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TOV Forums > General Talk > > Re: The Triples are Coming! The Triples are Coming!

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CB77
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The Triples are Coming! The Triples are Coming!    (Score: 1, Normal) 04-02-2012 13:00
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(From a recent article in "Science Now"...I really wonder if our market is ready for this. The Smart car sure hasn't delivered much in the gas mileage sweepstakes (with its 3-cyl engine). For as small as it is and as goofy as it looks, it should be getting 60 MPG. I have always wondered why 3 cylinders are pretty common for diesels, but not for gasoline engines.)

LOS ANGELES, March 21 (UPI) -- U.S. automakers say new cars with three-cylinder engines can give better gas mileage with the same power as the four-cylinder compact sedans Americans buy now.

The cars can get 40 miles per gallon in traffic and 50 on the highway, and they're not expensive hybrids nor do they need any special fuels, the Los Angeles Times reported Friday.

Ford Motor Co. said it will have a three-cylinder Focus or Fiesta for sale in the United States by the middle of next year.

"This engine is a game-changer," Steve Cropley of the British publication Autocar said of the three-cylinder Focus that just went on sale in Europe. "You barely hear the thing start, and it idles so smoothly you'd swear it had stalled."

Japanese makers Mitsubishi and Nissan and Germany's BMW and Volkswagen are all said to be working on three-cylinder designs.

Any vehicles with such small engines must be sure "not to compromise performance or fuel economy," to attract U.S. buyers, Rebecca Lindland, an analyst with IHS Automotive, said.

Manufacturers have been encouraged by how quickly Americans have been willing to move from large power plants down to four-cylinder models.

Forty-seven percent of the cars sold last year had four cylinders, auto survey company Edmunds.com said.

"Three cylinders shouldn't be much of a stretch," Dave Sullivan of automotive consulting firm AutoPacific Inc., said.



CB77
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Re: The Triples are Coming! The Triples are Coming!    (Score: 1, Normal) 04-02-2012 13:23
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Of course some of these new, upcoming 3 cylinder engines from other makers may actually be diesels...not gasoline engines (as I noted about the popularity of 3-cylinder diesels)...since the article does not specify which fuel they will use. Both BMW and VW are probably likely to be planning diesel triples, with there past penchant for diesels.

superchg2
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Re: The Triples are Coming! The Triples are Coming!    (Score: 1, Normal) 04-02-2012 13:30
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The Ford 3 cylinder is an Ecoboost gas engine and it is already available for the Focus in Europe.
DCR
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Re: The Triples are Coming! The Triples are Coming!    (Score: 1, Normal) 04-02-2012 13:38
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Didn't the Geo Metro have a 3 cylinder? I remember something of it having a 4 cylinder with one missing.
Dren
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Re: The Triples are Coming! The Triples are Coming!    (Score: 1, Normal) 04-02-2012 13:52
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DCR wrote:
Didn't the Geo Metro have a 3 cylinder? I remember something of it having a 4 cylinder with one missing.


Yes, it sure did. It was all aluminum and had a whopping 50hp or so.
A77
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Re: The Triples are Coming! The Triples are Coming!    (Score: 1, Normal) 04-02-2012 14:43
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no where does the article mention turbo-charging - which is the only way any 3 cylinder engine would be acceptable in the American market. for a given capacity, some weight and space saving over a four cylinder, but this is hardly news. hey why not 2 cylinders

http://www.greencarcongress.com/2011/09/panda-20110915.html


P54
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Re: The Triples are Coming! The Triples are Coming!    (Score: 1, Normal) 04-02-2012 16:32
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All it takes is Ford getting a 3 cyl. and then suddenly the media is all for it.

Bring back the 1999 Honda Insight with 3 cyl. Honda just happened to be 13 years ahead of the game. As usual for a company that always is lagging behind.



Honda 3 cyl. engine from 1999 Insight. The gasoline engine is a 67 hp (50 kW; 68 PS), 1.0 litre, ECA series 3-cylinder unit providing lean burn operation with an air-to-fuel ratio that can reach 25.8 to 1. The engine utilizes lightweight aluminum, magnesium, and plastic to minimize weight. The electrical motor assist adds another 10 kW (13 hp) and a maximum of 36 pound-feet (49 Nm) of torque when called on, with the aim to boost performance to the level of a typical 1.5L petrol engine. The car was the most fuel efficient car available in the U.S. for the length of its production run and is still the leader of any current mass market car. The Insight earned an EPA fuel economy estimate of 70 miles per US gallon (3.4 L/100 km; 84 mpg-imp) in highway driving, 61 mpg-US (3.9 L/100 km; 73 mpg-imp) city.

