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Old 08-23-2009, 01:28 AM   #1
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American Engineering Rant...

I was speaking with one of my best friends today (who swears by Saabs, and owns an '88 900 Turbo and a '00 93 Viggen Turbo) and we both seem to agree that American car manufacturers are way behind the curve on engine technology.

Seriously, how is it that Honda and Toyota can produce 1.8 and 2.0L engines that produce more horsepower than American-made engines of 2.3-2.4L capacity, and still obtain equal or better fuel economy?

The 1st generation Saturn Redline and Cobalt SS for example... 205 hp, from a 2.0 Supercharged I4. An Acura RSX-S produces nearly the same amount, from a naturally aspirated 2.0, and still achieves as good (or better) fuel economy.

My father has always encouraged me to buy American cars, keep people on this side of the ocean working, etc... and I always have thus far, with the only exception being my motorcycles (let's face it: there any inexpensive US motorcycle manufacturers... therefore I own 2 Suzuki's... but that's another topic entirely).

However, while looking for another used car to possibly replace my SVT Focus in the sub $10,000 range... the US options aren't exactly pleasing. I've found a few low milage Focus ZX4 ST's, a few Mazda 3's and such... all rated at around 150hp or less. For similar money, I can buy a 2004-2006 RSX-S... with 201hp, with leather and 17" wheels. Civic Si's are also possible in that price range... but I can't wrap my head around the hideous styling and design of the newer Civics.

Low-maintenance is another concern. It seems that all you ever read/hear enforces the fact that Honda and Toyota are lower-maintenance than their US counterparts. My father argues otherwise, stating that every foreign car he's ever owned was on a rigourous dealer maintenance schedule that usually cost hundreds of dollars per visit. I've never owned anything besides Saturn, Ford, Mercury, and Jeep... and while none of them have been particularly high-maintenance, they all had their share of issues.

Is it too much to ask for a fun car that gets 30mpg and still has enough power to make driving exciting? Or should I settle for mediocrity and save my pent-up frustration for my motorcycles?

-Matt


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Old 08-23-2009, 04:25 AM   #2
AAAHHHHH!!!!
 
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just so you know, neither the GM ecotec nor the ford duratec engines were designed in america.
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Old 08-23-2009, 05:00 AM   #3
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i say vent your frustartion wit hbikes. as the yget higher mg's anyhow. sure you can try and save the wrold in a prius (dont get me started there) but it wont be as satifyings as ripping up the road on two wheels and getting a week full of riding in one tank or so.

as for american bikes, h-d is over rated. you pay a lot for the name. i plan on building a bike soon. i'm gonna go wit ha flyrite choppers kit. there will be no factory h-d parts on it to keep the cost down. all said and done i should ahve a nice simple old school chop for around 10k or less.

yeah our engines, they make les over all hp. but we dont suffer as much on the low end of the spectrum. most foriegn motors (k20 aside...) dont make a lot of toque, and you ahve to rev the hell out of them to get movin. or so it seems to me.
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Old 08-23-2009, 05:28 AM   #4
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What are the tq ratings on those engines inside a Honda/Acura though? At what RPM do they get their peak hp. Personally, I don't revving to my engine very high to get any sort of usable torque.

I do agree though that we could definitely do better.
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Old 08-23-2009, 08:47 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MLambert19 View Post

Is it too much to ask for a fun car that gets 30mpg and still has enough power to make driving exciting?

-Matt

^ Umm.. My SVT gets 30MPG and is very fun to drive, isn't yours? :)
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Old 08-23-2009, 09:16 AM   #6
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The SVTF's Dual stage intake manifold is more advanced than Hondas lol. No American engineering is about big, motor, lots of power, no fuel economy. now that smaller motors are getting more popular, Technology should advance. The new Cobalt SS is pretty impressive, just way too cheap for my liking.
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Old 08-23-2009, 11:32 AM   #7
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well, most of our american cars are not meant for sport w/ the exception of the SVT. now if ur talking RSX vrs SI vrs SVT, thats a different story, but the Cobalts have boost, and they aren't NA, so thats why they make more power, they are a whole different animal
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Old 08-23-2009, 11:32 AM   #8
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^^^ gee, Im not going to lie but IMO Subaru boxer engines even though technical and unique I would chose it over big motors or mid sized motors with advance technology. I am not to entirely sure about it being low maintenance, but it can sure break your leg with all that power.
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Old 08-23-2009, 11:58 AM   #9
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ahh..i just say bring the wankel engine back! and just pollute everything! atleast you would make huge h.p.!
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Old 08-23-2009, 12:02 PM   #10
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the wankel is german design lol
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