The turbocharged inline-4 in the Hyundai Sonata generated 274hp at 6,000 rpm and 269 lb-ft of torque from 1,800 to 4,500 rpm.

Entry-level trim levels of the BMW 3-Series will get a new turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder which pumps out 240hp
Customers continue to snap up cars with four-banger engines

With looming CAFE regulations requiring automakers to reach a 35.5 mpg fleet average in the coming years, automakers have no choice but to develop new, more fuel efficient engines for their vehicles. Thankfully for manufacturers, consumers seem to be more than willing to flock to fuel efficient vehicles.

As we've reported previously here on DailyTech, the use of V6 engines in cars is likely to dwindle as the quest for greater fuel efficiency gets underway. And according to Ward's Auto, the take-rate for four-cylinder engines in today's cars is steadily on the rise.

In 2008, just 51.5 percent of cars sold in the U.S. came equipped with a four-cylinder engine. In 2009, that figure jumped dramatically to 61.9 percent. The tally rose again in 2010 to 64.5 percent reports Ward's Auto.

V8 engines represented just 20.8 percent of the overall U.S. light vehicle market.

While enthusiasts may crave the power and torque of a naturally aspirated V6 or inline-6 engine, many U.S. consumers appear to be content with the advances made in four-cylinder engine technology (direct injection, turbochargers, etc.). BMW recently announced that it will be bringing a turbocharged four-cylinder engine to the U.S. market that generates more horsepower and torque than its naturally aspirated inline-6 counterpart while at the same time delivering greater fuel economy. Those are numbers you can't really argue with.

Likewise, Hyundai has been pushing its Sonata Turbo (2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder, 274hp) that generates more horsepower and torque than its V6 counterparts (Accord, Camry, Malibu, Fusion, etc.) and better fuel economy in the city and on the highway.

On the domestic front, the Buick Regal is only available with four-cylinder engines (naturally aspirated, turbocharged, and hybrid) and the next generation Chevrolet Malibu is widely expected to only be available with four-cylinder engines.

Four cylinder engines will always remain a staple of the subcompact and compact classes, and it appears that the midsize class is quickly moving to push six cylinder engines out of commission. That leaves larger full size, luxury, and sports cars to soldier on with six-cylinder (and beyond) engines.

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