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Old 11-06-2018, 06:21 PM
 
506 posts, read 450,039 times
Reputation: 701

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Let me clarify, when I say higher-powered vehicles, I'm not talking about V8 muscle cars like BMW M5 or Mercedes C63, but rather regular commuter vehicles that are accessible to ordinary people. The commuter vehicle market used to include a preponderance of V6 options from Toyota RAV4 V6 to Honda Accord V6, Nissan Altima V6, Ford Escape V6, Mazda6 V6, Hyundai Sonata/Santa Fe V6, even Tuscon V6.

Three things stand out in my mind.

1. Except for the Camry, the V6s have been replaced with I4 turbo engines that deliver increased complexity, decreased durability, turbo lag, increased engine noise, and in some cases decreased real-world performance and fuel economy.

2. The V6 models that permeated the market 5-10 years ago were markedly cheaper than the 4-cylinder models on the market today.

3. With the exception of the Camry, if one wants a V6 engine today, they must step up from a standard marque to a luxury marque. This price differential is much greater than that between a 4 and 6-cylinder version of the same model.
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Old 11-06-2018, 06:30 PM
 
Location: Aurora Denveralis
3,284 posts, read 1,119,114 times
Reputation: 4325
We live in a golden age of cars, and that's with meaningful emission control and at least some pressure to keep fuel economy in a good range. Engines have been improved so much in the last 20 years it's almost unbelievable.

I'd credit CAFE and stringent emission controls with driving this process. Remember that most pre-1973 V8s made something in the range of 0.5HP/cubic inch; the super-hot monster engines could barely make 1/1. Smaller engines with around 1/1 are now the norm, and performance engines are into territory that was reserved for old F1.

So I won't work up much of a sweat that I can't get a 300+ HP Camry.
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Old 11-06-2018, 06:46 PM
 
9,904 posts, read 14,043,895 times
Reputation: 10800
Buy a used Toyota Crown Athlete. Be happy.



https://www.tradecarview.com/used_ca...lete%20series/
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Old 11-06-2018, 08:06 PM
 
975 posts, read 933,193 times
Reputation: 1199
I don't think so. The automotive industry (like any other) is pressure by revenue growth. That means they need to do a combination of selling more product, lowering the input cost of their product, raising the price of their finished product, and/or get creative with financing. Building a larger engine would not lower the cost unless the industry competed to build such a motor based on both the demand and quantity demanded from the consumer. If a household has a vehicle with a large motor, it tends to be that they have other vehicles with smaller engines. In our case, we have a big 6.6L V6 turbodiesel, but we also have a 1.9L TDI, and a BEV with zero displacement.
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Old 11-08-2018, 05:26 AM
 
Location: Vermont
182 posts, read 40,463 times
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I suspect you forget inflation too. Adjusted for inflation, a $25,000 car from 2008 would cost $31,000 today.

Modern cars are fast. Just an example, a 95 Crown Vic came with a 4.6L V8 that produced in the ballpark of 200HP, which was pretty typical. Today, the Fusion has options of a 2L I4 hybrid at ~200HP (40+ mpg), a 2L turbocharged I4 at 240HP, or a 2.7L V6 at ~325HP - and it weighs 400lbs less than the Vic.

A Mustang of that era had a 145HP (3.8L) V6 in the base model, and a 5L 215HP V8 in higher trims. Mustangs have always been cheap horsepower, and adjusted for inflation, a 95 Mustang V6 would be $35,000 today.

When in history could you get a 300HP Camry or 250HP Accord?
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Old 11-08-2018, 10:04 AM
 
Location: San Ramon, Seattle, Anchorage, Reykjavik
1,672 posts, read 713,118 times
Reputation: 2343
Probably not. The tech that makes most cars efficient, unless it is a super cheap car where they install a tiny engine, also often makes them more powerful. Having a huge boat anchor of an engine doesn't equate with higher power. Take a look at a 1980's Chevy Caprice with a V8 and the latest V6 or turbo 4 in the equivalent Chevy. No comparison - power or efficiency wise.

The auto companies would be much less likely to innovate in powertrain without CAFE or similar as most people who buy cars couldn't care less about what engine or transmission is in their car.
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Old 11-08-2018, 11:13 AM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
24,851 posts, read 59,882,145 times
Reputation: 27115
I think you need to combine Cafe, emissions, and redundant safety requirements and your hypothesis is correct. All three add considerable weight and huge extra cost, plus rob some HP. Get rid of them, and, with today's technology, massively powerful cars would be very inexpensive. they would still be moderately safe, economical and clean, but the focus on double and triple redundancy or trying to get another .03 MPG has a significant cost.
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Old 11-08-2018, 11:14 AM
 
2,297 posts, read 1,184,606 times
Reputation: 2356
These are global corporations and 2.0L is the magic number.
Staying below this displacement avoids taxation in many countries.
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Old 11-08-2018, 11:56 AM
 
688 posts, read 1,227,995 times
Reputation: 824
While I think that you've hit the nail that CAFE and other fuel economy desires are decreasing engine size, I think there are some flaws in the rest of your statements.


If I read your post, even though you ask 'higher powered vehicles' the rest of your discussion is really about a V-6 versus a turbo 4 and not really power. You lament the loss or lack of available V6s in certain cars, but make no commentary about the capability of the replacements.



For the things you specifically, my opinion(probably not even worth 2 cents):


-increased complexity: this is true, they are more complex. But turbos are common place now, and the complexity isn't a big deal and doesn't impact anyone on a day to day basis.


-decreased durability: there is no evidence of this. Logically, it makes sense with some extra parts, and heat, and less displacement making the same power, but we haven't seen significant reliability problems with modern turbos (unlike those in the 1980s)


-turbo lag: this can be a concern, depending upon the engine and transmission combination. It's becoming less of a concern as we move to 8,9,10 speed and CVT transmissions, and your average consumer won't even notice, but it can definitely be felt in some cases


-increased engine noise: Yup, I personally don't like the sound of most of the little 4 bangers. I know some manufacturer are adding in noise cancellation and such to combat, but we'll see.



- some cases decreased real-world performance and fuel economy: That's the rub. The goal is not decrease in performance, and increase in fuel economy. This is obviously a case by case basis, but in general it seems the manufacturers are hitting the marks pretty well.


The new Accord is a great example. They've taken the 6, reduced it to a 4t and achieved the exact same 0-60 and 1/4 miles times, and improved EPA and real world fuel economy. This is what they are trying to do and Honda succeeded. The fact that it is not a V6 is just semantics, and would be the only 'problem" in the OP.


On the other hand, these little Turbo 4s are almost always lighter, which takes weight off of the heaviest part of the car, significantly improving handling and increasing the "fun to drive" factor. Being smaller, they also allow some improved packaging and design as well.


I say all this with a garage full of V8 and V6 turbo horsepower, so I'm not out there dying to buy all these 4t motors. I'm just countering that the smaller displacement turbo motors aren't necessarily reducing power, are not necessarily a bad thing, and are definitely the wave of the future.
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Old 11-08-2018, 12:02 PM
 
Location: Northwest Indiana
805 posts, read 2,426,796 times
Reputation: 982
No question, CAFE and other government regulations have made cars far more expensive.

Probably would be few or no hybrids, electric, or turbos either. None of those things are market driven, but regulated into existence. It's also the reason most affordable diesel cars have vanished too.
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