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Hyundai made some news last fall when it launched the all-new 2011 Sonata with a four-cylinder-only engine lineup. It now looks like General Motors might be following suit for its mid-sizers. By leaving out larger V6 engines as a possibility, Hyundai was able to design a lighter structure while still meeting new safety requirements and maintaining passenger volume. GM has already opted for four-cylinder engines in the new Buick Regal even though it didn't get any structural weight advantage since the Opel Insignia that it's derived from is available with V6 engines.

The 2012 Chevrolet Malibu is also expected to eschew V6 engines when it debuts next year and both it and the Regal are likely to benefit from GM's next-generation mild hybrid system. GM is moving toward down-sized engines across the board with direct-injection and turbocharging for its next generation of vehicles as it strives to meet new fuel economy standards. Given the relatively small percentage of mid-sized cars that are actually purchased with the more powerful V6 engines, it makes much more sense for automakers to design vehicles around the smaller engines and then use turbocharging and hybridization to provide improved performance for the few customers who want it.

[Source: GM Inside News]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 5 Comments
      • 1 Month Ago
      The fact that it is a 4 cylinder vice a 6 or 8 cylinder really means squat as far as fuel consumption. Other factors such as displacement, turbo, etc. have much more effect on fuel consumption. Engines with more cylinders tend to run smoother though.
      • 1 Month Ago
      Our present vehicles are a 1999 Saab 9.3 Viggen w/2.3L turbo 4-cyl engine and a 2008 Saab 9.5 w/2.3L turbo 4-cyl engine. Our first 4-cyl engined car was a 1987 9000 turbo and we have been enjoying 4-cyl turbo engined Saab vehicle for 23 years. I guess the rest of the auto industry will see the light.
      • 1 Month Ago
      Welcome to these pages as a commenter, Mr. Jason M Hendler. You and I have exactly the same take on the state of automotive technology amid the hoard of Sky-is-falling people who have eaten the pseudo-Science drivel from know-even-less-than-do, do Charlatans and peddlers of Junk Science.

      It has taken almost forty years of the last Oil market to find substitute technology. And lots of new technology in Oil usage is also in the offing. The OPEC carte lists have only had the power to enforce short lived Price Spikes for a decade or more, unlike the power they had, and used, before.

      Mileage is bound to triple or quadruple again in the next half decade, just as it did in the past 4 decades. Real practical substitutes based on non fossil electricity will also arrive in numbers in the marketplace.

      They Chicken Littles don't even know that every Oil market that could, did reduce their Oil demand and declined from 1970 levels, mostly by using substitutes and a some efficiency improvements. In one case it has disappeared completely. No one generates Electricity from oil these days, but many did in the 1970s. Industry uses less than in 1970, Residential demand is in slow decline and commercial HVAC has peaked and muddles along in a slow decline, despite a lot of construction since then.
      • 1 Month Ago
      It's funny, I thought GM was first to announce that decision.
      • 1 Month Ago
      There shouldn't be any surprise - what did you think the result of the new CAFE standards would be?

      Fortunately, alternative fuel / propulsion vehicles will come along that renders mpg's and emissions requirements obsolete, so we can go back to vehicles that are powerful, fast and fun to drive.
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