Powerful V8 Engines are Back.

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by TriShield, Jan 16, 2004.

  1. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    With fuel efficiency rising, V8 brawn is hot option for cars and trucks

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    Elvin Wood, 72, of Woodslee, Ontario Canada, checks out a Chrysler Hemi engine Wednesday at the 2004 North American International Auto Show. Wood likes the engine used in the Durango and Ram trucks. "I think it's a terrific engine. It's very similar to the one that came out in 1951."

    BY MARK PHELAN
    FREE PRESS COLUMNIST
    January 15, 2004

    We're power mad. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

    Fuel-sipping hybrid gasoline-electric cars may get plenty of hype at the North American International Auto Show, but when they vote with their wallets, more consumers elected a big, powerful V8 engine last year than any time since 1985.

    V8 engines went into 29.1 percent of all passenger vehicles -- everything from the Ford F-150 pickup to the Cadillac DeVille -- built in North America for U.S. sale last year, the highest proportion for any year since 1985, according to data from Ward's Automotive Reports, a Southfield-based industry publication.

    Fueled by inexpensive gasoline, surging truck sales and improving energy efficiency, U.S. buyers' demand for V8s has risen every year since 1994, according to Ward's data.

    Who can blame them? Gasoline prices vary, but don't seem to affect V8 sales, and fuel economy is rising.

    The rip-snorting Hemi is the poster child for the current generation of V8s: powerful, technically sophisticated and alluring enough that demand has surpassed even DaimlerChrysler's most optimistic hopes.

    Horsepower isn't just for show-offs drag racing their Hemi-powered pickups. It's what lets you and little Joey in the child seat accelerate onto I-75 without having an 18-wheeler run you down.

    In Germany, they call this active safety, which sounds much more socially responsible and clinical, but the bottom line is the same the world over: People want the most powerful car or truck they can afford to buy and operate.

    Listen to 24-year-old Christian Seethaler, who is in Michigan on an internship from Germany. He'd buy a V8 if he could.

    "It gives you a different feeling when you drive," he said Wednesday as he admired Ford's engine display at the auto show. "You feel more powerful."


    Ford Motor Co. has built more than 300 million vehicles worldwide in its 101-year history, and better than a third -- more than 100 million -- had V8s under the hood.

    "Since we paved our first road, Americans have wanted to go fast," said Joe Veltri, Dodge truck marketing boss. Think of Veltri as the godfather to the Hemi yokels, the two likable knuckleheads from the TV commercials who begin every conversation by asking, "That thing got a Hemi?"

    The boom in V8s is owing to factors ranging from rising truck sales to fuel-saving new technologies and the advent of new cars like the Hemi-powered Chrysler 300C and Dodge Magnum, said Csaba Csere, editor in chief of Car and Driver magazine.

    "Customers are demanding more power across the board, and the manufacturers are delivering," he said. "It's the golden age of power."

    And V8s may be the only place where the price of power is cheap. It costs just $600 to upgrade from a V6 to a V8 on a Dodge Durango, and another $895 to move all the way up to the Hemi.

    By comparison, the original Hemi was a $720 option on a late-1960s Dodge. The whole car only cost $3,000, so the added cost was like paying $7,500 for a Hemi on a 2004 Durango SUV, Veltri said.

    V8s produce more power -- and use more fuel -- than smaller engines, but this is not an earth-hating phenomenon sparked by tree-hating, gas-guzzling wastrels.

    Upgrading from a V6 to a Hemi reduces the Dodge Durango's fuel economy by about 2 miles a gallon, Veltri said.

    General Motors Corp.'s V8s have improved their fuel efficiency by 75 percent since the early '70s, said Bob Purcell, the company's director of powertrain planning. The engines have also doubled their power since the '80s, he said.

    "In the 1980s, a Chevy Blazer got eight to 10 miles per gallon," he said. "Today, a Tahoe on the highway can get over 20 m.p.g."


    GM and DaimlerChrysler will roll out the next step this year as they both launch V8s including the Chevy TrailBlazer EXT SUV that shuts off one of the cylinder banks -- making them effectively four-cylinder engines when they aren't towing or accelerating. The system -- GM calls it displacement on demand -- will improve fuel economy another 6 percent to 8 percent in GM's SUVs and pickups. Chrysler claims its version will boost fuel economy as much as 20 percent.

    GM and DaimlerChrysler could build as many as 3 million vehicles with these V8s annually. That means displacement on demand could reduce U.S. fuel consumption far more than selling a few thousand chic hyper-efficient gasoline-electric hybrids would.

    You might ask, why not just build more four-cylinder engines in the first place? They cost less, and burn less fuel.

    The answer is that you can't give a four-cylinder away in a big pickup, SUV or large car. That's why V8 demand has grown more than 50 percent since bottoming out at 19.2 percent in 1993.

    "We expect V8 sales to continue to grow," Purcell said. "The customer likes them. You can do a lot of things with that much power under the hood."

    John and Sue Cius came to the auto show from Buffalo, N. Y.

    "If you want something big enough to handle the weight of these cars, you want to get a V8," John Cius said as he checked out a Durango. "Those engines will probably outlast the cars."

    The massive growth in truck sales owes more to Americans' love of V8s than to any smoldering desire to pull stumps or tow horse trailers, said Frank Markus, technical director of Motor Trend magazine.

    "People don't want huge trucks. They want power," he said.

    They're getting it, in bigger numbers every year.

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  2. bioyuki

    bioyuki Ich habe Angst

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    I want a refined German V8 :o
     
  3. CyberEye

    CyberEye Oh god, the voices

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    with fuel efficiency rising, so what, they get 13mpg instead of 12?
     
