the smaller engines reduce part count and can reduce vehicle size. Take Mercedes C series, it is still big enough to fit a large V8 as in the AMG series, but interior space is less than a Honda Civic. Of course the Civic engine bay will not fit anything bigger than a typical 4 cylinder engine, definitely no V8.

By michael67 on 9/4/2012 5:32:43 AM , Rating: 2
On the other hand, large displacement 4 cylinders can be efficient but I agree they aren't very smooth.

I drive a GS450h and i can say its a lot smoother then a GS350, next to that its got 10% extra HP and is 20% more efficient.

You can even have a smooth and quick ride in 2 cylinder car, just make it a hybrid.

I have a R33 and a 6L V12 XJS, and love those cars, and would like to drive them all the time.

But reality is, those days are over, so i drive Think City EV or motor +95% of the time and save about +80% of my petrol cost.
Properly more more if i would drive the Jag all the time, as it only dose 10/18 mpg city/highway, even less if i drive real sporty!^_^

By Alexvrb on 9/4/2012 11:46:58 PM , Rating: 2
Think City EV? Sir, I'll be needing your man card, also turn in the keys to your real cars. You need a man card to drive them - it's the law. Since you're so worried about the cost of petrol, you probably won't even miss them.

By michael67 on 9/5/2012 4:20:10 AM , Rating: 1
You can have my "Man Card", i enjoy part of the money we save on the 2 months of holidays we take a year, like our 2 week dive vacation i just had to the Red sea.

Or that i will retire in 10y age 50, because i did not waste money on stupid things like petrol.

Don't have to prove the size of my dick with a big car, i am man enough on my own.

And with prizes here of $10 a gallon, people don't look down on you, if you driving a car like the Think City.

But if needed to drive the Jag to be a man, i would spend $8500, ware with the Think City EV and Honda CB500 i don't even spend 10% of that on my transportation!

Na... I rather be smart, then a dumb (cave)man!

By NellyFromMA on 9/4/2012 10:47:46 AM , Rating: 3
Inline 6 is also a space hog, isn't it? And hence, an engineering nuisance as well as a barrier for profitablity.

By Manch on 9/4/2012 12:09:18 PM , Rating: 2
Not so much big it is as is it is how tall it is. This can limit the applications in smaller cars. You will see them in more so in trucks, SUV's, though for a while BMW had one and they were quite profitable.

By Spuke on 9/4/2012 1:19:59 PM , Rating: 1
All BMW 6 cyl's are inline.

By Manch on 9/4/2012 2:16:34 PM , Rating: 2
Did not know that, only BMW I like is the M3 which is what I was referencing. One day Ill have one.

By RockyM20 on 9/4/2012 2:38:17 PM , Rating: 2
That's right. My 2001 320i has a 2.2L inline 6.

For its day, this engine was just amazing. Very smooth, puts out around 170 HP, and gets me 35+ MPG on the highway.

And as an added benefit this is one of the most easily maintained engines I have worked on. Changing sparkplugs takes maybe 20-30 minutes as everything is accessible on the top of the engine block (unlike the V8's in my trucks). Too bad that parts are so overpriced...

By ilkhan on 9/4/2012 2:52:02 PM , Rating: 2
I'm pretty sure this isn't true any more. It used to be that way.

By Spuke on 9/4/2012 5:58:30 PM , Rating: 2
I'm pretty sure this isn't true any more. It used to be that way.
Nope! Still is that way.

By Manch on 9/4/2012 7:08:42 PM , Rating: 2
They replaced it with a v8 and some of the 3 series have turbo 4's instead. M3 is going back to an inline 6 right?

By Jeffk464 on 9/4/2012 3:06:11 PM , Rating: 2
Actually V or boxer engines are more expensive to manufacture, inline engines are far simpler. The main difficulty with inline 6 cylinders is mounting them transversely for front wheel drive. In rear wheel drive vehicles like jeeps, beemers, the old cressida they are pretty kick ass.

By sorry dog on 9/4/2012 7:04:08 PM , Rating: 2
This IS the reason you don't see them more. It would be more of an engineering challenge to fit one in a transverse layout, hence more expensive...unless you shrink it, but then it's smaller displacement than the equivalent four banger. That was the point of the VW narrow angle V6 was to have the compromise the advantages of the inline with a package that could fit into a FWD platform like the Corrado or Passat.

