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Mainstream Large Sedans Comparison

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Comments

  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 25,976
    >3.8 is nothing more than a durable (and reasonably economical) workhorse engine that started life in the 50's as a Buick 231, and it is 'overtaxed' (your word) by contemporary standards in any automotive application, not just Lucernes.

    You need to get your head out of the sand. The 3800 is vastly changed from the 3.8 which came from the 231 which came from a ?350?. Why not say it goes back to 1900?

    As for the 5000 rpm motors in other cars this produces torque at low rpm, giving a quiet automobile that most drivers want.

    Over-taxed my foot. It depends on the gearing. LeSabre, Park Avenue not over-taxed for the normal driver. If you want street racing at 5000 rpm and you drive that way all the time, it's not the motor for you without supercharger. I don't drive that way!!!

    The 3800 is one motor that delivers more than EPA mileage rating. City-22 for my wife, 24 for me; highway 32 including starts and stops. Higher on open road travel with speed limits followed!

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • plektoplekto Member Posts: 3,738
    The Northstar is reliable as a tank and HP figures are well, take a look sometime at how they are calculated.

    Notice that it's Torque and then a bunch of math and an arbitrary number applied to it. IE - it all boils down to gearing and is a function of basically the top-end speed of a car.

    We don't really need to go 120mph, though, do we? More than 200-250HP is simply wasted on normal driving and GM knows this. The Northstars are more powerful than their competition in terms of low-end torque, which is where people seem to want it - for passing and city traffic and so on. Not on a dragstrip flogging it.

    And to get that HP out of the Avalon, you have to make the engine literally whine till the rev limiter almost kicks in. That's not realistic driving around town.

    But, yes, the 3800 in stock form is overtaxed in the Lucerne. It needs a supercharger or something - maybe the 3.9L instead. The V8, though, is beautiful.
  • captain2captain2 Member Posts: 3,971
    'Detroit's' solution to HP problems has always been adding cylinders and displacement and it is something that Detroit is good at - attacking problems with displacement (as opposed to technology).
    Of the cars in this particular group, the V6 equipped Avalon, Maxima, and Azera will all outrun (6+ sec 0-60 times) a V8 equipped Lucerne (tested right at 7). And do so saving up to 5 mpg at the gas pumps (the Avalon). The 3.8 liter back in the early 90's was a decent little engine that could (and still can) get you 30 mpg hwy in things like LeSabres largely because of some rather tall gearing. In a 3800 lb. Lucerne it is well out of its league. If you think though that any of these (Av, Maxima, Azera) 'whine' for power, you obviously haven't driven one or are confusing them with the Ford 3.0. Look up your peak HP/torque figures, 'import' V6 vs. V8, relative to engine speed - you find them remarkably close - and then, what you find out is that in addition to feeding the extra cylinders you are also pulling around an extra 400-500 pounds with that V8. That said, however, the Northstar is definitely the engine of choice in a Lucerne/DTS - it'll just cost a little more at the pumps.
    Note that I never said that the 3.8 or the Northstar were bad engines - just behind the times. Given a choice between power and economy, today's auto buyer wants BOTH - which is largely why 'Detroit' continues to struggle in the car market - they do not know how to build smaller displacement engines.
  • quietproquietpro Member Posts: 702
    plekto and imidazol, I agree with you. All the talk over hp numbers is incomplete and you get that. Low end torque is much more important in typical mixed driving as well as effortless passing when traveling at or near the speed limit. The newer high-tech engines depend on high RPMs to achieve their numbers while the 3800 has a flat torque curve. While the multi-valve engines may not be extremely noisy at those higher RPMs, there is still a sense of how fast they are spinning through the exhaust note and the feedback vibration. While that would be a cool feeling when you feel like racing, it's never conducive to relaxed, day-to-day driving.

    Of course, captain2 will disagree. I will challenge him to let us have our opinion without feeling the need to once again "educate" us of the superiority of all non-American engine technology. :D
  • maximafanmaximafan Member Posts: 592
    What?? A Maxima VQ screams in protest at revs
    of 5 grand or more? I don't recall my '02
    Maxima ever having the engine scream when
    I would let 'er rip, and I drove 'er for four
    years until she got totalled in a wreck two
    months ago. Screaming engine? Not! Silky
    smooth and really quick, Yes!!!
  • plektoplekto Member Posts: 3,738
    Of the cars in this particular group, the V6 equipped Avalon, Maxima, and Azera will all outrun (6+ sec 0-60 times) a V8 equipped Lucerne (tested right at 7). And do so saving up to 5 mpg at the gas pumps (the Avalon).

