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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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A corrupt U.S. government dictates the impossible
By Beenthere on 9/4/2012 1:00:36 AM , Rating: -1
Car makers know full well they can not meet the absurd 54.5 mpg CAFE requirement so they are eliminating the engines that will lower the CAFE number. Then when everyone is driving turbo four and six cylinder engines, car makers will roll out more EVs and hybrids as this is the ONLY means that have to achieve the 54.5 mpg CAFE mandate.

Naturally consumers and tax payers will pay thru the nose for this pie-in-the-sky 54.5 mpg CAFE mandate. Perhaps Bama and his EPA cronies should pull their heads outta their arses or pay for these pipe dream CAFE numbers with their own money?




By tecknurd on 9/4/2012 1:32:57 AM , Rating: 2
EVs and hybrids are the way to the future. Gasoline or petroleum will not last forever. Eventually they will run out. When they do hybrids and EVs will be cheaper to use. Fuel prices already climbing to a point that hybrids and EVs becomes feasible to buy. I am seeing more and more hybrids on the road.

Car makers have plenty of research and development. The 54.5 MPG may seem far, but soon they will reach it.

For people that want power, sure they can only go with turbo four and six cylinder engines. Though nobody is stopping them putting their own engine into their own car by themselves.

BTW, I do not know cars, but I prefer to have a car that has 54ish MPG compared to 18 MPG.


By Solandri on 9/4/2012 5:34:49 AM , Rating: 3
Agreed hybrids are the way of the future. Regenerative braking and running the engine only when needed is just too good energy savings to pass up. Disagreed on EVs. I just don't see them becoming effective enough to supplant liquid chemical fuels. Unless there are some major, major breakthroughs in battery storage capacity and recharge rate, I'm betting on biofuels (plant/algae-based alcohols) being the long-term winner.

quote:
Car makers have plenty of research and development. The 54.5 MPG may seem far, but soon they will reach it.

The issue I have with raising the CAFE standard for cars is that it's mostly spinning our wheels. 54.5 sounds like a big number but it's not. Current CAFE standard for cars is 30.2 MPG. So 54.5 is an increase of a whopping 24.3 MPG! Sounds impressive, right? It isn't. Going from 18 MPG to 30.2 MPG is only a 12.2 MPG increase, yet will save you over 1.5x as much fuel.

How is that possible? The problem is we measure fuel efficiency in MPG. That's actually the inverse of fuel consumption. So the bigger the MPG gets, the smaller your incremental savings. e.g. Say we had a hypothetical trip of 200 miles. Your different cars will burn:

100 MPG = 2 gallons
54.5 MPG = 3.7 gallons
30.2 MPG = 6.7 gallons
18 MPG = 11.3 gallons

Meaning the fuel savings for the different jumps are:

54.5 MPG -> 100 MPG = 1.7 gallons saved
30.2 MPG -> 54.5 MPG = 3.0 gallons saved
18 MPG -> 30.2 MPG = 4.6 gallons saved

Your biggest fuel savings come from improving the mileage of your low-mileage vehicles. The higher the mileage, the smaller the savings. So CAFE tackles the wrong end of the problem. Instead of trying to raise the mileage of cars, we should be (1) trying to raise the mileage of light trucks, and (2) encouraging people to switch from trucks and SUVs to cars.

Instead, CAFE appears to be doing the exact opposite - causing people to give up their cars in favor of trucks and SUVs.
http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=22470...

Basically, every 2 people who switch from a sedan to an SUV cancels out 3 people who switch from a sedan to a Prius. And we're forcing the car companies to waste billions of research dollars on trying to make cars more Prius-like for minor fuel savings, when the bigger fuel savings would come from discouraging truck use.

I'm thinking of buying a boat right now (sailboat - I'm environmentally conscientious). I've been looking at tow vehicles. The boat + trailer will come out to about 2700 pounds, which 30 years ago wasn't unreasonable for a sedan to tow. Sure it would've gotten mileage in the low to mid 20s, but it could tow it. But CAFE has driven those sedans out of existence. I really don't want to have two cars - a regular driving vehicle and a tow vehicle. But due to CAFE attacking the wrong end of the problem, my choices are either to get two vehicles, or sell my sedan and buy an 18 MPG SUV.


