Report: Chevy Colorado, GMC Canyon midsize pickup trucks to get diesel engines

Filed under: Truck, Chevrolet, GM, GMC, Diesel

Chevy Colorado, GMC Canyon teaser

The market for midsize pickup trucks has all but been abandoned in the US, but General Motors is about to shake the market up with the all-new (to the US) Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon. Launching next year, GM already told us that its new trucks would be a “fuel-efficient alternative” to fullsize trucks, and aside from the smaller size, Automotive News says that these trucks will accomplish this with a diesel engine.

According to the AN report, the next-gen Colorado and Canyon will offer a small, four-cylinder Duramax turbo diesel with a displacement of either 2.5 or 2.8 liters – both engines are currently used in this truck for other markets. This would allow GM to join the Cummins-powered Nissan Titan and Ram 1500 EcoDiesel as the only non-HD trucks in the US to offer diesel. The article goes on to say that the diesel versions of the Colorado and Canyon would launch about a year after the trucks go into production in fall of 2014.

Chevy Colorado, GMC Canyon midsize pickup trucks to get diesel engines originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 27 Aug 2013 18:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Jaguar envisions future without V8 engines

Filed under: Performance, Jaguar, Luxury

Jaguar reportedly is considering a move away from V8s.

With tighter emissions and fuel economy regulations looming, Jaguar may have to do more than make a small, fuel-efficient hatchback to lower its model range’s consumption figures – it also might give up its venerable V8 power, Drive reports. But not anytime soon, says Steven de Ploey, Jaguar’s product and marketing director, who recognizes that the V8 can be replaced only by something that offers the same, or better, performance. But he has a word of caution: “We are not wedded to V8s.”

In the meantime, de Ploey says there are other ways to reduce emissions. One of the first steps Jaguar could take is to shift away from the use of superchargers, which aren’t as good as turbochargers at maintaining efficiency and making power. But he adds that supercharging still is “at the heart of Jaguar’s performance proposition,” and that the company has addressed the current downsizing trend by “replacing our naturally aspirated V8 with a 3.0-liter supercharged V6.”

Consider one of de Ploey’s comments on the cancelled C-X75 supercar (pictured) for some clue about Jaguar’s future: “Some of the stuff we have already exploited to the extreme in the C-X75 is the kind of thinking for us and is an essential test bed to see how we could evolve from today to something that is sustainable in the future.”

Confused by Jaguar’s direction? We are too. It doesn’t help that the C-X75 doesn’t seem to have the answer to replace the V8 – just some discarded mini-turbines, a 10,000+rpm four-cylinder generator and four electric motors. But the conservative British marque has been thinking outside the box lately…

Jaguar envisions future without V8 engines originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 21 Aug 2013 18:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: Honda engines and giant killing in the classic Mini Cooper

Filed under: Performance, Videos, Hatchback, Mini

Original Mini Cooper in green with white roof - video screencap

Electric Federal has taken a fresh look back at the enduring legacy of original Mini with a video interview with Heritage Garage’s Graham Reid, one of the foremost experts on classic Minis. As Electric Federal points out, it’s important to remember that the Mini did not start out as a performance car. It was built in response to the Suez Canal crisis of the mid-50s, which had a similar effect on British gas prices as OPEC did on American prices in the 1970s – rationing and rapid price jumps.

Through the years, Minis have grown from their budget roots to become seriously competent performance machines. As Reid says, a 150-horsepower Mini on the right track should have no problem outpacing a contemporary Porsche 911.

For some time now, classic Mini owners have been dropping Honda engines under the tiny hoods of their classics. With up to 250 horsepower pulling a car that tips the scales at barely 1,200 pounds, the upgraded Mini is “a real sleeper,” Reid says. Interestingly, Reid doesn’t mention another increasingly common swap in the Mini community – Suzuki Hayabusa-powered Coopers.

Modern Mini owners, you haven’t been entirely left out – we’re glad to see that Reid isn’t a Mini enthusiast that discounts the newer models launched under BMW. In the video, a Chili Red R53 Cooper S sits right alongside a classic model in a similar color. Check out all the fun in the video below.

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Honda engines and giant killing in the classic Mini Cooper originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 22 Jul 2013 12:44:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Honda Civic poised to get new Earth Dreams engines

Filed under: Budget, Sedan, Honda

2013 Honda Civic - front three-quarter view with mountains

When Honda executed its emergency refresh of the Civic for 2013, it didn’t do any massive powertrain reworking. But that doesn’t mean new things aren’t already in the works for Honda’s compact. According to Automotive News, Honda has confirmed that it will offer the Civic with a new Earth Dreams powerplant sometime in the future, though details on timing and exactly what sort of engine are unclear as of this writing.