    The thing is - the Avalon drives like the 3800. The 3800 will do 0-60 in almost 7 seconds in the LaCrosse if you manually shift the automatic and flog the crap out of it.

    Ie - 60mph in *2nd* gear - right pushing the redline.

    The Avalon is really simmilar in that it has two modes - full bore max revs and nothing. Racer and Grandma.

    The V8 doesn't make as much power, but you have 3/4 of that power at rpms that the Toyota engine is only partially wound up. In and around town, the Northstar moves and jumps right as you want it while the Avalon is constantly either in the wrong gear, thanks to the silly 5 speed transmission) or overshooting your intended speed(and you have to let off or hit the brakes). The ability to do a gentle 30-45mph roll-on quickly and without downshifting isn't there.

    Go drive a Cadillac DTS or Lucerne CXS(essentially the same car/engine combination). It feels anything but underpowered.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 25,976
    I didn't find the 3800 in Lucerne to be underpowered--but I don't drive briskly...

    I read somewhere, some forum that there were 5 states where engines had to meet different pollution requirements, a la California, and the 3800 had to meet those states so it had been "detuned" to make certification in those states and the rest of us get the same weakened motor. Does anyone know what that poster was talking about?

    The Lucerne can't be much more weight than a Park Avenue was and the 3800 performed admirably in PAs. I can understand a final drive ratio change and detuning causing a difference in the driving feel of the motor.

    The 3800 has a relatively flat torque curve and wasn't too far behind the high-powered motor used in the LaCrosse in torque at 1500-2000 rpm where most people are driving their cars much of the time.

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • captain2captain2 Member Posts: 3,971
    think you misread what I said - exactly the opposite - the Nissan VQ is perhaps the best V6 ever made given that it has been around so long and can produce 300hp. Know exactly what you are talking about - my wife's daily driver an Altima 3.5.
  • captain2captain2 Member Posts: 3,971
    you obviously haven't driven an Avalon, or for that matter the Maxima or Azera. None of them drive that way.
    the Lacrosse/Lucerne 3.8 couldn't 'dream' of getting down into the 7's, the 3.6 240hp (LaCrosse) perhaps. It is a simple question of lbs/hp.
    the Lucerne V8 certainly has the hp and the torque (yes it does make some difference)that it would normally keep up with the Avalon, Maxima, Azera in anything but a drag race - but, only at the expense of FE.
  • captain2captain2 Member Posts: 3,971
    everybody certainly entitled to any opinion, this is what I thought these forums were all about - and whatever information that readers may get from them?
  • plektoplekto Member Posts: 3,738
    Check out the specs on the Avalon. The rated HP is at an unreasonably high rpm.

    1:This is nearly twice what the automatic will normally shift at. This means flooring the pedal to keep it in gear, hence the "racer or granny" problem. This is the same problem I faced with the Volvo 850 Turbo. Nothing nothing *WHAM!* Oh crud - I'm going 40mph two seconds later and about to park in that guy's trunk.

    If you let up on the throttle even a tiny bit, it downshifts immediately. lug lug lug...

    2:The gearing makes it impossible to actually attain that power. EVER. Unless you drive on the highway in 3rd gear and lock out 4th and 5th manually. 4th gear's speed where it develops the rated HP is over 80mph, and 5th gear is somewhere close to 120mph(!). The hard reality is that the engine tests well for auto magazines but around town it develops maybe 200hp due to gearing and a transmission that tires to outthink you.

    Note - GM's 3800 has the exact same problem. 3rd gear gives maximum HP at 85-90mph, and 4th is in the stratosphere. The rest of the time it lugs horribly but gets diesel-like mileage as a result.