Upon the Insight's release, Honda challenged several automotive magazines to a competition to see who could obtain the best fuel efficiency on the 195-mile (314 km) drive from Columbus, Ohio to Detroit. The contest was won by Car and Driver magazine, which rigged a box behind a Ford Excursion, and had the Insight drive within the confines of the box. With much less wind resistance, the Insight made the trip with a fuel consumption of 121.7 miles per US gallon (1.933 L/100 km; 146.2 mpg-imp), while averaging 58 miles per hour (93 km/h).









Potenza
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Re: The Triples are Coming! The Triples are Coming!    (Score: 1, Normal) 04-02-2012 18:22
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CB77 wrote:
Of course some of these new, upcoming 3 cylinder engines from other makers may actually be diesels...not gasoline engines (as I noted about the popularity of 3-cylinder diesels)...since the article does not specify which fuel they will use. Both BMW and VW are probably likely to be planning diesel triples, with there past penchant for diesels.

BMW is going to have gasoline 3cyls as well as diesel. In fact, the engine powering the i8 will be a 3-cylinder gasoline. Of course, that's a hybrid. But the Mini line is set to get the new 3-cylinder powerplant, and the next generation 1-series may be sharing it as well (along with FWD). Likely most - if not all - of the versions will come mated with a turbocharger.
Potenza
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Re: The Triples are Coming! The Triples are Coming!    (Score: 1, Normal) 04-02-2012 18:37
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Well, the article does state "The cars can get 40 miles per gallon in traffic and 50 on the highway, and they're not expensive hybrids." So it's not really hybrid 3-cylinders that are the point of this article.

My brother owns a 2000 Insight that he drives every day, and it very much relies on that IMA to give it any sort of useable power. Just recently he had a glitch where the IMA stopped working, and he said the car was so weak it was almost scary/dangerous to drive. And that's in an 1800lbs car. So I'd say the Insight's IMA powertrain and overall vehicle package are great, but the 3-cylinder gasoline engine alone would not be something you'd use to try to sell people on their viability.

As for your "Honda just happened to be 13 years ahead of the game" comment, let's not forget that Honda's first U.S. bound vehicle had a 2-cylinder engine. But I would not go so far as to say Honda was 40 years ahead of the game, in that respect.
linty
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Re: The Triples are Coming! The Triples are Coming!    (Score: 1, Normal) 04-02-2012 19:24
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P54 wrote:
All it takes is Ford getting a 3 cyl. and then suddenly the media is all for it.

Bring back the 1999 Honda Insight with 3 cyl. Honda just happened to be 13 years ahead of the game. As usual for a company that always is lagging behind.


Your missing the whole point of the article about achieving these goals without Hybrid technology. Please dont make it sound like the whole Media World is against Honda or something.

I remember in the late 80's early 90's there was lots of positive and negative hype about vehicles like the Geo metro/Chev Sprint/Pontiac Firefly/Subaru Justy etc etc.

I think everyone here can appreciate the engineering that went into the Insight back then but if you want to bring timelines into play, the difference between a 2000 Insight and say a 1990 Geo metro is pretty pricy for what you recieved in return......If i remember correctly, the Insight was about 12k+ more and you received less versitlity but gained (roughly) 10mpg more in fuel economy....Of course with newer vehicles there are more safety enhancements but IMO overall, thats just not worth the extra money and the whole reason why they want to do this without Hybrid tech.





P54
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Re: The Triples are Coming! The Triples are Coming!    (Score: 1, Normal) 04-03-2012 00:18
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Potenza wrote:

As for your "Honda just happened to be 13 years ahead of the game" comment, let's not forget that Honda's first U.S. bound vehicle had a 2-cylinder engine. But I would not go so far as to say Honda was 40 years ahead of the game, in that respect.