The confirmation comes from Honda’s executive vice president and regional director for North America, Tetsuo Iwamura, who says that the Earth Dreams engine will come when the Civic is re-engineered or redesigned, not during a refresh. There is also no mention of whether these changes will apply to just the standard Civic, or if the Si and Hybrid models will receive some Dreamy new tech, as well.

The entire Earth Dreams group of technologies encompasses more than just naturally aspirated engines with direct injection. A turbo-diesel engine is also part of this suite, as are new continuously variable transmissions and new gasoline-electric hybrid powerplants. Honda launched its 2.4-liter and 3.5-liter Earth Dreams engines in the redesigned 2013 Accord.

“The Civic has to evolve,” Iwamura told Automotive News. “But we have to consider what timing works best.” AN suggests that the Earth Dreams-powered Civic could arrive as early as the 2015 model year.

Honda Civic poised to get new Earth Dreams engines originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 24 Jun 2013 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Audi S6 and S7 to offer diesel engines *UPDATE

Filed under: Sedan, Performance, Audi, Rumormill, Luxury

spy photo audi s7

2012 Audi S7 spy shots – Click above for high-res image gallery

The Audi S lineup is not a world filled with many choices. Sure, you can pick your poison in terms of which S vehicle you want, but you do not have a say in which engine is mounted under the hood. However, it seems the upcoming Audi S6 and S7 might be poised to break with that tradition.

Rumor has it that the more athletic versions of the A6 and A7 will be offered with a choice of engines. The standard engine for both cars is slated to be a turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 with around 450 horsepower, but Audi is reportedly going to offer up a diesel, as well, marking the first time such an engine has been offered with an S-branded vehicle. This 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6 should be good for 300 horsepower and 450 pound-feet of torque.

*Update: Apparently, this one is too good to be true – kind of. The cars will be available with the diesel lumps, but the badging will keep the A and not wear an S. Regardless, we’re excited to see more sporty diesels arrive stateside.

Audi S6 and S7 to offer diesel engines *UPDATE originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 17 May 2011 13:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Plastic Fantastic: Are composite engines the future?

Filed under: Aftermarket, Technology, Ford

plastic engineFlorida engineer Matti Holtzberg has spent the last 40 years trying to perfect and implement a way of building useable engine blocks from composite plastics. With the advent of carbon fiber and its subsequent permeation of all things high-performance, Holtzberg decided to apply the technology to his composite engine idea.

Armed with a vast base of research and immense skill, Holtzberg retooled his operation to mold carbon composite engine blocks, with an eye toward selling them to racing teams. Holtzberg’s blocks are based on the venerable 2.0-liter Duratec mill that sees duty in the Ford Focus.

Holtzberg’s carbon-fiber block has the potential to save more than 20 pounds over the aluminum equivalent, but at an enormous cost. There’s no definite word on pricing just yet, but it should be at least $2,500 per pound saved, which pretty well limits the technology to race teams… for now.

The technology could make huge leaps forward in weight saving and fuel economy should it ever hit the streets, but don’t figure on that happening for quite a while.

Plastic Fantastic: Are composite engines the future? originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 10 May 2011 14:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Four-cylinder engines to proliferate throughout Cadillac lineup

Filed under: Coupe, Hybrid, Sedan, Cadillac, GM

2010 cadillac xts concept

2010 Cadillac XTS Platinum Concept – Click above for high-res image gallery

Traditionally, Cadillac buyers have been a V8-loving bunch. Over the past decade, the V6 came into vogue, but the four-cylinder has never really entered the discussion – until now. Car and Driver reports that Cadillac will offer turbocharged four-cylinder engines in the ATS and XTS. C/D opined that the engine of choice could be the 2.0-liter turbo that currently resides under the hood of the Buick Regal.

Based on current and (known) future applications of the 2.0-liter turbo, expect output to be somewhere between 220 and 260 horsepower, though we’d likely bet that even higher output could be in store. We wouldn’t be surprised if the full-sized XTS featured a turbocharged version of the 2.5-liter four that will soon find itself under the hood of the 2013 Malibu. That way, General Motors could still offer 300-plus horsepower from a powertrain that is likely more efficient than the automaker’s similarly powerful V6 offerings. Cadillac can also help nudge power northward and further improve fuel efficiency with hybrid and plug-in powertrains.

While smaller powertrains are inevitable in the world of high gas-prices and increased fuel economy standards, getting Cadillac fans to buy into a four-pot mill could still be a challenge. But if gas prices continue to charge northward, we’re guessing some consumers will actually accept the diminutive power sources with open arms. If that happens, we can expect Cadillac to offer the next generation SRX and CTS with a four-cylinder option, as well.

