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Carmakers forced back to bigger engines in new emissions era

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Cars are already way way cleaner than they were in the 70s and 80s, and actually air pollution wasn't so bad then.

I think the pendulum has swung too far the other way.

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In Japan,it is the small trucks that seem to be revved to excess and to be driven over the speed limit. On Saturday morning I was almost rear ended on two occasions by small trucks being recklessly driven

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I just wish they would raise k-kei engine size just a little bit, 10% to something like 725 or 750. It has not changed since 1990 and there has not even been a whisper about any such move in the car news world. It probably wont happen, I assume car makers will start making e-assisted, hybrid, and full electric k-cars within a decade.

e-assisted: gas engine for two wheels and additional electric motors for the other two, mainly only found in ultra high end sports cars at the moment to add extra HP when the normal engine is already at pretty much max evolution.

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As well as lower emissions; bigger engines with more torque are often more economical, as you do you have to change down so often.

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.....so the three-cylinder will be dropped for a larger successor developing more torque at lower regimes to stay cool.

"lower regimes"?

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I tried to convince my Dad that a 4 cylinder was more efficient than a 6 cylinder and he used the old school thinking that a 4 has to work a lot harder than a 6 to make the car accelerate, in the end there should be no difference in fuel efficiency you are just left with a weaker engine working harder. At the end of the day, Toyota seems to have figured it out with hybrids.

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@reckless: Hybrids like prius are useless for European usage,where Towing is almost a necessaity and consistance Torque at highway speeds can be only provided by diesels.

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@Harry_Gatto

Means lower RPM ranges.

@Wanderlust

That's generally not true. You're saying that more often then not, a Hummer (which has more torque) is more economical than a corolla. This is plain asinine.

Bigger engines typically need bigger cars, which are heavier and require more energy to move. Its why compact Japanese cars took over the gas guzzler market during the oil shock in the 70s.

@ Reckless You are right in saying that number of cylinders does not equate to how strong the engine is, but you're also wrong to say 4 cylinder is more efficient. How strong the engine is is largely determined by displacement, but a 6 cylinder is generally more efficient than a 4 cylinder even if you consider the added mechanical loss.

I think the 3 cylinder trend was not a pursuit of efficiency, but a solution to the physical constraints of pursing smallerlighter engines and balancing durability with that aim. Fitting 6 cylinders in a small engine would likely compromise the structural integrity of the combustion engine.

This whole issue was set off by California's very strict+rigid+devoid of logic regulations. The question resonating throughout the entire industry was "how did VW do it?", well as we now know, they didn't - they opted to cheat.

At the same time, cars like the Mazda sky activ-D were rejected as a result of being too clean. (The car doesn't have a emissions sensor required by regulation because it produces so little emissions. Even if the sensor was added , it wouldn't produce readings in the required/permitted range. And so it was rejected authorization to go on the Cali market - Instead of Mazda investing time and money in dumbing down the engine, they just gave up trying to sell it there.

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Another reason for smaller engines are tax breaks in those countries which tax vehicles by engine size, like Japan. The bigger the engine, the higher the tax. And also increased fuel mileage requirements lead to decreased engine sizes, even though in real-world conditions they must be pushed very hard to match the performance of their larger cousins.

I used to have a Cadillac El Dorado with an 8.2 liter engine. A light touch on the throttle could set the tires spinning, flooring the throttle would create clouds of tire smoke. But surprisingly enough, in normal driving the car got surprisingly good mileage. Certainly not as good as VW or Toyota 2 door car, but the El Dorado could seat 6 people in comfort, and carry bags for 6 people as well. The car made 400hp and 550 lb-ft of torque at fairly low RPM, which is more than the large diesel trucks on Japanese highways.

Another car I used to have was a Ford RS2000, with a 2.3 turbo 4 cylinder engine. From 0 to 30, the Cadillac was faster, from 30mph and up, the Ford was faster. The Ford got better highway mileage, but city mileage was about the same. One-fourth the engine size certainly did not add up to using one-fourth as much gasoline.

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The European Union set the standards, the European Union set the tests, and so once again European bureaucratic meddling made a situation worse. As the article states, real World pollution in Cities like London and Paris have dramatically increased. Health issues as a result have increased. The EU should be sued out of existence for its incompetence.

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And how are car manufacturers going to get their money back for these developments? Right, more expensive cars. Not only that, if what is said above is true and more and more brands jump on the hybrid bandwagon which is already more expensive to buy, the cars also become much heavier. The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is like 300KG heavier than it's non-hybrid brother. In my country, road taxes are calculated by car weight so that means that you're going to be forced to pay much more road tax AND buy a more expensive car at the same time. Good thing I have a good bicycle...

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The tougher tests may kill diesel engines smaller than 1.5 liters and gasolines below about 1.2, analysts predict. That in turn increases the challenge of meeting CO2 goals, adding urgency to the scramble for electric cars and hybrids.

