Monday, January 28, 2008

Yay Smaller Engines

I just read an article on that General Motors will be bringing over a 1.4-liter turbo engine for the Saturn Astra. Good for GM.

I'm glad to see that GM is going to bring in a tiny powerplant. It's still a misconception that small engines can't keep up in traffic in the U.S. They may not be rocket ships, but they get along just fine. And, with forced induction (e.g. turbocharging/supercharging), these powerplants can be downright fun to drive and still get good mileage.

It wasn't too long ago that there were some pretty tiny engines on the U.S. market; 1.0-liter (Suzuki Swift/Geo Metro), 1.2-liter (Subaru Justy), and 1.3 liter (Suzuki Swift, Samurai, Geo Metro) to name a few. These cars from the 1980s got pretty good good mileages. Heck, the 1985 Chevy Sprint (made by Suzuki) got 39 city, 47 highway 23 years ago! (source: Granted, these cars weighed less due to fewer safety features and less sound insulation. Yes, they were slow, but I thought they were still fun to drive. Then again, "fun" means different things to different people. I happened to find my 1979 Civic 1200 fun, too – and it even had an automatic transmission. (I'll get into that in another post.)

Regardless, I'm glad to see GM bringing over some of its smaller engines, because using less fuel is a good thing. I hope to see some of the other manufacturers do the same.

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