  4. bioyuki

    bioyuki Ich habe Angst

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    And here come the flames :o
     
  5. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    290HP E39s with the V8 get about 21, 22MPG.

    But a 405HP C5 ZO6 achieves 28-30MPG in the same conditons.

    And it purrs just as smooth as the Bimmer V8. :hs:
     
  6. Laserbeak

    Laserbeak Remember kids! Be like Billy! BEHAVE YOURSELVES!

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    I want an American car that doesn't look so bloody passive. :mad:

    This :hs: and :big grin: look on cars has so got to go.

    But that's just me.
     
  7. WS6Formula350

    WS6Formula350 molestache amririte?

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    I want my V8 back, fucking ruined transmission :rant:
     
  8. Dr. Zoidberg

    Dr. Zoidberg the lovable tramp

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    screw v8...I want a v12 :eek3:

    mmm, they sound so smooth :o
     
  9. LowkeyG

    LowkeyG OT Supporter

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    give me an unrefined, torquey, loud ass, powerful american v-8 :bigthumb:


    cool article btw
     
  10. Redsky

    Redsky Beat the one you love.

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  11. iZero

    iZero Guest

    Too bad domestic companies are adding as just as much or more pork along with their "powerful" V8s (you know, the V8s that make the same horsepower as V6s have for the last five years).
     
  12. iZero

    iZero Guest

    If you really want low end torque, you'll want an electric motor.
     
  13. Demon Of Dreams

    Demon Of Dreams Feed me with lies and hate, and from that, I will

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    wait wait... what V6's have been putting over 300 or 400hp from the factory in the last 5 years? :confused:
     
  14. troglodyte

    troglodyte Guest

    Who said factory?

    What V8 comes standard with 400hp?

    Who give a flying FUCK about how you make power? Power is power.

    Now, if only American companies could make cars with quality interiors.
     
  15. Demon Of Dreams

    Demon Of Dreams Feed me with lies and hate, and from that, I will

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    LS6 has 405hp

    I said factory.
    No V6's have come #'s like that from the factory since the Grand National and TTA
    The article is about factory specs, is it not?

    there are a few 350hp/500tq V8's out there as well if I'm not mistaken

    not to mention the supercharged 03' cobra from ford.

    and all those 320-345hp LS1 Camaros and Firebirds, and those 350hp C5's, oh and don't forget that nice 360hp GTO ...


    what factory v6's in the last 5 years have come close to that? :confused:
     
  16. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    They've been doing that for awhile.
     
  17. troglodyte

    troglodyte Guest

    Hahaha, I love dumbmestic guys who get all cocky like smaller engines cannot make power. Man, if you really care that much how you make power... :greddy:
     
  18. Los

    Los Active Member

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    Cobra R = 385
    Cobra (03) = 390

    Both cars are known as underrated.

    Viper = 450.
     
  19. Los

    Los Active Member

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    Sure they do. I know for a fact I get 25 mpg on the highway. I did the math myself and the sheet stated "25". Z06s and LS1 Camaros get 28-30 on the highway. Why do you think the Hipo wanted them so bad? The mustang hipo cars only got 15. :ugh:
     
  20. you know me

    you know me OT where the douchbags play

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    I know many 400 RWHP V8's that get 28-30 mpg. Also, V6's are only at the point today where base V8's were back in the late 80's early 90's.
     
  21. you know me

    you know me OT where the douchbags play

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    When all else fail, bash on the "low quality" interior.
     
  22. Demon Of Dreams

    Demon Of Dreams Feed me with lies and hate, and from that, I will

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    I love import guys who don't know what torque is and have to nitpick about interiors...


    a less expensive interior that holds you into place and does its job > expensive interior that doesn't seem to do as much half the time.

    I never said smaller engines can't make power, I'm just not really seeing all that many smaller engines from the factory putting out those numbers on an every day driving scale and matching those mileage #'s

    The LS1/LS6's are known for a lot of power and great mileage...
    Yes, if you've got a heavy foot or driving in traffic, or not on the highway those #'s will go down, but thats the case with everything...

    However I can't think of many other 300-400hp/tq cars that can boast over 25mpg averages :dunno:
     
  23. Demon Of Dreams

    Demon Of Dreams Feed me with lies and hate, and from that, I will

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    cheap interior serves its purpose... I find the f-body and corvette interiors comfortable as hell, and they do their job, they hold you where you should be, and are still quite comfortable for long drives.

    I'd take a pair of F-Body leather seats over most other seats I've had the misfortune to plant my ass in (this includes a few BMW's)

    having said that however... GTO interior > * :o
     
  24. Demon Of Dreams

    Demon Of Dreams Feed me with lies and hate, and from that, I will

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    I guess some people forget that this is the american muscle forum, and we don't give a fuck about creature comforts as long as things in our cars do their jobs and do so enough that we can live with it and be ok with what we've got...

    expensive interior = more weight = less performance :o
     
  25. troglodyte

    troglodyte Guest

    because import guys actually do real racing rather than just a one-dimensional straigh line. Zzzzzzzzz. Oh, and Lutz admitting that GM interiors are shit isn't nitpicking. Its a known fact.


    In the US, sadly, I am forced to agree with you 100%. Look, I'm not a Domestic hater. I love what is good. In fact, I'm watching some old Chevy V8s on Ebay right now that are real cheap. If I can get one of these old pushrod smallblock wonders, then I'm getting it! I love 1950s-1960s American cars but won't touch anything after 1972. No real quality. I was just pointing out that smaller engines can pump out the power too. A tuned Contour SVT engine comes to mind as well...granted - you're right that its not factory.
     

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