Posts from ‘Engines’
There is a lot to be said for good automotive branding, especially good engine branding. One of the better recent efforts in this regard is Chrysler’s resurrection of the Hemi name, as applied to a new family of V8 engines that debuted for 2003.
It’s not just about ROI any more.
Back in the 1970s, diesels became attractive for passenger vehicles due to their superior fuel economy, and in some cases, the lower price of diesel fuel. As diesels often cost significantly more than a gas engine – and also suffered from noisy operation and meager power output – it was a diesel’s fuel-cost savings over time that accounted for their appealing Return On Investment.
But lower per-mile fuel costs are no longer a diesel’s only attraction.
With automakers scrambling to improve their corporate average fuel-economy (CAFE) numbers in advance of stringent federal targets—the loftiest of which were originally scheduled to kick in for 2025—it may seem counterintuitive that the redesigned-for-2019 Chevrolet Silverado and Ram 1500 are actually growing in size, but they are.
The 2018 New York Auto Show is almost a week away, but GM’s Cadillac division has already released info on one of the vehicles that will be making its global debut there. The 2019 Cadillac CT6 V-Sport is a high-performance version of Cadillac’s flagship large sedan; it is powered by an all-new twin-turbocharged 4.2-liter V8 and comes exclusively with all-wheel drive.
I’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.
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.
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.
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.