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Triumph Man

Original Poster:

3,119 posts

55 months

[news] 
Thursday 14th June 2012 quote quote all
More and more these days we are seeing 6 cylinder engines replaced with turbocharged 4 cylinder engines. BMW being a case in point.

So which would you rather have? One example could be the old E90 325i being replaced with the new 328i, more power, fewer cylinders. (I know that maybe it isn't a direct replacement, but still)

Personally, I will always go for more cylinders where I can. For me the noise of a car is part of the fun, so I wouldn't mind sacrificing some power for a good soundtrack.

Another example that springs to mind is the Lexus IS200/Toyota Altezza. As the Altezza, it is offered with a 2.0 4 cylinder engine producing somewhere around 200bhp. In the IS200, it has a 2.0 6 cylinder producing somewhere around 150bhp. In this case, I would still take 6 cylinders, even with a 50bhp deficit.

GravelBen

11,411 posts

117 months

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Thursday 14th June 2012 quote quote all
I would actually drive both instead of making a choice based on a number.

Oldandslow

1,170 posts

93 months

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Thursday 14th June 2012 quote quote all
I know what you mean. A large American V8 is on my wish list, never mind that it won't be very economical, refined or powerful. It's about the sensation. A turbo charged 4 makes more sense on paper but doesn't have the soul.

dreamer75

1,049 posts

115 months

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Thursday 14th June 2012 quote quote all
It's got to be about how the car drives. My scoob is obviously a 4 cylinder turbo, and it has a *lot* of character and soul (and power). But I'm selling it and moving to a 6 cylinder NA which also has character and power, but it's just a totally different power delivery and experience.

It's never aobut just straight numbers - it's about how they feel when you drive them.

Kozy

2,964 posts

105 months

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Thursday 14th June 2012 quote quote all
Usually I would opt for more cylinders as I image most PHers would, however there are exceptions on older cars:

Triumph Man said:
Another example that springs to mind is the Lexus IS200/Toyota Altezza. As the Altezza, it is offered with a 2.0 4 cylinder engine producing somewhere around 200bhp. In the IS200, it has a 2.0 6 cylinder producing somewhere around 150bhp. In this case, I would still take 6 cylinders, even with a 50bhp deficit.
In this case I would have the RS200 hands down.

E30 M3 over E30 325i.

Sometimes the entire package is more important than just the engine.
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Triumph Man

Original Poster:

3,119 posts

55 months

[news] 
Thursday 14th June 2012 quote quote all
Oldandslow said:
I know what you mean. A large American V8 is on my wish list, never mind that it won't be very economical, refined or powerful. It's about the sensation. A turbo charged 4 makes more sense on paper but doesn't have the soul.
Exactly.

kambites

41,340 posts

108 months

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Thursday 14th June 2012 quote quote all
Impossible to tell without driving the cars(s) in question.

s m

10,649 posts

90 months

[news] 
Thursday 14th June 2012 quote quote all
Kozy said:
In this case I would have the RS200 hands down.

E30 M3 over E30 325i.

Sometimes the entire package is more important than just the engine.
Yep, I'm with Kozy - for me, some 4 cylinders are far more dramatic/exciting than some 6/8 cylinder cars to drive.

There is no answer that fits all cases

Triumph Man

Original Poster:

3,119 posts

55 months

[news] 
Thursday 14th June 2012 quote quote all
Personally, I would rather drive my Triumph with its (albeit underpowered) roaring straight 6, an engine that loves to be revved and most definitely has a soul, rather than a new BMW 328i. For starters, I would be disappointed that a car like that doesn't have 6 cylinders. No I haven't driven one before anyone says anything. I expect it's very capable and powerful, 245 bhp compared to err 84 bhp should be more than adequate. It just doesn't appeal though. I think I would always be slightly disappointed that I wasn't in one with 6 cylinders.

cerb4.5lee

4,736 posts

67 months

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Thursday 14th June 2012 quote quote all
Its more cylinders for me, better character & a more lovely sound, less stress on the engine leads to higher reliability from the engine, plus a personal hatred for how gutless most four cylinder engines are.

Although i love the new focus ST & would consider buying one & i have always been really impressed at the ten of the best meetings how much power gets squeezed out of a four pot engine, but i would imagine you need an empty pot of money to keep them running properly.

I loved my tuned 4 pot (only stage 1) in my 200sx but after 40k miles & four years in it which i loved every minute of it, the next owner blew the engine up in his first week!!

nagsheadwarrior

2,304 posts

66 months

[news] 
Thursday 14th June 2012 quote quote all
Almost always going to be more cylinders but it does depend on what its in.
In smaller cars then a revvy 4pot has its pluses, I had the misfortune of having a Mazda MX3 as a courtesy car while my mk3 Prelude was in the garage years ago,a newer 1.8 V6 versus a 1990 2.0 4pot in the Honda and my Prelude was a much better drive, the small 6 cylinder lump was horrible in a small car.

