Category: Engines

By on November 28, 2016

Jaguar straight 6 engine

As a parent of two young children, I watch a lot of movies at home. Most of the blockbuster movies I’ve watched this year are remakes. This month alone, I watched Ghostbusters, Star Trek Beyond, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens. All three are part of franchises that died a decade (or more) ago and have been reborn successfully in 2016.

In the same way, inline-six engines have returned to Mercedes-Benz after nearly a 20 year hiatus in North America.

Why are straight six engines making a comeback?

Read More >

By on November 26, 2016

FreeValve engine (Image: Koenigsegg Automotive AB)

A Swedish company with close ties to a hard-to-spell supercar maker has thrown a wrench into the automotive world, unveiling a production-ready piston engine that doesn’t use a camshaft.

Developed by FreeValve AB, which isn’t a Nordic Lynyrd Skynyrd cover band, the new engine technology ditches a camshaft for other modes of valve actuation, gaining power and efficiency in the process. Unlike some other touted internal combustion engine advancements, this technology already has a customer. Read More >

By on November 22, 2016

2016 Ford Mustang GT Convertible

The Ford Mustang entered the world with a 170 cubic inch inline six, but heritage alone likely won’t be enough to keep the six-cylinder ‘Stang alive.

Product information from Ford’s ordering system has appeared online, and a 3.7-liter V6-powered version of the 2018 Mustang is nowhere to be seen.  Read More >

By on November 14, 2016

2016 Mazda CX-5, Image: Mazda

Mazda is remaining tight-lipped, but a new report claims the automaker will debut a diesel-powered CX-5 crossover in the U.S. next year, followed by a oil-burning Mazda 6.

If true, it means Mazda’s years-long effort to bring its overseas powerplants to North America were not in vain. Read More >

By on November 14, 2016

VW logo

As U.S. and European authorities gear-up for another round of investigations, Volkswagen confirmed Audi did produce cars equipped with software that can distort emission test results. Although VW was careful not to be too committal in its wording, hinting at it being a handy driver’s assist instead of a defeat device.

This must be a great time to be a corporate lawyer.

Read More >

By on November 2, 2016

2016 Mazda 3 sedan

Mazda loves its Skyactiv engine technology, as the high-compression fuel-sippers eliminate the automaker’s need for pricey hybrids or battery electric vehicles.

Boasting an increasingly rare all-gas U.S. fleet, Mazda has said it can handle increasingly stringent fuel economy requirements with improved second-generation Skyactiv engines, including their diesel variants.

It now looks like that plan won’t be enough. Read More >

By on October 31, 2016

mercedes-gas-i6

Mercedes-Benz is introducing a host of new engines with clever shared modular components, including a standard 500cc cylinder displacement.

These new engines include a new AMG-developed twin-turbocharged V8 for the S-Class and one of the most encouraging mechanical additions to the automotive landscape seen in a while — a high-tech inline-six specifically designed to compete with, and outclass, larger motors.

Read More >

By on October 31, 2016

2015 BMW i3 Range Extender Refueling

Despite paying lip service to the growing — but still minuscule — electric vehicle market, automakers do love piston engines. The companies that built their current empires around internal combustion engines take comfort in the technology, finding stability and solace in the seemingly timeless act of burning fuel in exchange for power.

Batteries and electric motors? We understand those too, the companies claim. It’s not a new thing, after all.

What automakers don’t particularly trust is a new type of engine that could squeeze record mileage out of a tank of gas, for less cost, while still using a moving piston with fuel injectors, intake valves and exhaust valves. Read More >

By on October 27, 2016

2017 Mercedes-Benz E300 2.0T

Updated with pricing more reflective of the U.S. market for this M-B Canada press car.

There’s no replacement for displacement. Or so I was taught during my formative years, a period in which I read multiple buff books per month and listened to old men attempt to define torque.

But Audi USA announced last week it would slot the engine from its smallest sedan, the A3, under the hood of Audi’s largest utility vehicle, the Q7.

This week, I’m driving a 4,045-pound, $70,465 Mercedes-Benz E-Class sedan. Labelled the E300, this heavily optioned E-Class is equipped with a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine related to the 2.0-liter in the company’s front-wheel drive, entry-level sedan, the CLA.

4,000 pounds. $70,465. 2.0-liter inline-four. Y’alright with that? Read More >

By on October 27, 2016

Infiniti four-cylinder turbocharged gasoline VC-T engine, Image: Infiniti

It was 1998 and my friend Tom had just picked up a 1991 Eagle Talon TSI AWD.

“Ok, go ahead and floor it, but don’t rev it past 5,000 rpm,” Tom said.

I mashed the throttle and … nothing happened.

We were moving, but it was at the pace of a Toyota Corolla and nowhere near the rate of acceleration promised by the 2.0-liter turbo’s claimed 195 horsepower.

Disappointed, I left my foot on the throttle for a few seconds. Suddenly, I heard the whistle of the spooling turbo and a sudden shove of boost kicked in.

Four-cylinder turbo engines from the ‘90s were all similar to this. While they generated relatively big power at the top end, they also suffered from massive turbo lag and had fuel economy similar to a much larger V8.

Nissan’s new Variable Compression Turbo engine promises big power, minimal turbo lag, and decent fuel economy using some new trickery.

Is this the holy grail of turbocharged motors?
Read More >

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