Posts from ‘Technology’
by Don Sikora
Note: The following story was excerpted from the December 2017 issue of Collectible Automobile magazine.
.In the late Eighties, Japanese automakers introduced four-wheel steering to the U.S. market. The first car Americans could buy with such a system was the 1988 Honda Prelude Si 4WS. Mindful of the old adage that nobody remembers who was second, let us suggest the 1988 Mazda 626 Turbo 4WS as cheap wheels.
Though the overall numbers are still relatively small, consumers around the globe are buying more electric vehicles than ever before. That said, those motorists embracing electrification—at least in the U.S.–seem to still be of an early adopter mentality. Most mainstream shoppers remain skeptical that the switch to pure-electric driving will be worth the perceived hassles.
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.
Ford Motor Company today unveiled its plans to replace more than 75 percent of its model lineup by 2020, and is aiming to have the “freshest” product roster in the North American market by that time. The manufacturer will focus heavily on trucks, SUVs, and hybrid vehicles in the next 24 months. More pure-electric vehicles are slated to follow starting in 2020, with six battery electric vehicles (BEVs) planned for introduction by 2022.
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.