Posts from ‘Engines’


Cadillac HT4100I’ve never heard it suggested that the Cadillac HT4100 V8 engine was flawed because it was rushed into production, but there is evidence to indicate that that was indeed the case.

If you don’t remember the HT4100, you’re not alone. As a result of the powerplant’s flaws (more on those in a moment) Cadillac marketing folks dropped the HT moniker after a few years, leaving subsequent updated versions of the engine unbranded.


Pickup Truck Diesels

In the wake of the Volkswagen emissions scandal known colloquially as Dieselgate, German automakers have almost completely discontinued offering their diesel-engine models in the United States–at least for the time being. Yet, somehow, sales of sales of diesel vehicles in the U.S. are actually up slightly. How is that possible?

Ford Triton V10

Ford’s Modular V10 engine has been in production since 1997.

Car and truck engines are designed in a relatively small number of cylinder configurations. Inline 4-cylinder and V6 engines are easily the most common, with V8 mills coming in third in popularity.

2018 Dodge Demon

2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon

Consumer Guide Automotive It’s all about the launch.

That was the lesson we learned when Dodge invited a group of journalists up to US 131 Motorsports Park in Martin, Michigan, to pilot its new Challenger SRT Demon down a gen-u-ine drag strip – complete with burn-out box, gooey starting-line surface, staging lights, and a full quarter-mile run. The real deal. Personally, it was the first time I’d ever driven a car on a drag strip … at least, one that didn’t have center stripes and a grossly ignored speed-limit sign (don’t tell the feds). We also learned that getting the launch right is not nearly as easy as one might think.

1978 Ford Granada (left) and 2017 Ford Fusion, Power-to-Weight Ratio

1978 Ford Granada (left) and 2017 Ford Fusion

It will come as no surprise to you that cars have gotten heavier as of late. There’s good reason for that. Things like side-impact protection, rollover protection, crush zones, and designed-in protections against partial-offset collisions (and other specific impacts studied by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) all add considerable bulk to a given vehicle. Power-to-weight ratio.

Hemi 2.6 Badge, Mitsubishi 2.6-liter Hemi

Fender badge of a 1981 Dodge Aries

By the end of the Seventies, it seemed as if the marketing types at Chrysler had given up worrying about protecting legacy brands. In 1978, for example, the company rolled out a small, Mitsubishi-built 4-cylinder Dodge coupe, which the company rather thoughtlessly dubbed Challenger.

GM LLR Vortec 3700, GM 5-Cylinder Engine

The LLR Vortec 3700 is one version of the only 5-cylinder engine General Motors has ever made available in the U.S.

Americans tend to enjoy their engine cylinder counts in even numbers. Engines of 4-, 6-, and 8 cylinders have powered an overwhelmingly large majority of the vehicles ever sold in the U.S, and for good reason.

1977 Chrysler 318, The Small V8s of 1977

The Chrysler corporate 318-cubic-inch engine was the smallest V8 available in the 1977 Plymouth Fury.

Car-guy discussions regarding automotive downsizing usually center on styling. I have done my share of kvetching about how a few model lines that were “resized” in the late Seventies and early Eighties came off looking like caricatures of the cars they replaced.

Chrysler 360-inch V8

Chrysler 360-cubic-inch V8

Big is a relative term. In regards to American passenger-car engines, “big” in the early Seventies meant 460 cubic inches from Ford; 440 cubic inches from Chrysler; and 454, 455, and even 500 cubic inches from General Motors.

Ford EcoBoost, What is Direct Injection

As you might expect, direct injection involves the introduction of fuel directly into the combustion chamber.

Direct injection is a form of fuel injection that is gaining popularity as auto manufacturers work to improve fuel economy. Direct injection’s primary benefit is improved engine efficiency. A common secondary benefit of direct injection is the ability to use regular-grade gasoline in engines that might otherwise require more-expensive premium fuel.

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