It's the idea. Always is harder to innovate the first idea. Lightweight, aluminum body and 3 cyl engine. It was made before its time and there has been nothing like it afterwards. To say it was scary driving it without IMA because of lack of power is like saying the turbo engine was so weak after the turbo quit it was scary driving it. Without IMA the first Insight still had same HP as first Accord, althoug less engine size and torque.

That the first Honda car had a 2 cyl. engine 40 years ago does not mean the car itself was 40 years ahead of its time, but the engine certainly was. Although pretty basic, air-cooled and all, for what it was back then they were way ahead and only recently have competition been able to match certain things. Engine had 75 HP per liter, was able to turn 8000 rpm, had hemispherical combustion chambers with SOHC design and the whole engine, transmission and differential unit was all aluminum. It also used a CV carburetor. Some manufacturers have not even achieved all that today. (Of course I do not mean the carburetor part of it).

If the point of the article was better FE with 3 cyl. engines and they say it will have same power as 4 cyl. engines they have to be boosted. The new economical 3 cyl. engines is in the 1.0L range and if you add turbo to it why do you think they will cost less than the "expensive hybrids"? You can get Honda hybrids with 4 cyl engines end better FE than 40 city and 50 HWY for like $18000-26000.
P54
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Re: The Triples are Coming! The Triples are Coming!    (Score: 1, Normal) 04-03-2012 01:02
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linty wrote:
P54 wrote:
All it takes is Ford getting a 3 cyl. and then suddenly the media is all for it.

Bring back the 1999 Honda Insight with 3 cyl. Honda just happened to be 13 years ahead of the game. As usual for a company that always is lagging behind.


Your missing the whole point of the article about achieving these goals without Hybrid technology. Please dont make it sound like the whole Media World is against Honda or something.

I remember in the late 80's early 90's there was lots of positive and negative hype about vehicles like the Geo metro/Chev Sprint/Pontiac Firefly/Subaru Justy etc etc.

I think everyone here can appreciate the engineering that went into the Insight back then but if you want to bring timelines into play, the difference between a 2000 Insight and say a 1990 Geo metro is pretty pricy for what you recieved in return......If i remember correctly, the Insight was about 12k+ more and you received less versitlity but gained (roughly) 10mpg more in fuel economy....Of course with newer vehicles there are more safety enhancements but IMO overall, thats just not worth the extra money and the whole reason why they want to do this without Hybrid tech.








Well, if you have seen the media the last year or more it has not been very friendly towards Honda. It is common worldwide if Ford comes with something new to them, media is all over it even though the new thing to Ford is not such a new thing after all.

So what is better, to get good FE with 4 cyl. engines and IMA or with 3 cyl. and turbo? Which one will do best in real world usage? I do not think Honda IMA is more expensive than turbo
engines, plus where turbo has lag, IMA has boost.

I don't think you should compare Geo Metro (Suzuki) to Insight. If you look up fuelly.com Insight get 25mpg better average. To compare price of a tin can and an all aluminum car with even brake calipers and suspension parts in aluminum, even with a highly sophisticated body with exceptional low coefficient of drag makes no sense. The Insight price was very low for what you got. And built at the same place they built the NSX.

If you think they want to make 3 cyl.engines to gain FE and it is not worth the extra money with hybrid tech, I don't think so. If they want power equal with 4 cyl. they will have to be boosted and that adds cost and complexity as well, and weight. Honda IMA is very compact, lightweight and will very well compete with the cost of turbo. In the real world the IMA will come out on top, even more so with the new advanced IMA.
Potenza
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Re: The Triples are Coming! The Triples are Coming!    (Score: 1, Normal) 04-03-2012 01:09
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P54 wrote:
Potenza wrote:

As for your "Honda just happened to be 13 years ahead of the game" comment, let's not forget that Honda's first U.S. bound vehicle had a 2-cylinder engine. But I would not go so far as to say Honda was 40 years ahead of the game, in that respect.
It's the idea. Always is harder to innovate the first idea. Lightweight, aluminum body and 3 cyl engine. It was made before its time and there has been nothing like it afterwards. To say it was scary driving it without IMA because of lack of power is like saying the turbo engine was so weak after the turbo quit it was scary driving it. Without IMA the first Insight still had same HP as first Accord, althoug less engine size and torque.

