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Because of technology advances, many four cylinder engines are more powerful than V6s from only a few years ago. For example, today's Hyundai Sonata midsize car has a 2.4-litre four with 198bhp, 45 more horses than the base V6 in a 2006 Ford Taurus. -- PHOTO: HYUNDAI MOTOR

DETROIT (AP) - Back when petrol was cheap, Americans bought cars with V8 engines like the Big Block, Cobra Jet and Ramcharger. Acceleration was all that mattered, even in family cars that never made it to full throttle.
The 6,997 cubic cm Chevrolet Tri-Power was the siren song of the gearhead, sending Corvettes roaring down the highway at up to 225kmh.
But now, thanks to government regulation and petrol-price gyrations, the motors that move the nation's cars and trucks are shrinking.
Whether they drive hulking pickups or family sedans, Americans are increasingly choosing smaller engines that use less fuel, especially four cylinder models that offer more horsepower than was possible just a few years ago.



Read More at American drivers turn to smaller, better engines
 

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It makes sense for automakers to go this route because gas prices are not getting any cheaper. And 4 cylinders today are not the same as before, the horsepower achieved are close if not more than v6s. Some cars with less than 2.0L displacement are even getting over 200hps, but thats with forced induction of course (Turbo or Supercharged). Efficient and powerful, that what everybody wants.
 
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