Stringent new fuel economy standards and the rising price of gasoline are forcing automakers to rethink their engine lineups, and Ford says about 66 percent of all new vehicles will use four-cylinder mills by 2020.
Market share for four-cylinder engines is already on the rise. In 2008, 40 percent of the market consisted of four pots, while roughly 53 percent of the new car market is four cylinder engines according to market researcher R.L Polk.
While pickup trucks and large SUVs will almost certainly continue on with six- and eight-cylinder engines, almost every other segment now offers standard four-cylinder engines. That’s mainly because today’s four cylinders are as powerful as most six cylinders, but offer superior fuel efficiency. This is especially true when it comes to turbocharged four cylinders, which Ford is increasingly using in its new vehicles like the Ford Escape crossover and the Taurus sedan.
While the use of four cylinders continues to rise, Ford is also introducing the first three-cylinder engine to the U.S. in the new Fiesta coming later this year. General Motors is also expected to introduce a three-cylinder engine to North America sometime in the next few years.
[Source: Detroit News]
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