When Ford brought out the XR6 Turbo, many Ford fans felt a little confused, the battle between turbos and V8s had just taken a new direction. But now it's about to go one step further with GM mulling a four-cylinder turbocharged engine for the new Chevrolet Camaro.
The reason is fuel economy, while the Camaro screams V8 muscle car, someone has to pay for the fuel and with the U.S. economy nearing a recession, selling big V8 fuel guzzlers is getting harder.
GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz told journalists at the New York motor show that the entry model Camaro has been dropped, instead GM is considering transplanting the 2.0-litre turbocharged, direct-injected four-cylinder engine from the Pontiac Solstice roadster into the Camaro. The 2.0-litre produces 194kW.
The Camaro will also be available in high output V6 and V8 variants. The V6 version of the Camaro will have the same 3.6-litre four-cam V6 engine used in the Cadillac CTS, however power will be detuned to around 195kW. Fuel economy will be around 13.8L/100km for city and 9.4L/100km for highway.
Seeing a new Camaro go past with a modified blow off valve will undoubtedly make old-school muscle car fans cry, so the crowd pleaser for the Camaro range is the 6.0-litre (capacity unconfirmed) V8 with roughly 300kW.
GM will implement a cylinder cutoff system that shuts down four-cylinders when cruising, to improve fuel economy.
Given the rising cost of petrol, GM believes buyers will compromise, some will go for the turbo, more will go for the V8, but the majority will find the right balance in the V6 with a manual transmission.
“Back in the old days, if you wanted a muscle car, to get a decent one, you had to buy the V-8, and if you bought the V-6, you got a fairly rough, unrefined pushrod engine with low horsepower and weasely performance. This time, the V-6 is 260-odd horsepower, four overhead cams, very smooth and decent 0-to-60-mph times. And now the V-6 is in its own right a very fast, very legitimate car.” ” Lutz said.
Would you buy a four-cylinder turbo Camaro? Or to turn the question around, would you buy a four-cylinder turbo HSV/FPV sedan/coupe?