    The beauty of the V8, though, and the GM 3.6VVT, is that it they give your mountains of torque and decent enough HP at actual driving speeds. 0-60 and stated HP may be not as competetive, but you can actually use it without racing it or getting a ticket.
  • nvbankernvbanker Member Posts: 7,285
    From the WSJ today, front page: Unsold Gas Guzzlers fill lots. Chrysler is cutting production by 16% in the second half and could face another restructuring. Dr. Z conceded that his strategy for ending the auto maker's financial volatility had failed in the face of rising gas prices, slowing demand for trucks and higher health care costs. :sick:
  • captain2captain2 Member Posts: 3,971
    OK, the Avalon is rated at 268hp @6200, the Northstar [email protected] - this would be the big difference or the 'unreasonable' rpm your are talking about. Back in 93 the Northstar was and still remains Detroit's good effort at an all aluminum dual overhead cam engine. It can rate HP at 6000 because the engine design is good enough to handle it. Or perhaps it is certainly 'unreasonable' for a pushrod iron 3.8 block V6 that is rated at 197hp at a mere 5200 rpm? There are some diesels out there that can do better than that and sound/feel better in the process!
    And no cars that I know of attain top speeds in top gear, the Avalon is electronically limited to 138 mph which means about 5800 rpm in 4th. At real speeds, the engine is turning right about the same 2000 rpm at 70 in high gear as do the 3.8/Northstar. Now if you are telling me that the Northstar Lucerne pulls top speed in top gear, then I would tell you that it needs another gear - would help the FE!
    The 2GR Toyota engine is, incidentally, the most advanced engine of its kind, continuously variable valve timing on both the intake and exhaust sides, 2 fuel injectors (1 direct) each cylinder - the only thing that comes close to it in terms of technology - the straight 6s in some BMWs. Thanks obviously to some rather slick computer programming, the engine is almost always at peak efficiency - the reason why the FE is so outrageously good relative to the power. So as GM is now experimenting with VVT on the 3.6 as you say, the 2GR Toyota/Lexus engine well ahead of it in both the hp/torque and FE standpoints.
    This engine by the way, is all new to the 05 Avalon, is designed and built in the USA, and is a significant departure for Toyota/Lexus. Toyota had until this point never been known for performance engines - the older Avalons with a simpler 3 liter, belt driven overhead cam. Hence, the deserved 'Japanese Buick/Grandpa's Car' reputation. Not any more. You'd really have to drive one and see what happens first, you managing to get the engine to 'lug' OR you streaking your drawers...
    Additionally, the engine is now proliferating throughout Toyota/Lexus, from the hot rod RAV4, to the Camrys, to the Lexus IS and GS, and even an LS hybrid. And lest you think this is some sort of Toyota blog, I would tell you that the drivetrains in the Maxima, the Azera, and several Honda products approach this level of sophistication.
  • captain2captain2 Member Posts: 3,971
    your misinformation so incredible a couple of other comments:
    the Volvo 850 - a turbo 2.7 liter inline 5 cylinder I assume. And a reason why turbocharging is not a good option for overall drivability or for that matter engine durability. In most applications the required pressures to spike the HP doesn't really hit until 4000 or so. Does it create an on-off character, yep - in small displacement turbocharged engines.

    apparently this car's behavior got you back into the big 'ole American V8s - that's fine - with that Northstar I'm sure that the smoothness of your driving experience has improved an order of magnitude or so.

    BUT, to assume that this behavior is something that you would experience in any smaller displacement vehicle is just flat wrong, only confirming that you have never actually driven any Avalon, Maxima/Altima V6, Accord, Azera/Sonata V6 and many many other normally aspirated cars with good engines.

    The whole idea of my Avalon having to downshift due to load might possibly require that now famous Mt. Everest hillclimb along with some additional urging from my right foot. BTW, the fastest I have had my car - 110, turning only 3500 rpm in 5th and still pulling strongly - indicated fuel mileage was dropping like a rock - wonder why?
  • plektoplekto Member Posts: 3,738
    OK, the Avalon is rated at 268hp 6200, the Northstar 275hp 6000 - this would be the big difference or the 'unreasonable' rpm your are talking about.

    I'm talking about torque, since the car won't normally drive at those high rpms, as we both stated. Not unless you lock it out and drive it in 3rd or something, and even then, it's going way over the speed limit in both cars.(4 out of 5 in the Avalon, of course)

    Another problem is the gear spacing. Now, the Avalon does much better here, to be honest. But both have a serious problem. If you hold it in gear, you quickly - and I mean *quickly* jump up to unsafe speeds. Ie - 2nd gear lugs but you whomp it and hold it, and you're going 45mph+ in seconds. That's not city driving. If you go up a gear, though, it drops to 1800 or so and you immediately lug the engine.

