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Old 03-26-2006, 07:28 AM   #21
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I agree

I agree, there has to be some forces at work in multiple levels of government to pressure the continued sale of fuel in quantity. The lobbying forces of all who benefit are openly very strong, and continue to be.

I read an article in a Car and Driver issue from a few months back that Mercedes did some testing on it's new E-series with the Diesel engine. They ended up breaking some world records: in Texas on a test track, they ran the Diesel for 100,000 continuous miles stopping only to pit (change oil, tires, etc.) and 3 teams of 6 drivers were on-hand to drive 2 hours and 10 minutes for each driver. After the test was completed, the average speed was about 148 mph, and the average mpg was 17! Now the E is pretty luxurious, and gets an EPA rating of 27/37 when not driving flat-out. The diesel's design is a quiet, common rail, direct injection, non-smokey design and clearly yields power, luxurious torque, and some degree of reliability. This is not a prototype, it's a model you can buy here for a lot of dough.

But alas, America has been tainted by Diesel. Only small niche groups are convinced to buy them. Most people on this site would love to get their hands on the Euro Accord Diesel sold in Europe only -- but they love the D over there. Even though it's more expensive, it yields more bang for the buck. People here see it as more expensive per gallon, messy, stinky, and not available like gas.

My failed Acura CSX experiment is a prime example of compact luxury in the US. The vehicle is basically a new Civic with Acura luxury inside and out. Is it sold in the US -- nope. Compact luxury with LEV-2 compliance. Trying to import one would pose some obstacles that proved to too costly, and dealers here probably wouldn't honor the warranty (if it was even needed). Insuring it would be tricky, even though it meets or exceeds all US Government Regs from the EPA to the DOT.

Was it Honda's independent decision not to sell it here, such as market research? Maybe they want to sell more TSX's, who knows. Maybe it's our "American Market" perception that small and luxury doesn't go together. We must have been brainwashed by the domestic auto makers and our own government over time. Except for us here who have figured it out. America's first attempt at the small luxury car: the mid-80's Cadillac Cimmaron. "Hey let's take the Cavalier, and stick some luxo parts on it. Nobody will notice that it's really a Chevy. We'll make millions!". FLOP. Have they tried since? Not that I can recall. A large paradigm shift has to happen from the public, but that doesn't happen overnight.

RH77
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Old 03-02-2010, 01:23 PM   #22
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Fiat is finally going to build two-cylinder cars, and as predicted, the fuel mieage is going to be outstanding, and for a fraction of the price of hybrids.

http://www.fiatgroupautomobilespress...ticle&id=10794

Maybe they read this thread........
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Old 03-02-2010, 03:40 PM   #23
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i def wouldn't buy one right away(upon it's release). hopefully they could produce them w/ better dependability than other cars in their history.

maybe their rep has a bad rap. any euro or other owners of them care to comment?
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Old 03-02-2010, 06:37 PM   #24
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I remember a friend who's family owned Fiats back in the early '70s. One was a sedan, the other was an 850 Spyder. Both were '72 models, IIRC. In '73, either myself or another friend had to go out and drive him places because his car kept breaking. Along about '74 or so, I remember the sedan having a front seat broken off the seat track. I think there were other problems as well.

That 850 Spyder got that guy plenty of dates, however...
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Old 03-04-2010, 08:07 AM   #25
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Two? No. Will you take three?

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Originally Posted by Sludgy View Post
What about my original proposition: Manufacturers should make cars with two cylinder engines with the newer performance goodies:

fuel injection (perhaps direct),
4 valves per cylinder,
variable valve timing,
undersquare cylinders and pistons,
ebullient cooling
1.0 - 1.5 liter displacement.

General Motors, are you listening?
Can't say if GM hears you but perhaps Ford has:

Ford will adapt its Ecoboost concept to a three-cylinder 1.2-liter engine available in the US Fiesta from its mid-cycle facelift around three years from now. The engine will produce about 135 horsepower and 135 lb-ft of torque from about 1500 rpm.

"Ecoboost works by combining three critical technologies: dual variable valve timing for the twin-cam head, direct gas-injection and a turbo. The direct injection means a higher compression ratio of 10 to 1 can be used for much greater efficiency than regular turbo engines. There is no possibility of knock because the fuel is injected late in the cycle, and less NOx is created because the evaporating fuel cools the piston."

"The overall result is an engine with an impressive power and torque curve, good throttle response and great efficiency because the downsizing means less friction and mass, and more efficient light-throttle running."

"Using small engines with fewer cylinders also improves handling by cutting front-axle weight. This is especially important in small cars such as the Fiesta."

"The three-cylinder Ecoboost will reportedly need dual balance shafts to reduce vibration, but otherwise will share most components with the four-cylinder."

Read more: http://www.motortrend.com/features/a...#ixzz0hDwOl9Io
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Old 03-05-2010, 03:14 AM   #26
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why would a 3 cylinder need balance shafts the crank throws are positioned at 120 degree intervals and inherently balanced.
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Old 03-05-2010, 03:54 PM   #27
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According to the Society of Automotive Engineers:

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Originally Posted by philip1 View Post
why would a 3 cylinder need balance shafts the crank throws are positioned at 120 degree intervals and inherently balanced.
"For the three-cylinder engine whose crankshaft has a phase of 120 degrees, the total sum of unbalanced inertia forces occurring in each cylinder will be counterbalanced among the three cylinders. However, parts of inertia forces generated at the No.1 and No.3 cylinders will cause a primary moment about the No.2 cylinder. In order to eliminate this out-of-balance moment, a single balance shaft has been attached to the cylinder block so that engine durability and ride comfort may be further improved. Accordingly, the forced vibration analysis of the three-cylinder engine must be implemented to meet the required targets at an early design stage. In this paper, a method to reduce noise and vibration in the 800 cc, three-cylinder LPG engine is suggested using the multibody dynamics simulation. The static and dynamic balances of the three- cylinder engine are investigated analytically. A multibody dynamic model of the three-cylinder engine is developed where the inertia properties of the connecting rod, crankshaft, and balance shaft are extracted from their FE- models. The combustion pressures within the No.1 cylinder in three operating conditions (1500 rpm-full load, 4000 rpm-full load, and 7000 rpm-no load) are measured from the actual tests to excite the engine. The vibration velocities at the three engine mounts with and without the balance shaft are evaluated through the real-time vibration analysis. Obviously, it is shown that the vibrations of the three-cylinder engine with the balance shaft are reduced to an acceptable level."
http://www.sae.org/technical/papers/2000-01-0601
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Old 03-05-2010, 05:33 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philip1 View Post
why would a 3 cylinder need balance shafts the crank throws are positioned at 120 degree intervals and inherently balanced.
If you've ever sat at a stoplight in a Geo Metro with an automatic, you'd understand and appreciate anything that would lessen the vibration. On the other hand, it's a nice massage. I doubt this would be an issue in a manual shift Metro...

Also, while the crankshaft throws are every 120 degrees, the engine fires every 240 degrees.
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Old 03-10-2010, 08:06 AM   #29
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The Fiat engine looks like it's an in-line twin. Large twins need a balance shaft to be reasonably smooth. A better solution to the vibration problem would be a boxer twin. But the inline would be a lot more compact........
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Old 03-10-2010, 03:51 PM   #30
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Or perhaps they could source a V (or more accurately an L) from Ducati.
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