RE: A corrupt U.S. government dictates the impossible
By Paj on 9/4/2012 8:19:48 AM , Rating: 1
A lot of good points. While I've said on here many times that the MPG mentioned in CAFE is certainly achievable, the jury is still out on its effectiveness, and other countries go about the problem in different ways.

The UK implement an annual road tax based on how efficient the car is, and on how much pollution it generates. This doesn't cause highly inefficient vehicles to go away - they're still there if people want them, but for many it makes more sense to get an efficient vehicle due to the saving they make on both road tax and fuel. I think this system probably makes more sense.


By Schrag4 on 9/4/2012 12:08:10 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The UK implement an annual road tax based on how efficient the car is, and on how much pollution it generates. This doesn't cause highly inefficient vehicles to go away - they're still there if people want them, but for many it makes more sense to get an efficient vehicle due to the saving they make on both road tax and fuel.


To me, this is overly-complicated and therefore idiotic. A per-gallon tax like we have in the US is ultra-simple and the fairest way to go. If you drive the same number of miles as me but use more fuel, you're paying a higher tax - that's fair, since your vehicle probably wears the road more than mine. In the UK, if you drive 1/10th as much as me but have a car that uses twice as much fuel per mile, you may have used 1/5th as much fuel as I did but you'll pay a higher road tax - that doesn't make sense. This is, of course, assuming the tax structure is as you describe (I'm taking your word for it).


By JPForums on 9/4/2012 2:09:29 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The UK implement an annual road tax based on how efficient the car is, and on how much pollution it generates.
To figure out how efficient a car is, they need to know how many MPG you get. Since fuel economy can be significantly worse, especially in an efficient car, due to driving habits, they'll need to monitor your driving habits to get an accurate reading. To figure out how much pollution it generates, they need a way of monitoring the CO2 output of the car. The separation of efficiency and pollution generation as a metric dictates this needs to be a separate piece of equipment. Since any of these pieces of equipment can be temporarily modified, the only sure way to get the right number is to put a GPS in every vehicle so that the government can monitor how many miles you are actually driving as you drive them. Interestingly, this has already been suggested as the method for applying a CO2 based tax to vehicles.

Now they could just assume a certain efficiency out of certain vehicles. Lets ignore the eventual rush to make vehicles that pass whatever test they are subjected to, regardless of how the perform in the real world. This is a simplification that makes the metric less accurate and open to abusing (I.E. Company A that donates to your campaign gets more favorable ratings and/or tests are designed with their vehicles in mind). They could also assume that 1 gallon of gas will produce the same amount of pollution regardless of how much of it is burned at once. However, if you do that, then you remove the need for more monitoring equipment.

Err, .. wait. In the end, a gallon of gasoline will release the same amount of pollution whether it carries you 1 mile or 100 miles and regardless of whether it burned by a motorcycle or a truck. This suggests a very accurate simplification to system can be made. Charge the tax based on how much gas is consumed. As an added benefit, it can be charged at the pump, with no need to worry about people modifying equipment to dodge the tax, and without costly new equipment that may or may not violate privacy rights. Such a system would also save tax payer money as it would require far less government administration. If only someone had thought of this sooner ... oh, wait, we already pay tax at the pump. I guess if we really want to push efficient vehicles, we could just raise the gas tax.


By Jeffk464 on 9/4/2012 2:26:04 PM , Rating: 2
yeah, that sucks


By 91TTZ on 9/4/2012 5:42:27 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
In the end, a gallon of gasoline will release the same amount of pollution whether it carries you 1 mile or 100 miles and regardless of whether it burned by a motorcycle or a truck.


This isn't true. The emission control systems on cars can vary the amount of pollution that the car emits. What kinds of pollution are you looking to curb?


RE: A corrupt U.S. government dictates the impossible
By Paj on 9/5/2012 7:59:30 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, a clarification. I did a bit of research and UK road tax is based on the size of the engine, and the amount of C02 released per km.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vehicle_Excise_Duty

I thought it was based on MPG, but I was wrong. I agree with you about the problems in monitoring MPG (seeing how variable it can be in relation to driving habits).

quote:
Err, .. wait. In the end, a gallon of gasoline will release the same amount of pollution whether it carries you 1 mile or 100 miles and regardless of whether it burned by a motorcycle or a truck.