That the first Honda car had a 2 cyl. engine 40 years ago does not mean the car itself was 40 years ahead of its time, but the engine certainly was. Although pretty basic, air-cooled and all, for what it was back then they were way ahead and only recently have competition been able to match certain things. Engine had 75 HP per liter, was able to turn 8000 rpm, had hemispherical combustion chambers with SOHC design and the whole engine, transmission and differential unit was all aluminum. It also used a CV carburetor. Some manufacturers have not even achieved all that today. (Of course I do not mean the carburetor part of it).

I don't know man, there's way too much theory on this board.

Just two weeks ago my brother drove his Insight without IMA, and he could barely get it up the hill to his house. When you're on public roads flooring the accelerator and the car is doing nothing but slowing, it can be scary and dangerous. I'm not talking theory about a turbo engine or what it was like in the 70s when the Accord came out, I'm talking about a trip home from work.

And I know the 600 engine inside and out, because I rebuilt one myself, and it's in the AZ600 parked in my garage. For the record, it's more like 60hp/l. And if Ford comes out with a 2-cylinder, I'm not going to accuse them of finally catching up to Honda or being late to the game, that's for sure.
P54
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Re: The Triples are Coming! The Triples are Coming!    (Score: 1, Normal) 04-03-2012 01:26
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Well if the IMA is not working then of course you can't complain of lack of power, that is why I said if you get one of those new 3cyl. boosted engines and the turbo goes out they would be terrible slow as well. If something is wrong, fix it, don't complain it is slow when something needs repair. Insight is supposed to have the IMA part working.

My Honda N 600 GTL had 45 HP which turns out to 75 HP per Liter. This model was also successfully used in rally and then had way more power.
A77
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Re: The Triples are Coming! The Triples are Coming!    (Score: 1, Normal) 04-03-2012 09:51
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Turbo charging costs thesame as IMA? I would have thought turbo sets were much cheaper. Batteries alone.
cforez
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Re: The Triples are Coming! The Triples are Coming!    (Score: 1, Normal) 04-03-2012 09:58
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linty wrote:
P54 wrote:
All it takes is Ford getting a 3 cyl. and then suddenly the media is all for it.

Bring back the 1999 Honda Insight with 3 cyl. Honda just happened to be 13 years ahead of the game. As usual for a company that always is lagging behind.


Your missing the whole point of the article about achieving these goals without Hybrid technology. Please dont make it sound like the whole Media World is against Honda or something.

I remember in the late 80's early 90's there was lots of positive and negative hype about vehicles like the Geo metro/Chev Sprint/Pontiac Firefly/Subaru Justy etc etc.

I think everyone here can appreciate the engineering that went into the Insight back then but if you want to bring timelines into play, the difference between a 2000 Insight and say a 1990 Geo metro is pretty pricy for what you recieved in return......If i remember correctly, the Insight was about 12k+ more and you received less versitlity but gained (roughly) 10mpg more in fuel economy....Of course with newer vehicles there are more safety enhancements but IMO overall, thats just not worth the extra money and the whole reason why they want to do this without Hybrid tech.








I think the Civic HF/CRX HF would be a better comparison...
CB77
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Re: The Triples are Coming! The Triples are Coming!    (Score: 1, Normal) 04-03-2012 10:23
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So I guess years from now (hopefully a lot of years) we can hear a guy bragging about his new car by saying something like this: "Yeah, I went for the 'big motor' in my car, I got the 4 cylinder...felt like I just couldn't get the high performance that I wanted out of the 3-cyl base model."

Brave New World, huh... And to think some of us have been hoping for a V8 or V10 in an Acura. That likelihood seems to be slipping further and further away.

cforez
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Re: The Triples are Coming! The Triples are Coming!    (Score: 1, Normal) 04-03-2012 10:46
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CB77 wrote:

So I guess years from now (hopefully a lot of years) we can hear a guy bragging about his new car by saying something like this: "Yeah, I went for the 'big motor' in my car, I got the 4 cylinder...felt like I just couldn't get the high performance that I wanted out of the 3-cyl base model."

Brave New World, huh... And to think some of us have been hoping for a V8 or V10 in an Acura. That likelihood seems to be slipping further and further away.



That's why enthusiasts should be cheering for a successful, global Acura brand- Hondas for the money-is-no-object (to varying degrees) crowd with enough scale to also be profitable without platform sharing with Civics and Accords.


