Saturday, July 31, 2010


Jeremy Clarkson, the lead presenter for BBC's "Top Gear" television show, is famous for shouting POWER! His yawp is usually reserved for cars by Mercedes and Lamborghini with massive power. But I think even he would agree that the power made by the latest four and six cylinder engines is astonishing.

When I was a kid, 200 horsepower was a lot. Most V8s of the early 1980s struggled to reach that number. The Corvette put out between 230-250 horsepower. Same with the Porsche 928, which for a time was the fastest car you could buy in the US. Now you have four cylinder engines that make that amount reliably thanks to turbocharging, and multi-valve direct injection. Six cylinder engines producing 300+ horsepower are not uncommon. Cars like the Chevy Camaro, Ford Mustang, and various Hyundais and Nissans put out that level of power and offer the same level of performance as V8s from just a few years ago.

It truly is exciting times for internal combustion. With smaller, more efficient and more powerful engines coming to market each year, I can't wait to see what's next.

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