Part of the problem with larger bores is it becomes more difficult to control the combustion and prevent pre-ignition, however with more and better sensors that issue is being improved as well as advances NVH (Noise, Vibration, and Harshness) that accompany the 4 banger imbalance.

By Dr. Kenneth Noisewater on 9/4/2012 2:45:47 PM , Rating: 2
BMW has a 1.6l inline 6, would _love_ to see that turbo'd..

By alpha754293 on 9/4/2012 3:34:25 PM , Rating: 2
Uh....that's NOT necessarily true. If you ever looked at a bsfc vs. torque vs. engine speed graph, most gas engines are actually most efficient near the middle of the engine speed range.

Saleen was actually working on a 3.2L V8 just before it effectively died when Billy Tally and Steve Saleen were forced out by the spoiled kids management grads.

By chµck on 9/3/2012 11:54:38 PM , Rating: 2
Sounds like the engine in the mitsubishi evos

By sprockkets on 9/4/2012 2:44:34 AM , Rating: 3
In my opinion, I think a 1.5-2.0L turbocharged inline 6 engine would be sweetness as it would provide the smoothness and balance of a V8 with the fuel economy of a 4 cylinder engine.

Perhaps you know this, but no V8 is naturally balanced. Either you have to balance it with heavy counterweights which make for a "laggy" engine (typical V8) or you have a high reving engine but is unbalanced.

Looking at the big picture here, we have 3.5l V6s that put out the same or even more than their old larger V8s did. Who needs a V8? Too many morons on the road have more than 300HP available to them, with some around the 550-650 mark in high end SUVs.

By Pneumothorax on 9/4/2012 10:37:40 AM , Rating: 2
Yes, a v8 is less balanced than a straight 6 or a v12, but it's still much better than a V6.

By Manch on 9/4/2012 12:06:24 PM , Rating: 2
I've never seen an unbalanced high revving engine. Mainly because they explode when you attempt to take them that high.

What do you mean by laggy? Trying to understand your point here.

Yeah, you do have V6's capable of putting out the same or more power as the larger V8's but you also have larger v8's that put out more power than those v6's so your point on that is? Doesn't matter how you try and get around it, a v8 has more potential for power than a v6, period.

By sorry dog on 9/4/2012 9:14:35 PM , Rating: 2
Weight balance is not the same as harmonic balance. Ferrari V8's use a flat plane crankshaft, which is less balanced but is lighter and makes a better exhaust note. Most other V8's use a crossplane crank cast with counterweights that result in much smoother operation, but with associated response penalty from increased rotating inertia.

...and by laggy he meant the throttle response...or quick revving and return to idle.

Also, to say a V8 has more potential power is not quite right. Many industrial diesel engines have six holes and put out thousands of pounds of torque.

As for cars...the availability of knowledge and parts for high performance gas V8's is much greater than other V6's, but that shouldn't be confused with the number of holes it has...displacement X volumetric efficiency will tell you much more about an engine's potential output. One ride in a Buick GNX will make you think twice before saying that.

By Manch on 9/5/2012 3:05:59 AM , Rating: 2
So how does Ferrari compensate? YOu say less balanced, the op said unbalanced which is why I questioned it. I don't just see a v6 being THAT much better in the throttle response if at all. Then as many posters have pointed out v6's have there own problems vs v4/v8's.There are many factors that can affect throttle response. Just being a v8 doesn't mean it will be "laggy"

We're not talking industrial diesel engines here, we're talking car engines so that has no bearing.

If I have to choose between a v6 and a v8 with equal displacement, Ill go with the V8. Buick GNX's are awesome cars, but that's a turbo 6 so again you're veering off point.

By 91TTZ on 9/4/2012 1:11:02 PM , Rating: 3
Looking at the big picture here, we have 3.5l V6s that put out the same or even more than their old larger V8s did. Who needs a V8?

The thing is that V8s aren't really any less fuel efficient than a 3.5L V6 that can produce the same power.

For example:
My 1991 300ZX TT with 3.0L TT V6, 300 HP stock gets 17/19/22 mpg:

2005 350Z with 3.5L NA V6, 300 HP stock gets 17/20/23 mpg:

2001 Corvette with 5.7L NA V8, 350 HP stock gets 17/20/26 mpg:

And just for kicks:
2006 Corvette Z06 with 7.0L NA V8, 505 HP gets 15/18/24 mpg:

Skyline GTR, 3.8L TT, 485 HP gets 16/18/21 mpg:
(I know that's AWD so it's at a disadvantage)

It doesn't look like the V8s do poorly in the fuel economy department for the power that they make. When you attempt to make that kind of power with smaller engines the fuel economy drops on them as well.

