By on August 9, 2017

2017 Mazda 3 - Image: MazdaMazda announced on August 8th what had long been rumored. The small Japanese automaker has successfully overcome the remaining issues which held at bay mass production of gasoline compression ignition.

Essentially, Mazda’s Skyactiv-X engines, due first in the next-generation 2019 Mazda 3, is intended to bring diesel-like ignition to small, supercharged four-cylinder engines, along with diesel-like fuel economy. However, the gas-fired Skyactiv-X engines will be wildly cleaner than diesel powerplants. Mazda has said in the past that these HCCI engines will likely limit the need for continuously variable transmissions. We also learned, with Mazda’s latest pronouncement, that the company’s Skyactiv-X engines will be significantly torquier than their Skyactiv-G predecessors.

If Mazda can live up to its pronouncements — the company says the engines are “still under development and figures are subject to change” — it’ll be a win for both the environment and driving enthusiasts. And because Mazda also claims a 20-30-percent improvement in fuel efficiency, it’ll be a win for your bank account, as well.

We wanted to see exactly where Mazda’s alleged fuel savings will put Mazda’s current products on the EPA’s miles per gallon scale, so here are the results of some quick math. (Read More…)

By on July 26, 2017

Bugatti Chiron, Front, Image: BugattiThe Bugatti Veyron EB 16.4 debuted in 2005 to spec sheet acclaim. On paper, there had never been anything like it. 16 cylinders, four turbos, 987 horsepower.

And 10 miles per gallon of premium gasoline.

The 2018 Bugatti Chiron is a better car, as it should be after more than a decade passed between development cycles. There are still 16 cylinders and four turbos, but Bugatti increased the power (having intermittently done so during the Veyron’s tenure) to 1,500 horses.

That 52 percent increase in power is not quite matched by a commensurate improvement in the distance travelled per gallon of premium gasoline. Not quite. (Read More…)

By on April 28, 2017

1-Ethanol-Gas-006

Higher-octane fuel holds more energy than bargain basement gasoline, giving it the potential to generate more horsepower and deliver highly marketable fuel economy figures to automakers. It should be at the top of every car manufacturer’s wish list. But, because an extra-high octane rating would warrant an extra-large bill at the pump, muscle car owners are left hunting for that one station that sells 94.

Unlike Europe, it’s a low-octane lifestyle here in North America, though hushed, tentative first steps are being taken to give car manufacturers what they so desperately crave.

Still, no automaker wants to say it. (Read More…)

By on November 1, 2016

JaguarXE

You don’t traditionally associate fuel economy with high-end luxury brands, but Jaguar currently sells three of the most fuel-efficient vehicles on the market, with no electric motors in sight.

The one-time fuel economy laggard is now greener than ever, and it has an engine family with a stupid name to thank for it.

(Read More…)

By on August 31, 2016

Boeing 707 water injection takeoff (USAF/Wikimedia]

Bosch, the creator of the horsepower-boosting water injection system in the BMW M4 GTS, will now offer the technology to any automaker that wants it.

Spraying distilled water vapor into an engine’s combustion chamber has an added bonus of greatly increasing fuel efficiency — meaning Bosch might have a lineup at its door when the system enters mass production in 2019, Autocar reports. (Read More…)

By on July 23, 2016

2016 Mazda CX-5, Image: Mazda

Volkswagen’s emissions scandal gave oil burners a bad name, but Mazda isn’t ditching its plans for a diesel roll-out in North America.

The automaker has an internal timeline for a stateside launch of Skyactiv diesels that will meet stringent U.S. pollution regulations, Automotive News reports. (Read More…)

By on May 3, 2016

2016 Ford F-150 Limited

Ford Motor Company didn’t want an opportunity to claim bragging rights to pass by, so it sent its 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine in for a massage.

The result was a torque (eco)boost of 30 pounds-feet, raising the engine’s output to 365 horsepower and 450 lb-ft. That places Ford’s F-150 ahead of its closest full-size six-cylinder competitor, the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel, which claims 420 lb-ft. (Read More…)

By on April 29, 2016

Volkswagen 1.5-liter TSI engine

Diesel? What’s that?

Volkswagen is embracing a far less controversial type of fuel with its new 1.5-liter TSI engine, unveiled yesterday at the Vienna Motor Symposium.

The ultra-efficient four-cylinder uses variable turbine geometry (VTG) in its turbocharger to generate peak torque at a low 1,300 rpm, then maintain a flat torque curve until about 4,500 rpm. This leads to fuel economy gains and a better driving experience. (Read More…)

By on August 7, 2015

E10 + 100 Percent Gasoline at the Pump

Speaking at a conference this week, EPA exec Christopher Grundler said automakers have asked for higher octane fuels for higher compression tolerance and more powerful engines, Automotive News is reporting.

Speaking at the CAR Management Briefing Seminar series, Grundler said the EPA has the authority to regulate fuel, but that the agency would investigate whether it would make sense to offer the higher-grade fuel. Grundler is the agency’s director of the Office of Transportation and Air Quality.

(Note to Grundler: You seem like a smart guy. Why can’t we all have race fuel all the time?)

(Read More…)

By on January 15, 2015

2015 Ford F-150

The King of Truck Mountain may have new aluminum armor these days, but Ford has no plans on fully equipping the rest of its lineup with the metal.

(Read More…)

By on December 9, 2014

pentastar-v6-628

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ Chrysler Group has big plans for its venerable Pentastar engine family, all in the name of improved fuel efficiency and power.

(Read More…)

By on December 5, 2014

VW XL1

The European test cycle for fuel economy and emissions may need to be taken out back, based on findings by policy group Transport and Environment.

(Read More…)

By on December 5, 2014

2015 Ford F-150

Losing 700 pounds may not be enough in the fuel economy for the 2015 Ford F-150, as plans are being made to add hybridization to the mix.

(Read More…)

By on November 7, 2014

2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250

The oft-maligned European fuel-efficiency testing cycle have produced a few manipulators, per green lobby group Transport & Environment, with Mercedes-Benz as the biggest offender.

(Read More…)

By on October 8, 2014

judaspriestturbolovercbsspecialproducts

Once the biggest thing in the auto industry in the 1980s, turbocharging is back and screaming for vengeance, with the United States market expected to see double the boost pressure over the next five years.

(Read More…)

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