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4-Cylinder Auto Engines

Summary:
How good do we have it? If the measure of that is the power and performance delivered by the average new car, the answer has to be: Pretty damned good. Four cylinder-powered family-haulers like the 2018 Mazda CX-9 I just reviewed haul more ass than the V8-powered muscle cars of my youth. Than the V8-powered muscle car, I have in my garage. At least, when it was new. But it’s a story with two sides. The first side is the almost miraculous power and performance – and drivability, reliability, durability and mileage – achieved by the designers of today’s Mighty Mouse engines. Four-cylinder engines routinely produce more horsepower – and torque – than V8s twice their size used to. Which has rendered V8s functionally unnecessary – even in

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How good do we have it?

If the measure of that is the power and performance delivered by the average new car, the answer has to be: Pretty damned good.

Four cylinder-powered family-haulers like the 2018 Mazda CX-9 I just reviewed haul more ass than the V8-powered muscle cars of my youth. Than the V8-powered muscle car, I have in my garage. At least, when it was new.

But it’s a story with two sides.

The first side is the almost miraculous power and performance – and drivability, reliability, durability and mileage – achieved by the designers of today’s Mighty Mouse engines. Four-cylinder engines routinely produce more horsepower – and torque – than V8s twice their size used to. Which has rendered V8s functionally unnecessary – even in large, heavy family-hauling vehicles like the CX-9.

V6s, for that matter.

The Mazda no longer offers one – because it doesn’t need one. The 2.5 liter four under the hood of this seven-passenger, 4,000-plus pound family bus makes 250 hp and 310 ft.-lbs. of torque. This is sufficient not only to haul the CX-9 and its passengers but to haul ass.

It gets to 60 in just over 7 seconds.

My muscle car – when it was new – came with a 7.4 liter (455 cubic inch) V8 engine, the biggest engine ever put into any muscle car. It was the most powerful engine you could buy that year (1976) and so-equipped, the Pontiac Trans-Am was the quickest muscle car you could buy that year. Quicker than the Corvette, even.

It was about as quick – with a close-ratio four-speed manual transmission – as the 2018 Mazda CX-9.

Eric Peters
Eric Peters is a freelance car/bike/political columnist. He escaped the corporate-owned media Big Boys years ago. Without the censorship of the corporate tools

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