Gallery: Detroit 2010: Cadillac XTS Platinum Concept

Four-cylinder engines to proliferate throughout Cadillac lineup originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 02 May 2011 20:32:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Alfa Romeo streamlines the MiTo range with new engines, trim

Filed under: Europe, Hatchback, Alfa Romeo, UK

2011 Alfa Romeo MiTo

2011 Alfa Romeo MiTo – Click above for high-res image gallery

Ordering a new Alfa Romeo is a daunting task. Or at least, so we’ve come to understand. In the UK alone, the MiTo hatchback was available in no fewer than 17 different versions. Which you might expect of, say, a pickup truck with a choice of cabin sizes, bed lengths and drivetrain configurations. But the MiTo is the MiTo: it’s a three-door hatchback with front-wheel drive. That’s that.

So to make things a little easier, Alfa has streamlined the MiTo’s catalog down to nine versions as part of a refreshed range. The entry level model has been rebranded as the Progression, the Turismo and Lusso trim levels have both been replaced by the Sprint, the Veloce by the Distinctive and the Cloverleaf by the Quadrifoglio Verde.

The engine range has likewise been revised, the new 78-horsepower 1.4 and 105-hp MultiAir 1.4 replacing the 95-hp engine and a new 1.3-liter JTDM-2 diesel eligible for emissions exemptions under overseas regulations. The top-of-the-line QV carries over the same 170-hp MultiAir 1.4, while the bronze metallic paint pictured above is new. Read more about the revised range in the press release after the jump.

Gallery: 2011 Alfa Romeo MiTo

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Alfa Romeo streamlines the MiTo range with new engines, trim originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 02 May 2011 16:40:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Boss 302 crate engines now available from Ford Racing

Filed under: Aftermarket, Ford

Ford Mustang Boss 302 Crate Engine

Ford Mustang Boss 302 Crate Engine – Click above for high-res image gallery

Last year Ford made the Mustang’s 5.0L V8 available as a crate engine. Shortly thereafter, many of them found homes in some well-deserving cars. Now, Ford Racing is offering the Boss 302’s 5.0L V8 as a standalone purchase through its performance parts catalog, allowing anyone to put the 444 horsepower engine into their own project car.

The difference between the Mustang’s standard 5.0L V8 and the Boss 302 variant is more than just 32 horsepower. The Boss 302 features a new high-flowing intake manifold; CNC-machined cylinder heads; upgraded exhaust valves; forged pistons, connecting rods and crankshaft; a more aggressive camshaft and more. All of those upgrades cost a pretty penny, though. Ford Racing lists the Boss 302 V8 crate engine at $11,999.00, while the standard 5.0 will cost you just $6,999.00.

Follow the jump for a full list of features, or let us know what vehicle you’d drop a Boss 302 into via the comments below.

Gallery: Ford Mustang Boss 302 Crate Engine

[Source: Ford Racing]

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Boss 302 crate engines now available from Ford Racing originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 01 May 2011 10:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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New York 2011: Chrysler’s SRT division open to smaller engines, but there’s still a market for big V8s

Filed under: Sedan, Performance, SUV, Chrysler, Luxury

2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8 6.4-liter HEMI V8

2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8 – Click above for high-res image gallery
When asked about Chrysler’s Street Racing Technology (SRT) division rolling out another big-bore, high-horsepower engine at the 2011 New York Auto Show, Dan Reid, the company’s head of media relations, said “there’s a market for it – cars that go fast and sound good.”

Joseph Grace, the vehicle line manager for the SRT division, agreed that “big, naturally-aspirated V8s” can still find enough buyers to support halo cars. The tuning arm is open, however, to less potent options. “There’s a precedent for four-cylinders [with the Dodge Neon SRT4], and a 6 [on the Crossfire SRT6], and when we get the right platform we’ll look at it again.” Added Reid, “The five areas for SRT are powertrain, braking, handling, interior and exterior,” and any potential SRT vehicle has to live up to that first qualification. Grace then told us that the 6.4-liter engine in the 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8, with its cylinder deactivation and active exhaust system, was “the most efficient way to deliver the kind of performance the customer expects.”

“We had great success with the SRT4 and there’s a trend toward smaller displacement turbo engines, there’s actually a demographic that that appeals to,” Grace said. But when asked whether there could be something like an Dodge Journey SRT, Grace suggested not and said, “That’s why we have the Man Van.”

As for where else Chrysler is looking for special models, Reid said, “Want to expand the 300 model line to a car for every personality, tailor models to different customers. Right now we have a ‘bare-bones’ model, the 300, 300 S, 300C Executive, and SRT8. We’re looking at the non-traditional customer and seeing what they’d like.”

Gallery: 2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8: New York 2011

Live photos copyright (C)2011 Drew Phillips / AOL

New York 2011: Chrysler’s SRT division open to smaller engines, but there’s still a market for big V8s originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 21 Apr 2011 19:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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