    Driving around in second with the Buick and third in the Avalon isn't practical, so what matters is torque - the ability to push yourself up to speed quickly(as opposed to HP, which is effectively top-end speed, which both cars have silly amounts of)

    The V8 puts out laods more torque at 2000rpm than either of the V6s.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 25,976
    You need to post the torque and horsepower graphs for your Avalon. It's the horsepower at useable rpms for normal driving that's important along with the gear ratios in play at those speeds for normal driving.

    Do you think maybe the Northstar has lots more horsepower at 3500 rpms than your Avalon?????? That's why citing peak this and peak that has little if anything to do with the driving experience. It's the engineering behind the motor and thre transmission and final drive ratios that makes the car useable for normal people driving at normal speeds in a normal manner.

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • captain2captain2 Member Posts: 3,971
    FYI - HP = (torque X rpm)/5252 - which means, of course, as one number goes up so does the other.
    Ihe difference between the two is a little diffcult to understand - but, try this - torque is the amount of 'instanteous' twisting force available at any given time, HP is that force applied over a period of time. OK, so what, you say.
    Torque numbers are highly related to an engine's reciprocating mass, compression ratios etc., the reason why compression ignition engines (diesels) will have astronomical torque numbers. And, even a Jetta TDI, for example will feel downright spunky starting off from a traffic light. Well, why aren't we all driving diesels, we could sure save a lot on fuel. Well, the answer is that diesels are almost without exception (my apologies to the MB E320CDI, and BMW 330D) slow cars despite all the available torque. Why?
    Because all that reciprocating mass makes the CI engine slow to pick up engine speed, and furthermore limits the maximum engine speed - CI engines typical operate with 4000-4500 rpm redlines. IMO, of course, the diesel probably does represent the immediate future in our engine compartments once our diesel fuels are cleaned up and some emissions problems are solved.
    Back to the V8/V6 - all else equal that are three things that are generally true: 1) the larger the engine, the more reciprocating mass, the slower it is to pick up rpm, and the higher the torque, 2) conversely, the smaller the engine (with less mass) the faster it will increase speed, therefore gaining a HP advantage and 3) the bigger the engine the more fuel is required to feed it.
    In the real world these CVVT/injection systems have served to flatten the torque curve on a well engineered V6 while still retaining a superior ability to use that power over a period of time (HP). The reason why HP remains a better measure of a car's overall dynamic abilities, and the reason why that cars like the Avalon and the Maxima will actually outperform that V8 in about any measurable performance category, 0-60, 30-50, 40-70, 0-100 take your pick - and use less of that $3 stuff in the process. Is a 4 cylinder going to have to 'work' harder than a 6, or a 6 more than 8 - sure - that is also called efficiency, getting as much as you can from as little as possible.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 25,976
    Lucerne 3800

    image

    Lucerne Northstar

    image

    Notice that at stoplight smooth takeoff of 2000 rpm, the 3800 produces 220 lbs/ft and the Northstar produces 270 lbs/ft.

    Post a graph of your other motors please...

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • captain2captain2 Member Posts: 3,971
    Do you think maybe the Northstar has lots more horsepower at 3500 rpms than your Avalon??????
    No actually I know it does: at that engine speed the NStar is sitting at 196 hp (see formula above), the Avalon at 165, and just to give an an idea of how ridiculous it is to consider a static condition like this, let's throw in a Dodge Cummins truck 500 ft/lb. of that precious torque equating to 333 HP at the same 3500 rpm!
    Now all three of us press the accelerator for 10 seconds, all downshift, like maybe we are trying to quickly pass a semi - who do you think gets by that semi first? The Lucerne V8, in this case. right on the bumper of the Avalon, and that poor pickup that hit its rev limiter, the engine just quit (or flat disintegrated)! From my previous post, I assume you now understand WHY - because over that 10 seconds the Avalon has managed to increase its engine speed more relative to whatever rpm change we get out of the V8. Now that 'little' V6 putting out more HP than that V8, and the reason why it gets by the semi first. And used a few ounces less gas doing it!
    It is silly to be consumed with the importance of torque - it is effectively a static measurement. Unless, of course, you do a lot of trailer towing or stump pulling - both not likely with FWD cars!
    have no access to silly graphs, they don't mean much - the important things being how quickly you can avoid trouble, the overall drivability of the car, and how many dollars I spend keeping enough gas in it so I can enjoy it!
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 25,976
    >to silly graphs,

    Do you have references for your opinions?

