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Home > Feature Articles > Logistics and Vehicle Fleet Management > Autos & Small Consumer Vehicles

Smaller Car or Smaller 4-Cylinder Engine to Save Fuel

Four cylinders provide more value and more efficiency than older six cylinder vehicles.

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Trend: Four-Cylinder Solutions for Fuel Savings

Small car sales are making colossal gains over larger cars now that gasoline prices are escalating. But that's not the only solution found to reduce fuel prices.

Four Cylinder Engine Replacements

Many buyers are keeping "their mid-size or larger vehicles and choosing a smaller engine instead -- saving money on the sticker price and at the pump without downsizing their ride," reports the LA Times.

"Many people can't easily reduce the size of their car -- people with families, people who have to drive the soccer team to practice," noted Eric Noble, president of The Car Lab, an automotive consulting firm in Orange, CA.

Mid-Size Cars With 4-Cylinder Engines vs. 6-Cylinders

As gasoline prices escalate, more than 3/4ths of the mid-size cars Sold in the US were sold with 4-cylinder engines rather than 6-cylinders. That's a reversal for American car sales.

One reasons for this shift is that today's 4-cylinder's power gives better performance than yesterday's 6-cylinder engines. The increased use of turbochargers boost engine poewr while cutting fuel consumption. And research by car companies has shifted to ways to improve small engines. That helps, too.

Popularity of smaller, more fuel-efficient engines depends on the direction of oil prices, if history repeats itself. But with the tipping point of oil production getting closer (if not already here,) as oil gurus such as T. Boone Pickens reminds us, the price of gasoline will probably never go back to $2 a gallon! And it might continue rising as China, India and other large developing nations grow their interest in private transportation.

The world has changed...and America's love affair with cars is maturing.

May 30, 2008

Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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