The Ford F-150 and its 8-cylinder bretheren may have a lock on America’s auto market, but rising gas prices and improving technology have helped the once-pedestrian 4-cylinder engine dominate the automotive world, with 65.4% of cars built in 2010 powered by a 4-banger. About 18 percent of light trucks were similarly equipped.
While we lost one of the best 4-cylinders ever in 2009, when the Honda S2000 finally ended production, top-notch inline-4s entered the mainstream this past year, as turbocharging and direct-injection helped everyman cars like the Chevrolet Cruze, Hyundai Sonata and even the Range Rover Evoque punch way above their weight in terms of fuel economy and horsepower, while down on displacement. Look for this trend to continue as oil is now over $100 per barrel, and consumers have found satisfaction without having to go to 6 or 8 cylinders.
[Source: Ward's Auto]