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Old 05-21-2008, 01:40 AM   #16
Grape Ape
Drives: 96 Bronco w/ a 5 speed
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: PNW
Posts: 296
Originally Posted by camaro5 View Post
The issue with all this talk of four-cylinder turbos and hybrids for a muscle car (along with attempts to redefine the class and reset expectations) is that everyone conveniently overlooks just how good the existing V8 is. In the 2008 Corvette Coupe, the big bad 6.2L LS3 is rated at 16 city/26 hwy. Hardly a guzzler in the traditional sense, the V8's rating isn't that far off from the direct-injected Ecotec turbo. Furthermore, the V8's fuel economy comes with 430 horsepower and 424 lb-ft of torque. Those are numbers befitting a muscle car like a Camaro. Who's to say a direct-injected LS-family V8 with efficiency tech like hybridization and/or cylinder deactivation wouldn't be just as effective at meeting the federal fuel economy requirements that begin taking effect a few years from now? You could potentially satisfy the government-created CAFE gods without giving the customers who want actual, traditional muscle the finger in the process. Yes, the consensus seems to be that smaller engines will be a necessity across the board in the new CAFE era, but let's not summarily ignore the bigger ones just because they're big.
What the author seems to be missing is that to get real mileage gains out of a hybrid (especially on the freeway) you need to shrink the engine and make it up with the electrics. So a 400 hp V8 might get replaced by a 320-340 hp V6 (or small V8) and 80-60 hp of batteries and electric motors.
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