Along with eight-cylinder engines and manual transmissions, six-cylinder motors appear to be on the outs, relatively speaking. In the first quarter of this year, USA Today notes that four-cylinder lumps made up 46.5 percent of new car sales, almost a five percent jump over the same period last year.
This movement to fewer cylinders is likely to continue, as more and more mainstream models like the Hyundai Sonata, Suzuki Kizashi and Buick Regal are only being offered with four-cylinder powerplants. That's partially because modern technologies, including direct injection and forced induction, have closed the power deficit, and partly because automakers' need to raise their CAFE figures and play to growing consumer appetites for better fuel economy.
The trend has caused J.D. Power to raise its four-cylinder sales prediction for 2012 from 48 percent to 51 percent. If that ends up being the case, that will leave 35 percent for six-cylinder cars, and just 17 percent for V8s.
[Source: USA Today]