Captain Muppet

8,100 posts

152 months

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Thursday 14th June 2012 quote quote all
Mazda used to make a 130bhp 1.8 V6 and a 130bhp 1.8 I4. I wonder if they'd fitted the V6 in the MX5 would it have sold better than the I4.

kambites

41,340 posts

108 months

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Thursday 14th June 2012 quote quote all
Captain Muppet said:
Mazda used to make a 130bhp 1.8 V6 and a 130bhp 1.8 I4. I wonder if they'd fitted the V6 in the MX5 would it have sold better than the I4.
Probably worse, since it would presumably have cost more.

doogz

23,418 posts

74 months

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Thursday 14th June 2012 quote quote all
nagsheadwarrior said:
Almost always going to be more cylinders but it does depend on what its in.
In smaller cars then a revvy 4pot has its pluses, I had the misfortune of having a Mazda MX3 as a courtesy car while my mk3 Prelude was in the garage years ago,a newer 1.8 V6 versus a 1990 2.0 4pot in the Honda and my Prelude was a much better drive, the small 6 cylinder lump was horrible in a small car.
Was yours the 150bhp B20A7?

Cracking engine IMO. I loved my Gen3.

80sboy

452 posts

44 months

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Thursday 14th June 2012 quote quote all
s m said:
Kozy said:
In this case I would have the RS200 hands down.

E30 M3 over E30 325i.

Sometimes the entire package is more important than just the engine.
Yep, I'm with Kozy - for me, some 4 cylinders are far more dramatic/exciting than some 6/8 cylinder cars to drive.

There is no answer that fits all cases
I agree to an extent... I'd rather have an E30 M3 over the 325i. The M3 and some other highly tuned 4 cylinders do sound amazing. I REALLY want an M3 in fact, but the 6 cylinder 325i Sport (My recent big itch) is still very appealing! And not only because it is a fraction of the cost to buy!

However, it has to be said that on the whole, standard 4 cylinder engines do sound crap. Whereas most 6+ cylinder engines sounds amazing and usually make for a much nicer driving experience. It's not just the noise, but effortless and linear power delivery, readily available torque, etc, etc.

For me, in most cases it would be more cylinders and less power - with just a few exceptions. I'm not liking the new idea of the new BMW 328i (as good as they engine may actually be), tuned Subaru's, Evo's, etc.


Edited by 80sboy on Thursday 14th June 10:37

ewenm

27,006 posts

132 months

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Thursday 14th June 2012 quote quote all
Depends on the car.

In the Caterham a revvy, light 4-cyl is ideal.
In the Mustang a big, lazy V8 is great.

The engine has to suit the character and purpose of the car; it's about more than just numbers.

Triumph Man

Original Poster:

3,119 posts

55 months

[news] 
Thursday 14th June 2012 quote quote all
nagsheadwarrior said:
Almost always going to be more cylinders but it does depend on what its in.
In smaller cars then a revvy 4pot has its pluses, I had the misfortune of having a Mazda MX3 as a courtesy car while my mk3 Prelude was in the garage years ago,a newer 1.8 V6 versus a 1990 2.0 4pot in the Honda and my Prelude was a much better drive, the small 6 cylinder lump was horrible in a small car.
Yeah that's a good point. I think when I wrote the OP, in my head I was thinking 3-series sized and above. Some cars are better with fizzy little 4-pots, and some work better with 5s and upwards.

Kozy

2,964 posts

105 months

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Thursday 14th June 2012 quote quote all
80sboy said:
It's not just the noise, but effortless and linear power delivery, readily available torque, etc, etc.
How does the number of cylinders affect the power delivery?

80sboy

452 posts

44 months

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Thursday 14th June 2012 quote quote all
Kozy said:
80sboy said:
It's not just the noise, but effortless and linear power delivery, readily available torque, etc, etc.
How does the number of cylinders affect the power delivery?
In my experience of driving 6+ cylinder cars, power delivery has always been very smooth and very linear. Especially BMW's in-line 6 and the more explosive V8 in the 650i.

I've not found that to be the case in many of the 4-cylinder cars I've driven.

otolith

26,486 posts

91 months

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Thursday 14th June 2012 quote quote all
There is more than one question there. Usually, downsizing an engine for fuel efficiency but keeping the same power means losing some cylinders and gaining forced aspiration. Some people prefer the power delivery characteristics of naturally aspirated engines and many people prefer the smoothness and sound of an engine with more cylinders. On the other hand, a smaller, lighter engine may result in a better handling car, especially in an intrinsically nose heavy front wheel drive application, and turbocharging can enable the creation of torque curves which suit drivers who find being in the right gear a chore.
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