By theapparition on 9/4/2012 2:12:56 PM , Rating: 2
Excellent point.

I've yet to find a performance V6 that will provide better fuel economy than a V8 at similar power levels.

And when you get down to it, an engine is really an air pump. To get a specific amount of power, you need to pump a specific amount of air. Couple that with a stochiometric air:fuel ratio*, and it doesn't matter in the end whether it's a V6, V8 or V12. It all has to pump the same amount of air.

The differences now become the other tricks that can be done, such as lowering Cd and rolling resistance, optimizing the transmission gears and rear end for performance/efficiency, and other tricks like limiting pumping work and friction (where V8s are at a disadvantage).

The magic of forced induction (turbos/supercharging) is that it allows you to run a slightly more efficient engine during city/highway driving, then boosting the pressure only when going full throttle. There is certainly some advantages, but it also comes at a higher price, hotter and more structurally sound engine required, and higher complexity. But fuel economy doesn't change that significantly because turbos require a richer mixture.

*Typical 14.1:1 AFR for normal driving, but when going into PE mode (full throttle), the AFR needs to drop to protect the engine. Typically run much richer ~12.5:1. While turbo or supercharged cars must run even richer, dipping down close to 10:1.

By Manch on 9/4/2012 2:27:40 PM , Rating: 2
I run my car 11.8:1 I think that is more specific to what engine you're running. I have a 2.3 whipple running 16psi. Cant take it any higher without a race belt system. One thing I like about it over turbos is instant torque, no lag, make power at partial throttle. It's great for a street/strip car.

If I was doing a dedicated car for the strip, I'd probably run turbos. I dont do that 40 roll bullsh!t. Want to race, race from a dig.

By theapparition on 9/4/2012 2:01:11 PM , Rating: 2
No "V" engine is inherently balanced, which is why the crankshaft is weighted to deal with the issue.

However, I find it funny that you claim V6 are better since they are the absolute worst. There is a fundamental harmonic difference with the two banks of 3 cylinders working on a 4 cycle engine. A V4 (rare) or V8 can accomplish that much better than a V6 can. A V6 will always be the most unstable and unbalanced, which translates into vibration harshness. Smooth V6s accomplish that by adding balance shafts, which rob power. A V8 will provide better NVH, along with better power across all bands, all else equal.

Coupled with your other comments as a whole, you have know idea what you are talking about.

By Jeffk464 on 9/4/2012 4:22:20 PM , Rating: 2
A lot of the "smoothness" people associate with todays engines has to do with liquid filled mounts and sound deadening material around the firewall.

By Alexvrb on 9/5/2012 12:12:27 AM , Rating: 2
Don't forget new electronically actuated "active" mounts. They do work fairly well, but the idea of mounts that can potentially cause a vacuum leak just annoys me. Even more so than jelly (hydraulic) mounts leaking out. Plus they're even more expensive than even hydraulic mounts and have added electronics, wiring, and PCM control to go with them.

"Fake" automotive components I can no longer joke about: Exhaust fluid, computer-controlled engine mounts. Still OK: Blinker fluid, muffler bearings, winter air (for tires).

By sorry dog on 9/4/2012 10:13:15 PM , Rating: 2
V12 is. Think of it as 2 inline six's sharing a crank.

By CalaverasGrande on 9/4/2012 4:09:02 AM , Rating: 1
anyone complaining about not having a V8 needs to try driving a light sporty Japanese 4cyl car for a few weeks. I used to think there is no replacement for displacement. But a super light car, that handles well, with a responsive throttle, is WAY better than a heavy V8 powered lead sled.
I also could really give a fig about "smoothness" if I need to pay double gas price for that benefit. I'll stick to my "underpowered" subarus thanks.

By theapparition on 9/4/2012 2:15:03 PM , Rating: 2
And spend a day with me at the track with a 1000hp V8.

Yeah, it's a few hundred pounds more than your Subaru, but it's made up with a hellava lot more smiles.

By Manch on 9/4/2012 2:50:48 PM , Rating: 3
I'm raising the bullsh!t flag bro.