    >my previous post, I assume you now understand WHY

    I didn't buy everything in your previous post. Do you have links for that info? Why do car makers even discuss torque if it's useless other for stump-pulling?

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • captain2captain2 Member Posts: 3,971
    no references and not really opinions, just some simple laws of physics along with some mechanical knowledge - stand to be corrected, of course.
    and I never said that torque meant nothing - is the baseline for what does matter (HP) so therefore the higher the better. may interest you to know that there are a number of smaller engined cars that can become almost undriveable because of limited torque - and not just plekto's 850 turbo (by his descirption, not mine).
    The Honda S2000 gets 240hp out of a 2 liter (120 CI) engine, except that the car is docile and almost slow until the tach hits about 6 grand! From there to a 9000 rpm redline it will almost throw you out the car! I found it impossible to keep the revs up in anything approaching normal driving. It is not really useful HP. Never driven either one of the 'rice rockets', the Evo or the Subie WRX ,but would suspect the same problem - you have to flail the bejeepers out of it before it will actually do what it is advertised to do.
    Back to topic - there is nothing 'peaky' at all about the Toyota 2GR or the Nissan VQ, they both will pull to redline almost frighteningly fast and they are quiet and smooth as they do it. Furthermore, given the aid of some of these new 'tricks', continuously variable valve timings, better fuel and mixture control, that torque curve remains pretty flat in a useful rpm range - which is indeed what you want. Most normally aspirated cars are like that, the reason for the graph diss.
    And lastly, both the 3.8 GM and the Ford 3.0 DT are good engines in terms of reliability - as they both should be. My point has only been that they are not competitive for those consumers that seem to be buyibg both power and economy...
  • havalongavalonhavalongavalon Member Posts: 460
    I'm with captain2 on the Avalon's available power and smooth and quick acceleration, especially at low speeds/low RPM. In practice, these match or surpass pretty much every other production car on the roads today.

    In daily driving with my 2005 XLS I tend to be fastest off the mark and leave others way behind, while rarely allowing the RPM to go over 3,000. The Avalon can accelerate effortlessly both in its automatic shift mode or in manual shift mode. In automatic mode it tends to downshift early to conserve RPM, although for some conditions it tends to hang in 3rd gear past 3,000 RPM, such as near the top of a long uphill; then I usually switch to manual mode to shift into 4th gear sooner.

    Either way, the Avalon's engine and 5-speed combination provide smooth, nearly unbeatable performance plus outstanding fuel economy, best in its weight class.

    Finally, although it has plenty of torque, the Avalon has none of the torque steer issues that can plague other powerful FWD cars.

    For all these reasons I say,

    havalongavalon ;)
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 25,976
    >because over that 10 seconds the Avalon has managed to increase its engine speed more relative to whatever rpm change we get out of the V8.

    I don't get where you think there's a difference in ability to speed up the motor rpms? It's tied to the rear wheels through the driveshaft and transmission--it's not freewheeling.

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 25,976
    "Finally, let me leave you with my favorite phrase about the relationship between horsepower and torque: Horsepower is what you read about, torque is what you feel."

    Show me the torque ratings and graphs...

    Oh, the quote is from an ultimate expert, Edmunds. ;)

    Edmunds link

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 25,976
    Notice that although Engine B has more peak horsepower, Engine A has more power at speeds up to 5500 rpm. What's more, it has significantly more power in the 1500-4000 rpm range (highlighted area), the range of engine speeds in which you'd typically operate a car.

    image

    We see that Engine A puts out much greater torque, especially over the typical engine speed range, indicating that under normal conditions Engine A will give you much more “oomph” than Engine B. Peak numbers are nice to brag about but often don't mean much, since few people operate their engines at peak conditions (which would generally be full throttle) in a typical day.

    image

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • plektoplekto Member Posts: 3,738
    Now all three of us press the accelerator for 10 seconds, all downshift, like maybe we are trying to quickly pass a semi - who do you think gets by that semi first? The Lucerne V8, in this case. right on the bumper of the Avalon, and that poor pickup that hit its rev limiter, the engine just quit (or flat disintegrated)! From my previous post, I assume you now understand WHY - because over that 10 seconds the Avalon has managed to increase its engine speed more relative to whatever rpm change we get out of the V8. Now that 'little' V6 putting out more HP than that V8, and the reason why it gets by the semi first. And used a few ounces less gas doing it!

