Auto Manifesto

March 8, 2010

The Next Big Thing Is About 1.4 Liters

Future engines are getting downsized for cost and environmental reasons. But due to increasing efficiency, there shouldn’t be much if any reduction in performance. Why do with 5 what you can do with 3? Classic engineering progress.

According to this month’s AEI (Automotive Engineering International), Nissan, Chrysler, VW, GM and a number of other automakers will be releasing engines in the 1.4 liter range. These will supplant current engines in the 2.4 liter range, and will feature a variety of efficiency enhancing features such as Direct Injection and turbocharging.

Coupled with more efficient CVT or dual clutch transmissions, or with just more speeds these powertrains will find their way into vehicles expected to return over 40 mpg, in an effort to raise each manufacturer’s fleet average fuel economy above the nominal 2016 CAFE target of 35.5 mpg.

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