How big do you think your car engine needs to be?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by neiltc13, Aug 4, 2011.

  1. neiltc13 macrumors 68040

    neiltc13

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    #1
    I have been looking at the Fiat 500 TwinAir website and reading about its 2 cylinder turbocharged engine.

    [​IMG]

    Apparently it pumps out 85bhp and manages 68mpg (or 56mpg if you count like an American). This rivals some diesels and isn't far off hybrid performance either. I'm now not sure if it's worth paying extra money for the black stuff or for those premium batteries that are relatively unproven.

    This got me to thinking, how many cylinders do we actually need in our cars and what overall capacity do we need these days?

    Personally I drive a car with a 3 cylinder, 698cc engine. It too is turbocharged and I find that it is more than capable of handling every type of driving that I want to do. This includes the fabled "on ramp" where I believe some people think that only 8 cylinders will do.

    What is the smallest engine that you would consider having in your next car?
     
  2. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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  3. neiltc13 thread starter macrumors 68040

    neiltc13

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    #3
    I think we are a long way from this being an affordable, reliable and dependable technology. I've seen some electric car charging posts in my city, but there are never any cars connected to them. Probably because the best one on sale here, the Nissan Leaf, costs £30,990 ($50,400).
     
  4. NicoleRichie macrumors 6502

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    12 would be nice... That is if you want a Ferrari.
     
  5. StvenH90 macrumors regular

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    #5
    You can build an electric car pretty cheap, $10,000ish last I checked.

    I currently drive a 72 Triumph Spitfire, 1296cc... It's find around town, but on the high way it's nearly toped out. I probably would not complain if it had an overdrive gear.
     
  6. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #6
    Have a lower-ratio differential gear set machined for it.

    Bottom end might suffer though.
     
  7. StvenH90 macrumors regular

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    #7
    I am having a new transmission installed into it. I test drove one with a lower-ratio differential and was not impressed. It's my daily driver, so I rather just do it right.
     
  8. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #8
    I think a more appropriate question would be one of power-to-weight ratios. Engine size has to be factored against specific output and vehicle weight.

    To answer your question directly though, the answer is "it depends" but a pretty small engine (under 1 liter) is generally more than sufficient to push a couple people around town. Cross-country driving is another matter, especially when done in all seasons, on bad roads or in mountains. Just as a catch-all I would say that with modern engineering, 2 liters of displacement is probably as much as most people will ever really need, and most could get by with a lot less.
     
  9. macquariumguy macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    I think 100 HP per 1000 pounds is a nice balance in a car.
     
  10. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #10
    Mine is somewhat less. ;)

    Small 2.7 litre V6, producing 182 hp.

    Quiet, smooth, only turns 2,200 rpm at 100 kmh.

    The only thing I would change is a lock-out switch for 1st gear, which is very low, and eats gas.

    The function is there, but it requires manual input, by moving the shifter over from auto to select-shift, and going up one gear from first, before accelerating from a stop.
     
  11. KnightWRX macrumors Pentium

    KnightWRX

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    #11
    How big the engine needs to be ? Boy : There's no replacement for displacement.
     
  12. Nukemkb macrumors 6502a

    Nukemkb

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    #12
    I'd be happy with just enuff horses to allow an average FE of 80 mpg minimum. And an all electric IS in my future.:)
     
  13. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #13
    All I need is an engine that can power me up hills while pulling a trailer loaded with an ATV+stuff. I've found that my Ranger's little 4 cylinder base model engine can do it. Despite hauling twice its rated haul load. Having a manual probably helps somewhat as well.
     
  14. Shrink macrumors G3

    Shrink

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    #14
    3.2 Liter, 343HP, 0-60mph in 5.0, electronically limited top end 155 mph.:cool:

    And you get to know the State Police on a first name basis. :(
     
  15. LumbermanSVO macrumors 65816

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    #15
    I think the 13L Detroit in my work truck is too small :D

    My daily driver has a gutless 300 CI single barrel carb straight six that gets 15MPG but I don't complain because it was only $300.

    My other two cars have 140 CI(2300CC) turbo 4s. They get 30+ MPG once removing all the emissions(old enough to be emissions exempt, yet still make better than stock emissions numbers) and have been modified to make 250hp+ for the "slow" one and 450hp+ for the "fast" one.
     
