Today Raphael published an essay on how the trend of downsizing—making engines smaller and with fewer cylinders while adding turbocharging—didn’t exactly work out the way automakers intended.
They went in with good intentions. Less gas consumption and fewer emissions without the power deficit, what’s not to love? But it was not to be, and now motors are starting to get bigger again.
And as reader Andy Sheehan pointed out, it’s all part of a complicated dance between regulators, the car-buying public and sometimes even science itself:
I’d add that at some point we (Americans specifically) just want bigger vehicles; it’s what we default to when gas gets cheap. But you can’t always get what you want, or at least not everything.