    Other than a freeway pass, all of that HP is essentially wasted. Not because the engine has a problem, but because of the silly tall gearing. What these engines really need is much shorter gears OR less of them. That's why the Lucerne does so well. It works because all of that power runs through only four gears. It consistently revs higher around town than the Avalon, though not as high of course when you floor it.

    IE - it's not just HP and Torque, but at what speeds they get there for each gear(which has its own different torque and HP curve as well)

    BTW - the HP tests are done in a lab with a measuring device mounted where the transmission would go. It's pretty close to second gear on most automatics. It's utterly useless in real life, because shifting gives you a nasty graph that has what look like small waves/teeth in it. Each gear chops a huge chunk out of your rpms.

    The Avalon looses here because the graphs look fantastic at full throttle, but at half throttle, it's a ragged mess. Too much shifting, too much lugging.

    The problem with the GM and Toyota V6 engines is that under normal driving conditions you don't press the pedal down more than 1/2 way. If you do, you end up nearly parking in the other guy's trunk. Lug lug lug at half throttle - wham - two seconds of huge power and let off the gas. Zero refinement. Reminds me of an old muscle car with a twitchy throttle.

    I drove both. 3.8 and Avalon made a lot more noise, more shifting, and just didn't have that utterly smooth roll-on behavior that a big car should have. The Northstar was quiet and polished. Not as fast, but plenty quick and much smoother. It feels like a big luxury sedan, especially with the active suspension.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 25,976
    The point in the graphs is that the usable rpms for most people driving is 1500-4000 rpm. That's why it's unshaded toemphasize its importance to normal driving, not advertisements!!!

    I had my V6 up to 3000 some starts yesterday only to blow the soot out of it!!! Just kidding.
    My normal driving rarely hits 2500 on the tach and usually is lower.

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • hardhawkhardhawk Member Posts: 702
    Why don't we can all the engine techno babble here and just agree to disagree on the engine issue!?! Some people prefer the way the Avalon drives and others prefer the Buick. Enough said. Let's move on to other issues and stop the petty bickering because no one is going to change their mind on this issue no matter how many posts are made. Reasonable minds can differ. Thank goodness we all have the choices we have.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 25,976
    Just skip the posts you don't care to read. When someone refers to data as silly (graphs), that an indicator of skipping facts and going on opinion.

    When people have facts wrong or just interpret them less than correctly, then helping with data is what these discussions are all about. I can recall in my youth being impressed by an increase of 5 horsepower in an advertised motor from Camaro or Mustang, when I didn't understand it's the gearing and the transmission gears that make all the difference and I didn't understand that the working range for the torque and horsepower figures were what's important.

    The need for EPA figures is affecting the sweet driveability of our cars. Otherwise the final drive ratio and individual transmission ratios and the torque (and subsequent horsepower depending on breathing capabilities) could be optimized in the normal driving range and for that 1% that want fast tire wear with all the fun of driving that way.

    Variable valve timing (Avalon?) adapts to those contraints partly, but it ads more parts and more controls which may cause problems later. Durability? 200K miles? Yet to be determined in everyday use over a period of years rather than test stand and test track quick miles.

    Pick the car that you like the feel of for everyday driving. What out-the-door price range are the 268 horsepower Avalons?

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • louisweilouiswei Member Posts: 3,715
    What out-the-door price range are the 268 horsepower Avalons?

    27K 3 months ago with the base model (with leather seats).
  • captain2captain2 Member Posts: 3,971
    because over that 10 seconds the Avalon has managed to increase its engine speed more relative to whatever rpm change we get out of the V8
    if this wasn't the case, the Avalon would never be able to out accelerate the V8, because it is starting the pass with a lower torque number. Remember the diesel example - if it is all about high relative torque in lower rpm ranges, then the diesels would be the fastest cars on the road. Instead they tend to be among the slowest. The reason the diesel isn't 'fast', they are slow to rev in addition to being rev limited. The V8 must be slower to rev than the V6, otherwise the Lucerne V8 would 'blow the doors' off the Avalon because it does have higher torque. Also remember, another comment 'does a 4 have to work harder than a 6, or a 6 harder than an 8 - sure'
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 25,976
    I don't understand your statement

    The V8 must be slower to rev than the V6,

    Are you talking about revving in neutral? These are connected to a transmission, right, and the transmission is putting power to the ground, right? If the V8 has more torque than the V6 in the same car with the same gearing, it's going to accelerate faster. I don't understand any other conclusion.