CB77
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Re: The Triples are Coming! The Triples are Coming!    (Score: 1, Normal) 04-03-2012 17:36
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I had forgotten about Honda playing around with 3-cyl engines when they did the Insight. They must feel that less that 4 cylinders is a dead-end, or they would have kept developing their 3-cyl.

Fan Koni
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Re: The Triples are Coming! The Triples are Coming!    (Score: 1, Normal) 04-03-2012 20:47
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This is funny, I don't think many companies can tell Honda big news on how to make small engines...

Honda does make many engines smaller than what will goes into the fit.
CarPhreakD
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Re: The Triples are Coming! The Triples are Coming!    (Score: 1, Normal) 04-03-2012 22:54
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Guys, I will only say this: Cars with odd numbers of cylinders are *always* a bad bet. A 3 cylinder is obviously there for FE and cost only, and you will soon realize why only the cheapest pieces of shit vehicles use an engine with a 240 deg firing order and huge counterbalancer. 4 cylinders, or even 5 or 6. But going down to 3 is just stupid unless you want to deal with cracked cylinder blocks and teeth chattering idle quality.
WongKN
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Re: The Triples are Coming! The Triples are Coming!    (Score: 1, Normal) 04-03-2012 23:36
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Actually Honda has ALWAYS had 3-cylinder engines in their domestic line-up. Its usually put on the K-Cars, where the displacement is limited to 660cc. Then they turbo-charge it to get around 60ps. They also have NA versions.

Currently the Honda Life uses a 'P07A' 3-cylinder SOHC 6-valve engine (2-valves per cylinder), 660cc between 52 to 64ps (50-62hp).

http://www.honda.co.jp/LIFE/webcatalog/spec/.

The new N-Box model that we talked about here last year also uses an 'S07A' engine with 3 cylinders 12 valve engine (4 valves per cylinder) delivering 58ps (56hp) at 7300rpm and fuel economy ratings of up to 24.5km/l (~58mpg) for the japanese '10.15' mode (similar to your EPA).

http://www.honda.co.jp/Nbox/webcatalog/spec/

The line-up is completed by the ZEST/ZESTSPARK and VAMOS which are similar.

So given this, I tend to agree with the statement "so what's the big deal with Ford coming out with 3 cylinder engines ?"
bigblue
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Ford Ecoboost 1.0 triple    (Score: 1, Normal) 04-04-2012 03:48
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Here are some comments from the first drives of the Ford three-cylinder 1.0 litre turbo engine (123bhp, 125lb ft torque, overboost 148lb ft, will also be available in 99bhp turbo, and 75bhp non-turbo versions).

From autocar :
... cylinder block has barely the area of a sheet of A4 paper ... variable valve timing, miniature turbo, advanced electronics, direct fuel injection system ... super-efficient combustion ... a 30kg weight saving over the front wheels ... Even such promising paper figures don't prepare you for the driving experience. You barely hear the thing start, and it idles so smoothly you'd swear it had stalled ... always quiet but sounding more like a thoroughbred six than anything mainstream ...


Even evo, who are primarily a performance car magazine were impressed :
... full of clever stuff, such as a water-cooled exhaust manifold ... cambelt runs in oil, so it's silent and everlasting ... It makes the lovely deep, smooth, sonorous hum typical of a three-pot, but makes remarkably little of it. Despite the lack of a balancer shaft – the flywheel and front pulley are deliberately unbalanced to achieve the same result – the engine is extremely civilised. No Focus is more refined ...



CB77
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Re: The Triples are Coming! The Triples are Coming!    (Score: 1, Normal) 04-04-2012 09:30
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CarPhreakD wrote:
Guys, I will only say this: Cars with odd numbers of cylinders are *always* a bad bet. A 3 cylinder is obviously there for FE and cost only, and you will soon realize why only the cheapest pieces of shit vehicles use an engine with a 240 deg firing order and huge counterbalancer. 4 cylinders, or even 5 or 6. But going down to 3 is just stupid unless you want to deal with cracked cylinder blocks and teeth chattering idle quality.


I also recall all the ill-fated 3 cylinder motorcycles over the past few years. The Triumph Trident, BSA Rocket-3, Yamaha XS750...they just never seemed to click with American riders (although Triumph's current offerings of triples are doing better than I would have expected). I think the exhaust note of a 3-cyl may have had something to do with it. The "vacuum-cleaner" sound of a 750 Triumph Trident at full song, could not match the wonderful shriek of a 750 Honda 4-cylinder, of that time.