2012 Subaru WRX STi Sedan
Price As Tested $ 34,845

Horsepower 305 @ 6000 rpm
Torque (lb-ft) 290 @ 4000 rpm
Curb Weight 3384 lbs.
Pounds Per Horsepower 11.1

EPA Fuel Economy - miles per gallon
city / highway 17 / 23
0 to 60 mph 5.3 sec.

2012 Ford Mustang Coupe
(5.0L V8 6-speed Manual)
Horsepower (hp @ rpm)420 @ 6,500
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm)390 @ 4,250
Curb weight(lbs.) 3,620
Pounds Per Horsepower 8.6

EPA fuel economy (mpg)
16 city/24 highway
0-60 mph (sec.)4.8

I'm not knocking the WRX, I think they're awesome cars. I had a 94 Japanese spec than hung on just off the door of my 06 mustang all the way up to about 85 before the mustang started to really pull away. Both were stock at the time. Unfortuantely I moved to Virginia, so i left it in England. My friend had a 2004(US spec)and he'd consistenly beat me to 60, and I'd always get him at the 1/4 though. Those cars are every much the beast people say they are. Fantastic machines, but lets keep a few thigns in check.

Now comparing the 2012 models, the subaru loses on HP/Weight ratio, it loses on "responsiveness" Sorry , but the butt dyno doesnt count. You can google the specs and look for yourself. Number dont lie. Reclaimer already called you out about fuel economy, but listed above is the EPA's

By Jeffk464 on 9/4/2012 2:20:42 PM , Rating: 2
Subaru isn't exactly cutting edge with all the new efficiency technologies. A better comparison is to look what kind of HP BMW is getting out of their new designs for how much gas they use. BMW is putting out some insanely impressive numbers.
240HP 23/27/34

By Manch on 9/4/2012 7:11:44 PM , Rating: 2
As they usually do but, that has nothing to do with what I was replying to...

By Reclaimer77 on 9/4/2012 7:28:59 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah that's fair to Subaru. Notice how much those cutting edge technologies add to the cost of those BMW's per chance?

The new all aluminum Boxer engine is pretty efficient. The drive-line losses due to the AWD system is where you lose a lot of fuel economy, not from the engine itself.

Compare apples to apples here.

Bingo! BWM's AWD sedan has the EXACT same mileage ratings as the WRX.

BMW is putting out some insanely impressive numbers. 240HP 23/27/34

Only when you cherry pick :)

By Reclaimer77 on 9/5/2012 1:33:22 PM , Rating: 2
Hello? Gonna pretend you didn't see this huh. Where's your vaunted BMW now?

By 91TTZ on 9/4/2012 4:03:57 PM , Rating: 2
I used to think there is no replacement for displacement. But a super light car, that handles well, with a responsive throttle, is WAY better than a heavy V8 powered lead sled. I also could really give a fig about "smoothness" if I need to pay double gas price for that benefit. I'll stick to my "underpowered" subarus thanks.

Let's compare the Subaru WRX to a "heavy V8 powered lead sled" Corvette.

WRX Curb Weight: 3073
Corvette Curb Weight: 3199

WRX Fuel Economy: 17/19/23 mpg
Corvette Fuel Economy:16/19/26 mpg

The "lead sled" weighs only 4% more, has 67% more power, and as a final insult to injury gets the same/better gas mileage.

By Motoman on 9/4/2012 4:58:44 PM , Rating: 2
While I would never pick a WRX over a ' own pocketbook notwithstanding...I thought I'd point out that there's also considerably different levels of investment going on there.

A 2012 WRX STi is about $36k.

Corvettes start at $50k for the barebones version...and run up to $111k for the ZR1.

A closer comparison might be the Camaro. Which can be had in a reasonable trim for ~$36k. Weight about 3750, 426hp, 16/24mpg.

So, ~22% more weight, but ~40% more power. And better gas mileage (on the highway, anyway).

In my book, decision still goes to the Camaro.

By Manch on 9/5/2012 3:56:17 AM , Rating: 2
I'd never pick a chevy over any Ford or Subaru. I miss my Subaru, it made an awesome winter car. Mustang, not so great during the winter.

By Manch on 9/5/2012 3:14:51 AM , Rating: 2
Agreed, the vette is an unfair compare. I posted the mustang vs Subaru wrx comparo above, since they're similarly priced and weights are pretty close.

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