    I think you are including variously-geared, different weight vehicles in your survey and then extrapolating that data to your outcome.

    The diesel isn't relevant here.

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • captain2captain2 Member Posts: 3,971
    OK, I'll bite - what engines are these, certainly NOT any of the ones we are talking about here!
  • captain2captain2 Member Posts: 3,971
    no, it has to be picking up more revs under load, because otherwise that Avalon cannot not outrun the V8, can it? The diesel is only relevant in that it is the extreme illustation of why torque is only a part of a real definition of automotive power. If I can get you folks to understand why the diesel car or truck is not fast from an acceleration point of view, then maybe you might also understand why an Avalon/Maxima will outrun something like V8 Lucerne where that difference is much, much closer. If the Lucerne weighed the same 3600 lbs. as the the other 2 cars, we are probably not having this conversation, and only talking about relative fuel economies. And besides, the laws of physics don't change because of what fuel we are burning.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 25,976
    >the laws of physics

    The gearing for the diesel is different and the motor is designed differently--for work, IMC.

    I fail to see your logic and I'm well aware of laws of physics. Guess I'll just disagree with your premises..EOD

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • captain2captain2 Member Posts: 3,971
    you need to find the time to drive a MB E320CDI, a straight 6, 200 hp/370 ft lbs and then tell me that the diesel is for work. It is wonderfully quick and not terribly diesel-like. Same acceleration times as the gas E350 which has the same specs. as the 2GR/VQ (hp and torque). But gets 50% better fuel mileage! If we had any sense in this country we would be looking to produce vehicles like this, instead of nonsensical E85 or even hybrids. Of course, the gearing is different - all vehicles should have gearing to exploit a particular engine's power curves! Another generality, that I guess you won't see the logic in - the larger the engine the more torque/hp you will usually have - and the less gears you really need.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 25,976
    >Same acceleration times as the gas E350 which has the same specs. as the 2GR/VQ (hp and torque).

    but earlier you told us diesels are slower across the board despite power ratings.

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • captain2captain2 Member Posts: 3,971
    Well, the answer is that diesels are almost without exception (my apologies to the MB E320CDI, and BMW 330D) slow cars despite all the available torque. Why?
    is what I said
  • captain2captain2 Member Posts: 3,971
    those two particular cars along with a V8 Audi, represent the current state of the art in CI engine technologies and are revolutionary in terms of getting many of what most of us find objectionable about diesels (slowness, noise, smoke - for example) out of diesels. I couldn't really tell I was driving a diesel at all except for the manner in which the power was delivered - much more linear (and yes, you can thank all that torque for that!)
  • captain2captain2 Member Posts: 3,971
    No doubt, the Impala SS @ 303hp/323 ft lbs., will leave any of three cars we've been talking about in its dust. Why?
    Well, because it has a larger engine, more torque, and more relative torque to its HP. It also produces this power/torque at lower rpms. Remember talking about reciprocating mass and how it effects torque? The iron 5.3 in the Impala, pushrods and all, has more of it (recip. mass) so therefore it should give you V8 proponents a better ride (by your contentions) than the smoother, aluminum, overhead cam Northstar - which most folks would consider a better engine?
  • batistabatista Member Posts: 159
    The Impala SS has an all aluminum engine not iron.
    You are confusing it with the 3.8 V6.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 25,976
    >You are confusing it with the 3.8 V6.

    Imagine that. ;)

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • captain2captain2 Member Posts: 3,971
    stand corrected then, sure does surprise me that Chevy (GM) would go to the trouble of an aluminum block and still keep pushrods (cam-in-block in GM speak). Learned something today!
    The comments about the relative HP and torque still hold true - pushrod engines do tend to be torque 'monsters' relative to more current overhead cam designs and more rev limited. This type of engine something 'Detroit' really really really has perfected. Even more reason to bypass that wonderful Northstar?
  • quietproquietpro Member Posts: 702
    Aluminum block and head...not ALL aluminum. ;) Just thought I'd get that in before SOMEONE ELSE tells you how wrong you are. :)
  • martin22martin22 Member Posts: 53
    Interesting all this talk on torque and OHV vs OHC. I was trained at Jaguar Cars many years ago and was taught that (all other things, such as capacity, being equal)undersquare engines (larger stroke dimension than bore dimension) gave better low end torque than oversquare engines but, because of the greater distances the pistons had to travel, were limited on high revs. The classic DOHC 3.4 XK engine is a good example. Bore:83mm, Stroke:106mm, Red Line: 5,500 rpm. Max torque was achieved at about 2,000 rpm. Maybe these fancy OHC Japanese engines are very oversquare compared with Detroit lumps - does anyone have the figures?.
  • captain2captain2 Member Posts: 3,971
    good point, and logically makes a lot of sense. And I would bet that again (with all else equal as you say), that oversquare engine will rev more quickly/easily, picking up disproportionately more HP as it does. Don't have the figures, but it would seem obvious that conversely the 3.8 GM should have a longer stroke (relative to its bore) than either the Toyota or Nissan engines as well as more reciprocating mass (200 hp and 230 ft/lbs vs. 265 hp and 250). The 3.8 may be as rough as a cob in upper rpm ranges, but it remains an economical and durable engine.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 25,976
    Captain,
    96.5 x 86.3; bore x stroke (mm) for 3800