I guess the closest thing to success that 3 cylinders ever had in this market was the Kawasaki triples of the early '70s...and to a lesser degree, the 3 cylinder Suzukis. Somehow, the exhaust note of a 3 cylinder 2-stroke had a sexier sound than that of a 3 cylinder 4-stroke. I can still clearly recall that other-worldly sound of a Kawasaki MachIII at full-tilt.

I think, too (as CarPhreak suggests) a 3 cyl screams "cheap"...looking as if you are saying "I couldn't afford a 4 or 6."


P54
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Re: The Triples are Coming! The Triples are Coming!    (Score: 1, Normal) 04-04-2012 10:12
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What will they say when BMW replaces their engines with 3 cylinders?

Remember the Honda V3 (and V5) motorcycle engines? As mentioned before the 660 is 3 cyl. and first Insight was 3 cyl. Some Honda outboard engines are 3 cyl too, all the way up to 1 L size. So Honda has plenty experience with 3 cylinder engines. They are no novice when it comes to engines as we all know. Just see the latest 1.6 L diesel, from scratch to best in class.

The new smaller Honda diesel engine for India is rumored to be a 3 cyl. too. (Maybe the 1.6L with one less cyl. to make it 1.2 L). Politics, FE and CO2 dictates the engines for the future. (Vote differently or buy differently).
DrWhiner
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Re: The Triples are Coming! The Triples are Coming!    (Score: 1, Normal) 04-04-2012 11:04
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P54 wrote:
What will they say when BMW replaces their engines with 3 cylinders?
What will they say when Honda equips a Civic with an engine with just "123bhp, 125lb ft torque"?
VTEC_Inside
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Re: The Triples are Coming! The Triples are Coming!    (Score: 1, Normal) 04-04-2012 14:48
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Dren wrote:
DCR wrote:
Didn't the Geo Metro have a 3 cylinder? I remember something of it having a 4 cylinder with one missing.


Yes, it sure did. It was all aluminum and had a whopping 50hp or so.



I had the luxury of driving a couple of these, both were autos too... I think it was officially rated at 55hp.

You could got WOT at 120kph and count to 10 and it was still at 120kph, well ok, maybe 121kph...

Also drove the 5spd 4cyl version, more fun, but still slow.
CarPhreakD
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Re: The Triples are Coming! The Triples are Coming!    (Score: 1, Normal) 04-04-2012 18:43
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CB77 wrote:
CarPhreakD wrote:
Guys, I will only say this: Cars with odd numbers of cylinders are *always* a bad bet. A 3 cylinder is obviously there for FE and cost only, and you will soon realize why only the cheapest pieces of shit vehicles use an engine with a 240 deg firing order and huge counterbalancer. 4 cylinders, or even 5 or 6. But going down to 3 is just stupid unless you want to deal with cracked cylinder blocks and teeth chattering idle quality.


I also recall all the ill-fated 3 cylinder motorcycles over the past few years. The Triumph Trident, BSA Rocket-3, Yamaha XS750...they just never seemed to click with American riders (although Triumph's current offerings of triples are doing better than I would have expected). I think the exhaust note of a 3-cyl may have had something to do with it. The "vacuum-cleaner" sound of a 750 Triumph Trident at full song, could not match the wonderful shriek of a 750 Honda 4-cylinder, of that time.

I guess the closest thing to success that 3 cylinders ever had in this market was the Kawasaki triples of the early '70s...and to a lesser degree, the 3 cylinder Suzukis. Somehow, the exhaust note of a 3 cylinder 2-stroke had a sexier sound than that of a 3 cylinder 4-stroke. I can still clearly recall that other-worldly sound of a Kawasaki MachIII at full-tilt.

I think, too (as CarPhreak suggests) a 3 cyl screams "cheap"...looking as if you are saying "I couldn't afford a 4 or 6."



I think it might make sense when you have the tiniest of A-segment (and kei cars) crap cans, but it doesn't make sense for all the B-class and up cars you find in North America. A V-twin might actually be more smooth than I3 engines.

The Fiat 500's 1.4 litre engine already has an engine block that fits on a sheet of A4 paper.
 
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