Thats not true at all. It can vary depending on the octane level, impurities, engine design, age of catalytic converter, etc. In controlled lab conditions you might be right, but out on the road there would be many variables that affect the final figure.

quote:
Charge the tax based on how much gas is consumed.


Some have suggested modifying the road tax system to incorporate a tax based on miles travelled per year, based on odometer readings. Higher odometer reading = more tax.
Cars in the UK already have to pass an annual roadworthiness test known as an MOT - this system could easily be incorporated into that without a massive increase in bureaucracy.

Such a system would also encourage greater use of public transport, car pooling, use of bikes and maybe even things like teleconferencing and flexible working hours.


By Schrag4 on 9/5/2012 8:40:54 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Some have suggested modifying the road tax system to incorporate a tax based on miles travelled per year, based on odometer readings. Higher odometer reading = more tax.


Again, this is completely idiotic, and seems to me to suggest a tendency to try to over-legislate everything. You want to tax not only miles driven but fuel efficiency? Don't rate vehicles on efficiency (open to corruption) and force people to give odometer readings (just another small hassle among many others), simply tax each gallon of fuel and be done with it. People that drive more will pay more. People with less efficient vehicles that drive the same number of miles will pay more. People with less efficient vehicles that drive more will pay through the nose. It's elegant in its simplicity, and it's fair, something Big Govt's don't like (less to enforce means fewer govt jobs).


By Colin1497 on 9/4/2012 1:45:01 PM , Rating: 2
The original CAFE law had a large part in creating the SUV market by forcing people to move from cars to trucks in order to get powerful engines. The current CAFE law is a shell game with bonus points based on specific technologies and a sliding scale based on the size of the vehicle. It's all horribly conceived and a huge mess.


By Jeffk464 on 9/4/2012 2:24:19 PM , Rating: 2
Uhm, because we try to raise the mileage of light trucks (Heavy trucks to by the way) we cant raise the mileage of smaller cars?


By tecknurd on 9/4/2012 8:22:03 PM , Rating: 2
You may think that EV are not the second option because the time it takes to recharge batteries. EV can also run on fuel cells. EV can be recharged by hydrogen fuel stations.

The CAFE tackles one problem is currency. The cost of fuel keeps increasing while MPG stays the same. For me to drive 200 miles, it now costs $50 to $60 per week compared to several years ago which was half the cost.

If there are two cars. Car A with a MPG of 18 and car B with a MPG of 54. Both cars holds the same volume of fuel at 14 gallons. Send both cars on a infinite trip until they can not go any further. Car A will have a distance of 252 miles. Car B will have a distance of 756 miles. If I drive at an average of 260 miles per week, I will choose car B. It will give me close to three weeks until I have to go to the gas station. When it costs me up to $60 fill up the tank, that is a big savings. I can put $120 towards my savings account or something else every month. At the end of the year I would have $1440. That is a lot of money to me, but other people will think that is not much. Sure there is no such thing a car with a MPG of 54.


By Nutzo on 9/4/2012 3:58:51 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
EVs and hybrids are the way to the future.


As are higher car prices, higher long term maintenace costs, and higher insurance cost. Combined with lower resell value, hybrids are hard to justify in many cases.
(and I don't mean the typical justification I read: I was driving a SUV that got 10MPG now I drive a Prius that gets 50MPG, so it paid for itself in less than 2 years)

For example I drive around 95% city which would be the best case example for a hybrid, since there is little diference in Highway milage between a Hybrid and a 4 cyl car. A Camry hybid gets 40MPG vs 25MPG for the 4 cyl in town, yet the $3000 price difference would take me over 6 years just to break at $4/gal.
Add in the extra insureance cost, and it jumps to 9 years. Then add in the resell value (5 year old hybids sell for about the same as a 5 year old 4 cyl), and it would take over 12 years to break even.

Part of the problem is that I only drive around 6K mile/year, but even if I drove 12K mile/year or Gas was $8/gal, I'd still be looking at over 6 years just to break even.



