Like Steve Austin’s doctors, Mercedes-Benz engineers realized they had the technology to make the brand’s four-cylinder engines better than they were before. Better, stronger…smaller.
As the automaker prepares to expand its lineup of compact, front-wheel-drive offerings to eight models, new powerplants are the order of the day. Designed to propel vehicles using the next-generation MFA2 platform, the new engine family comes in a variety of flavors, one of which will likely appear stateside.
Contrary to the popular mantra, there is a replacement for displacement. The problem is tiny engines that harness technology to boost power output aren’t the greenest things on the road. In fact, the emissions created by small two, three and four-cylinder engines are often out of all proportion to the mills’ Lilliputian displacement.
Volkswagen, realizing it’s staring down the barrel of regulatory non-compliance, has vowed to stop searching for the latest gas- and diesel-powered micro-wonder. Small is out. Normal-sized is in.
If you think engine displacements have become a little too European over here, you’d hate to see the motorcycle-worthy powerplants motivating econoboxes on the other side of the pond.
Paired with the magic of modern technology, inline threes and parallel twins can now make enough grunt to move respectably sized vehicles. However, those days could soon be over, all thanks to ambitious regulators and the downsized engines’ tendency to spew man-sized amounts of pollution.
And if you think this isn’t America’s problem, think again.
In the 1960s, automakers wanted to put a tiger in your tank, but now Ford Motor Company wants a howler monkey under your dash.
The automaker was concerned that drivers used to “shifting by ear” aren’t getting the gas mileage their efficient, small-displacement engines were designed for, so it patented an acoustic device that mimics a bigger powerplant, Autoblo g reports.
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