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • captain2captain2 Member Posts: 3,971
    believe it or not the 2GR is 94x83 proportionatley about the same. Couldn't find anything on the VQ, but I think martin22's point is well taken.

    A slightly different subject - how effective DOD really is?

    We all know that EPA ratings are pretty much a joke highway test being done at 48 mph - and I think we all understand the manufacturers can (and do) generally 'tune' a car to do as well as possible at this kind of unrealistic speed. Seem to remember a comment from a 300C owner that his DOD would not allow his 300 to sustain 65-70 on 4 cylinders. Does the same thing happen on the SS so that it is difficult to make the hwy mpg claims at real highway speeds? 18/28 are not bad numbers when we are talking big V8s that put out 300 hp if it will really do it.
    The Northstar a more contemporary/efficient (in terms of HP/liter) engine DOHC design (but without DOD) you would think - would actually do better outside the laboratory?
  • captain2captain2 Member Posts: 3,971
    you would be the 4th 'I told you so!'. No biggie - by not all aluminum do you mean iron pistons, rods? Now that is interesting - much more of that weight I've been talking about in more cylinders and displacement, pushrods etc. meaning it is harder to get the engine to rev but once it is there - but good torque relative to its hp.
    This whole thread started with some comments that torque somehow was a defining component of a drivable car, implying that all these V6s were somehow wheezing up and down hills (which is definitely not the case )- to which I have been trying to explain what torque is (a static definition) and where it comes from, and while that torque does have a lot to do with drivability, it is still HP (torque applied over a period of time) that determines how well our vehicles actually accelerate. HP/lb. of vehicle wght remains the most accurate predictor of acceleration, not ft lbs./lb..
    How else would you explain, for example, that E320CDI with 200hp/370 ft/lbs trailing (only slightly) the gas E350 with 268/258. And yes, the E350 will have to shift and rev more outdistance that extra 110 lbs. of torque.
    From this group, the Avalon and Maxima will both outaccelerate the Lucerne Northstar, albeit not by much. The difference being the slower engine speed changes in the V8 along with about 400 lbs. of vehicle weight. And the V6s - just chuckle as they pass that last gas station! 'Detroit' needs to get the message and build some really good smaller engines - it would be a welcome change - iron or aluminum really makes no difference, the Northstar remains one of GMs best efforts and it is 13 years old.
    - PS Martin22's comment about bore in relation to stroke is the only really applicable comment I've seen about this. Those Jag 3.4/3.8/4.2 XK engines (inline 6s I believe) of the 50-60s were way ahead of their time, powering about the only true 100 mph cars of that time until Ford decided to drop a 260/289 into a 64 Falcon, Pontiac in the Tempest etc. - starting what I believe the beginning of the end of the US mfgrs. being truly innovative in the car market because they are still doing this. Had GM stuck with the Corvair, for example, Japan (maybe) does not 'take over' the US car market starting in the 70s. The Jags? - if he could only explain those 'nasty' Lucas electrics!.
  • averigejoeaverigejoe Member Posts: 559
    Your typed: At real speeds, the engine is turning right about the same 2000 rpm at 70 in high gear as do the 3.8/Northstar.

    But here's what I want to know: At 70 mph in each car, in top gear, what torque (or horsepower) is being produced by the motor? That available torque/horsepower at the 70 mph equivalent RPM is what I want to compare.
    That pulling power WITHOUT a downshift is what many posters have been wondering about.
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