By Jeffk464 on 9/4/2012 4:17:46 PM , Rating: 2
EVs and hybrids are the way to the future. Gasoline or petroleum will not last forever. Eventually they will run out. When they do hybrids and EVs will be cheaper to use. Fuel prices already climbing to a point that hybrids and EVs becomes feasible to buy

You know its not just a matter of running out of fuel its also a matter of market prices. As developing nations start consuming more oil demand for global oil goes up and eventually oil production will go down. The end result is demand will far exceed supply and prices will spike. Nope, eventually our concept of everybody driving around 5000lbs gas guzzlers will be completely unattainable. It was much better for americans when we were using our ford duallies to commute and haul our 5th wheels and ski boats around while the rest of the world was living in mud huts. :)


By 91TTZ on 9/4/2012 4:38:04 PM , Rating: 2
You don't really think that the US is demanding more fuel efficient cars just so that developing nations can buy cheaper gas, do you?


By soloburrito on 9/4/2012 2:56:02 AM , Rating: 2
The 2025 rule is not final, it's still only a goal. Also the CAFE numbers are quit a bit higher than the EPA numbers. 54.5 mpg (cafe) roughly equates to 36 mpg (epa). For 2020, the rule will equate to a 35 mpg (epa) fleet average. This number is flexible however depending on the types of vehicles being sold. If more pickups are sold, the target average goes down, if more compacts are sold, the target average goes up. It's a flexible system.

If fuel prices remain steady of rise steadily over time, drivers will see a return on fuel savings before the typical manufacturer warranty expires. Also this will result in less co2 emissions which improves air quality and will lower fuel demand/overseas oil demand which is a net benefit to the US.

If you think the EPA is full of hot air, look at some pictures of Beijing during their killer smog days. I'd rather have the EPA around than not.


RE: A corrupt U.S. government dictates the impossible
By Noya on 9/4/2012 3:38:28 AM , Rating: 2
And what about the increasing amounts of corn ethanol (watering down) of our fuel? That certainly lowers MPG as it has less BTU's per gallon.


By sorry dog on 9/4/2012 10:28:35 PM , Rating: 2
don't know why you got rated down.

It's more true than half the other crap in this thread.


By Pneumothorax on 9/4/2012 10:35:40 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
by soloburrito on September 4, 2012 at 2:56
If you think the EPA is full of hot air, look at some pictures of Beijing during their killer smog days. I'd rather have the EPA around than not.


You do realize CAFE has no impact on smog forming pollutants, right?
Another beef with CAFE is that it should have to voted on by the legislative and executive branch. The executive should not have this much free reign on such an important issue.


By mellomonk on 9/4/2012 12:20:15 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
You do realize CAFE has no impact on smog forming pollutants, right?


The hell it doesn't. If those cars in Bejing got double the milage, then they would be roughly burning half the fuel they currently do and produce a correspondingly less amount of pollutants. It is that simple.

As an auto enthusiast myself I feel a good deal of the arguments around CAFE. But as person living at this time, there is a bigger picture that I cannot ignore. Just like a little kid must learn you cannot have pizza at every meal, we as a society must adjust to a reality that we must adjust our transportation needs and wants to achieve a better future. A future that we all say we want for our nation and the world in general. The challenges of CAFE and crash standards force the industry to move forward rather then just responding to the fashion trends of a largely uneducated and uncaring marketplace. As a bonus, think how sweet that pizza is going to taste when it isn't eaten every day.


By Warren21 on 9/4/2012 2:48:55 PM , Rating: 2
You are joking, right? The generations of Americans in the early 20th century were all about "the greater good". They signed up in droves to protect the U.S. through two world wars, and in peacetime people knew that their job had a valuable contribution to society from garbage man to CEO. It wasn't shameful to be blue collar, like the university push of today might have you believe.


By Reclaimer77 on 9/4/2012 3:06:13 PM , Rating: 2
You're honestly comparing enlisting in the military to the obvious point of my post? Those men volunteered!! How is that comparable to Government MANDATES for the so-called "greater good"?

Those same men you are talking about were so against Collectivism it's not even funny. They signed up in droves to FIGHT IT! What the hell do you think WW2 and defeating those fascist dictatorships was all about you idiot.

You're trying to make the dumbest point ever.