  16. quagmire macrumors 603

    quagmire

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    #16
    A 13.6 liter V16 is what every car should have. Imagine having to control 1000 HP going to the front wheels. :p

    Now seriously with my next car, it will most likely be a 4 cylinder. Unless it is the Volt, I would prefer it to be turbocharged. The 2012 Buick Regal GS fits the bill. :cool:
     
  17. mgartner0622 macrumors 65816

    mgartner0622

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    #17
    For me I think pretty much any small family or single person could be perfectly happy with that Fiat.
    Although if they plan on towing a caravan or utility trailer then obviously a larger displacement engine with four or more cylinders is needed, especially in a area that requires hill climbs.
    Most of today's four cylinders are plenty capable of being able to pull something, although I recently drove a 4 Cylinder GMC Terrain: [​IMG]

    Let's just say I'd be able to collect my retirement pension by the time it hit 60MPH if it was towing anything. Solo it seemed to be around 17 seconds or so. If anyone is planning on purchasing one, unless you live somewhere at sea level with no hills, spurge on the 6 cylinder.

    And I would agree. Seeing a truly affordable, economical, reliable, and convenient fully electric vehicle is still quite a bit far off.
     
  18. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #18
    Depends on the size and weight of your car..........and your ass. ;)

    Driving solo in a small car, the VW Polo TSI probably has the engine size and power that I need, and want. ;) It's around 1.4L.
     
  19. KnightWRX macrumors Pentium

    KnightWRX

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    #19
    Pfff. Kids these days. You had to ruin it all by shoving that much power on the front wheels.

    It's the rear wheels that you want to push that kind of power to. ;) A FWD car is just an abomination to begin with. At the very least, you could have said a rear-biased AWD drive system.
     
  20. satty macrumors 6502

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    #20
    The standard Polo engine is 1.4, the TSI is 1.2.

    I love it. Feels powerful with the 7 gear DSG and the consumption is amazingly low. I fill up once a month for around 700 km.
     
  21. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

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    I think it depends if you want a u.s or a euro/jap made car.

    Every time i see these big American cars the need stupidly sized engines to drag out a couple of hundred horses. Let the japs do it and they can pull 5-600 out of a two litre.

    But to answer the op's question personally a smart (80ish mpg)for me. Family car a 1.4 diesel golf (65mpg)
     
  22. Mord macrumors G4

    Mord

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    #22
    Size I couldn't care less about. Efficiency is where it's at.

    We have a VW bluemotion polo, it does 85mpg on the highway.
     
  23. KnightWRX macrumors Pentium

    KnightWRX

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    #23
    Size is the most efficient way to get power out of an engine. Bigger = more power potential. Remember, an engine is just a big air pump really. The bigger the size, the more air you can ram in there, thus enabling you to burn more fuel and get more power.

    What's that you say ? compressing the air can do the same thing ? Guess what sherlock, you can compress the air in a bigger engine too, and you'll cram even more in!

    Again kids : There's no replacement for displacement. The bigger it is, the more fuel it can burn, the more power it makes.

    Or were you discussing some other type of meaningless efficiency ? :D ;)
     
  24. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #24
    Yeah, that's the one. I would opt for the TSI, or maybe even a TDI!

    A Golf would be good too, but the Polo seems like the more logical choice for someone who lives in the middle of the city.
     
  25. rb76 macrumors newbie

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    #25
    Fuel efficiency, power and comfort

    Being 6'5" tall and 280lb, I like a bigger car with a nice 'comfort factor'! I also like a bit of power under the bonnet, actually I don't feel safe driving anything that is not eagerly responsive to my foot on the throttle!

    While I agree very much with the 'There's no replacement for displacement' view, here in the UK we have to be more realistic with what we can afford to run due to high fuel costs (or be rich enough to not have to worry about paying £6.27 per gallon, UK gallon being approx 4.54 litres, and that gallon only taking us 10 to 15 miles!)

    I'd say here in the UK (and most of Europe!) cost of fuel for most people is a huge issue, so the question is really one of striking a balance between what you need, what you want, and what you can afford to fuel.

    I now drive an '02 Chrysler PT Cruiser 2.2CRD Touring. It gives me the fuel economy I can afford, the comfort I want, the towing and load capacity I need, plus it don't hang around when I gun the throttle :D
     

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