This shows the folly of giving a tax break for vehicles with 660cc engines (and all the other rules). There are basically two types of kei cars, turbos that get good performance but nothing special (i.e., no better than Fit/Vitz/Swift etc.) fuel economy and non-turbos that get good fuel economy at normal speeds but are very poor to drive. Non-turbo keis also get poor fuel economy on the highway where the engine will be spinning with high rpm.

I'm no fan of it, but I can't see Japan moving away from the 660cc engine size for keis. Customers love the tax break. If larger engines are more efficient, it is inappropriate to tax cars across the board based on things like engine displacement and vehicle weight. I think the most sensible thing would be to switch most tax from car ownership to fuel. Instead of taxing car ownership, tax driving, the creation of pollution, itself.

fwiw, the Prius had its engine increased from 1.5 to 1.8L about eight years ago.

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DTryPleXOct. 17, 2016 - 07:34PM JST cars also become much heavier. The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is like 300KG heavier than it's non-hybrid brother. In my country, road taxes are calculated by car weight so that means that you're going to be forced to pay much more road tax AND buy a more expensive car at the same time

In the UK depending on car age the Road Tax it is either by CC (old cars) or emission levels (modern cars).

Current car are far heavier than their previous versions and weight equals extra power needed to move it up to speed.

Mk2 Golf ‎ 910 to 1,245 kg

Mk5 Golf 1,205 to 1,585 kg

Figures got from a quick Google search

The lightest is 33 % more and the heavier is 27% more.

If they cut down the weight, then the engines would not be working so hard and therefore less emissions.

~

kohakuebisuOct. 17, 2016 - 08:51PM JST

switch most tax from car ownership to fuel

~

From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fuel_tax UK 23 March 2011 the UK duty rate for the road fuels unleaded petrol, diesel, biodiesel and bioethanol is GB£0.5795 per litre (£2.63 per imperial gallon or £2.19 per U.S. gallon)

So about 60 to 65 % is fuel tax before VAT of 20% is added.

and since the £ recent fall against the $, the cost of fuel (and therefore tax paid) is going up.

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I'd much rather have a 3.0L V-6 in my SUV than the present 2.0L 4-banger. Emissions are lower on a less stressed motor.

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Frederic BastiatOCT. 17, 2016 - 10:19PM JST I'd much rather have a 3.0L V-6 in my SUV than the present 2.0L 4-banger. Emissions are lower on a less stressed motor.

Depends on the engine. BMW makes very good 2.0 4 cylinder engine that is on the 3 series sedans and SUV's that puts out 240hp. It will out perform many V-6's. Honda, Toyota, Ford & GM makes excellent 4 cylinder that gets excellent milage without much stress to the engine. Generally, you get much better gas milage with the 4 cylinder engine.

Manufacturers will not maximize profits if they only sell basic cars. Even for the entry level to mid-level small compact cars and SUV, most buyers want automatic transmission, navigation, power windows, better insulation, safety features, bigger tires, and comfort seats and can carry maximum of 400kg of passengers, etc. The result is alot heavier car with more stress on the motor. So if you have less than 1.5 litre car, you can increase the turbo boost, and change the gear ratio, but most likely the engine will have a shorter life. Cheaper alternative is to increase the engine size. Buyers still want reliability and performance, and this is the best way.

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If they cut down the weight, then the engines would not be working so hard and therefore less emissions.

You forget that safety requirements have been greatly increased over the years, and these require reinforcements in numbers, doors, and other parts, all of which add weight. Cars must pass front, rear, side, and off-center impact tests, and to pass these tests, more metal must be added. Cars for the Japanese market are lighter than those made for the American market, as they have fewer reinforcements in the doors and bodywork. You cannot import a Japanese domestic car to America, but you can easily import an American market car to Japan. A Japanese Kei car cannot be sold in America, because it meets almost none of the safety requirements, the only exception being the old Suzuki Jimny (known in America as the "Samurai"), but the Jimny needed twice as large of an engine as the Japanese version to be sold for use on American highways.

The rules and requirements which must be met when making a car can fill several books, and many of these rules and regulations are seemingly incompatible with each other. The state wants cars which are safe, use less fuel, and produce less emissions. But making cars safer reduces fuel economy and raises emissions. The cost of meeting these rules and requirements adds greatly to the price of a car, and when the price gets too high, people buy fewer cars. Manufacturers are in a tough spot, trying to balance regulatory burdens with the demands of their customers.

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Germany had already submitted a bill to ban sales of new carbon based internal combustion engine powered cars by 2030. The world is going to follow suit on this so ti's kind of late to argue about whether it is better to have a big engine or not. Basically all carbon based internal combustion engine powered cars are going the same as the incandescent light bulbs by the later half of this century.

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Yeah, those Japanese diesels they use in the small buses rev like sewing machines and make one hell of a racket. Nothing Japanese beats the rumble of a Cummins L10 or the raw bark of a Gardner LX series engine.

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