Consumer Reports noted this after attending a preview of the 2008 Mazda CX-9 which gets a bump in displacement from 3.5L to 3.7L along with 10 hp more than before. This comes with no increase in fuel consumption. When car-makers make upgrades like this one has to wonder if every car-maker needs a compact cross-over like the Rav4 that goes 0-60 in 6.7 seconds. Clearly the answer is no unless the company wants to sell product and as long as consumers keep opting for the vehicle with more power over the lesser model, CAFE standards will be pointless.
New technology like HCCI and small-displacement, direct-injected engines with turbocharging will help improve fuel economy but so far it's mainly been used just to get more power. For 2008, Cadillac is offering a direct-injected version of the 3.6L V-6 in the CTS that bumps power by 40 hp with improved economy compared to the port injected version. Why not offer a smaller 2.8L DI version with the same power and even better efficiency?
[Source: Consumer Reports]