Reader Brian Tai writes:
I’ve been an enthusiast and part-time DIYer for years now. I love to learn about everything automotive.
My question for you: why are cars with small engines always inline-fours? Why do manufacturers not put 2.0-liter V6s into cars? I know they don’t usually use big displacement inline-fours because of NVH issues, but what about the other way around?
Thank you for your question, Brian. I’ve been wondering about this very aspect of engineering for a while and you just gave me enough push to go sniffing for answers.
Three hybrid powertrains and three performance powertrains bookended Wards Auto’s top 10 engines, which was released last week.
The list included repeat winners such as the Ram 1500 Ecodiesel 3-liter six, Subaru’s turbo flat-four and Nissan’s veteran VQ 3.5-liter V-6. Appearing for the first time was BMW’s replacement for its N55 turbocharged, 3-liter straight six as well as General Motor’s LGX V-6 — which appears in several Cadillac models and in the new Chevrolet Camaro — with cylinder deactivation.
Volvo’s twin-charged 2-liter four and Ford’s famous flat-plane crank V-8 from the Shelby GT350 made the list for the first time in 2016. Volkswagen’s engines were excluded from consideration this year because of the company’s admission that its diesel engine cheated through emissions tests.
According to Reuters, Volkswagen may have suspended engineers — including top engineers for Audi, Volkswagen and Porsche — without any evidence.
According to the report, more than 10 engineers were suspended in the fallout after it became clear the automaker cheated its way through emissions tests in the U.S. and Europe. It’s not clear if the suspended engineers would be reinstated at the company.
Reuters reported that VW’s internal investigation revealed that the illegal “defeat devices” began appearing in cars around 2008 after engineers discovered that their engine, which was costly to produce, wouldn’t pass emissions tests.
Used car dealerships have filed a proposed class action lawsuit against Volkswagen over cars they say they can’t sell and are seeking the same compensation the German automaker is offering its new car dealers, Reuters reported (via Automotive News).
According to the attorney representing the dealers, selling the cars could put the businesses at risk of lawsuits from their customers. If the used dealers can’t sell their in-stock Volkswagen diesels, the businesses would shoulder the losses, the lawsuit alleges. (Read More…)
Police in North Carolina are looking for Ronnie Pollard, who appeared in the Discovery Channel’s series “Street Outlaws,” in connection with an engine theft, WGHP is reporting.
According to investigators, Pollard may have been involved with a June robbery in King, North Carolina where thieves made off with nearly $450,000 in engines and caused $14,000 in damage to Buck Racing Engine’s shop.
“The Discovery Channel should have done a little better job checking people out,” shop owner Charlie Buck told the news station. “It’s just hard to believe that somebody like that’s been on TV, and then they break in and steal stuff from you.”
According to the shop, donations for reward money have flooded the shop, and investigators and the shop are offering more than $22,000 for information about the missing engines.
Is this the refreshed 2017 Fusion? A Ford slideshow presentation used at the J.P. Morgan Auto Conference sure points to the affirmative, according to AutoBlog. Yet, it doesn’t look like much in the way of change is afoot with the Blue Oval’s midsize sedan. You’d be hard pressed to find much of a difference at all.
The 2016 Lexus GS will sport Toyota’s 2-liter, turbocharged engine, which is already in the NX200t and is coming to the IS200t. The GS will be the third Lexus model in the States to feature the engine — overseas, the RC will get it as well, but that model hasn’t been confirmed for the U.S. market.
The 2-liter turbo, which produces 241 horsepower, will complement the GS350 and GS450h, which will get incremental improvements over last year. The 3.5-liter V-6 underneath the hood of the GS350 will get a small power bump (311 horsepower vs. 305; 280 pound-feet vs. 277). According to Lexus, the V-6 will have port and direct injection, but the automaker didn’t specify if the engine used the same D-4S system found in the 2016 Toyota Tacoma.
The GS200t will be rear-wheel drive only and will be paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission.
Countdown to the RX getting the same treatment starts … now.
If there is one recent trend in the automotive industry today, it’s turbocharging.
Of course, there are a lot of other trends, too. That whole SUV coupe thing is bizarrely catching on. And I think we can all agree that it’s only a matter of time before someone sees the Subaru Outback’s 20 years of unrivaled success and finally decides to re-enter the wagon game.
But in the last few years, it’s turbocharging that has really managed to beat out everything else for today’s most popular automotive trend.
The best-selling mid-size sedans in the United States will catch up to their competition by offering boosted fours under their hoods soon, Automotive News is reporting (via Car & Driver).
The long-running Camry will replace its six-cylinder engine with the turbo four, though the Accord is likely to use a new, smaller, boosted four pot to replace its base four-cylinder engine.
Engines burn oil, but how much oil burn is normal is at the heart of a Consumer Reports study that examined nearly 500,000 new cars for how much oil they have to replace in their new car’s engine.
It’s a dirty, dirty business.