By Spuke on 9/4/2012 6:11:43 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
You're trying to make the dumbest point ever.
He does have a point here Warren. Volunteering and being forced are polar opposites. Sh!t, we could make this much easier by making the populace slaves of the government. Oh we can't do that because then we couldn't them of their money. Ok, indentured servants then. Nope! paychecks are big enough. How about making people THINK they are free while leaving them just enough rights to continue that fallacy. That way they'll still work and we (the government) can take most of their money away for BS AND they'll like it.


By Reclaimer77 on 9/4/2012 6:46:24 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah let me tell ya something, my late grandfather didn't fight on the Eastern front in WW2 so someone could tell him what he can put in his driveway. Or so he could be forced to pay for everyone's healthcare. No goddamn way!!

The argument Warren is making is just downright offensive.


By sorry dog on 9/4/2012 10:24:30 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I'd rather have the EPA around than not
\

Maybe so...the problem is when morons like Ray LaHood get appointed to the department and start to take up political causes rather than the boring bureaucratic job Congress created them to do. Backup camera's in every car...no texting by passengers, etc.

The diversity of choice of vehicles has already been reduced dramatically since the 80's and 90's and these mandates have a lot to do with that. The development costs grow and grow, so these costs must be defrayed over larger production numbers the competitive on price. But the lower volume niche vehicles are being regulated out of existence. I think they won't be happy until each automaker only makes 4 vehicles: A pickup, a crossover Suv, a small car, and a tiny car....all with mandated black boxes.


By ViroMan on 9/4/2012 5:46:49 AM , Rating: 2
You do realize that they do not have half of the mandatory safety equipment in those cars like an American car has to have, right? Crumple zones all over(thus compromising the integrity of the car...), sturdy cab that won't crush vertically when it flips, air bags... all kinds of stuff that will weigh down the car. A lot of cars made outside of America are NOT legal in America do to missing safety standards... not just because the steering wheel is on the WRONG SIDE. There are conversion kits for that. GET IT RIGHT YOU GUYS... LEFT IS RIGHT. ;P

Remember that crazy tiny car that got 70mpg and you could fit 2 people in it like a clown car? It was like a riding lawn mower with transmission and a cab. It was on here like 2 years ago or something like it...made in India. IF it ever makes it to America, it would need to go through drastic changes that would add substantial weight. Then on top of that... it would almost never sale except to maybe meter maids. Who wants to drive a car that a Yugo could run over?


By probedb on 9/4/2012 7:34:24 AM , Rating: 1
You really need to look at what cars are produced outside the US a little more.


By theapparition on 9/4/2012 2:20:35 PM , Rating: 2
At the core, he's absolutely correct. The US safety standards are the most rigorous in the world. Many European models won't pass US requirements.


By theapparition on 9/4/2012 2:20:55 PM , Rating: 2
It was made by Tata motors.


By usbseawolf2000 on 9/4/2012 11:58:04 AM , Rating: 3
I wouldn't say it is impossible. 50 MPG EPA Prius is already rated 71 MPG CAFE.


By Nutzo on 9/4/2012 4:03:38 PM , Rating: 3
But not everyone wants to drive a Pruis :)


By Spuke on 9/4/2012 6:12:12 PM , Rating: 3
I sure as hell don't.


By freedom4556 on 9/5/2012 5:04:32 AM , Rating: 2
All this MPG and emissions mess makes me think that the future for sports car fans is neither hybrid nor EV but kit cars and crate motors.


By usbseawolf2000 on 9/5/2012 12:11:17 PM , Rating: 2
It doesn't have to be a Prius. Any 40 MPG (combined, not just highway) vehicle should translate to 54.5 MPG CAFE or higher.

For example, these vehicles are rated higher than 40 MPG combined.

Toyota Camry hybrid
Ford Fusion hybrid
Lexus CT200h
Ford C-MAX hybrid


By usbseawolf2000 on 9/5/2012 12:18:39 PM , Rating: 2
It doesn't have to be a Prius. Any 40 MPG (combined, not just highway) vehicle should translate to 54.5 MPG CAFE or higher.

For example, these vehicles are rated higher than 40 MPG combined.

Toyota Camry hybrid
Ford Fusion hybrid
Lexus CT200h
Lexus ES350h
Ford C-MAX hybrid


By usbseawolf2000 on 9/5/2012 12:03:58 PM , Rating: 2
Driving experience <> Ownership experience. Pick your choice wisely. ;)


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