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I was wondering if you guys could give me some more information on this than I have received of late...
I was wondering about American cars and fuel efficiency. I've had it suggested that in order to meet American emissions regulations they slap a huge engine on and depower it hugely rather than build a small, efficient engine. First off some vague facts and figures:
A friend's Delorean that he recently bought a Delorean with a 2.8 litre engine, which pulls 111 bhp. My dad's Peugeot 406 (2.2 litre) has 135. My mum's 206, with a 2 litre engine or thereabouts, has 110 bhp. Given that I've never heard of any American car of a smaller size than 2.5, are they purposefully underpowered?
And also, what sort of fuel consumption? Part of what the engines apparently do is spew fuel out into the cylinders without fully vaporising, contributing to a low mpg rating. I don't know what the average is the US, but going on the 406 above, I've never seen the display dip below 49 mpg, and it has reached 117, or similar numbers. What do American cars put out?
Answer A: Depends. Most American cars make plenty of power. And usually, the manufactuer is good about matching the power available to the need of the vehicle. Sports cars and large vehicles get higher power engines than econoboxes. All engines could make more power, for sure. But it would more than likely be at the expense of MPG. Also, don't confuse power efficiency for MPG. Your dad's Peugeot and a Chevy Suburban (with a 5.3L) make about 61 horsepower per liter. They're both very efficient, but the Suburban has horrible gas mileage because it's so heavy.
Answer B: I checked out Ford and Chevy and found plenty of vehicles making more than 30 mpg. Hwy. Keep in mind Ford owns Volvo, Mazda, and Mercury. GM owns Chevy. I didn't check other GM brands, like Pontiac and Saab. All I saw had 2.0's-2.3's. Check their websites to confirm.
P.S.- Fuel systems are a lot more refined than you think. They're also very sensitive. Fuel atomization is very high in modern engines.