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Consumer Reports has taken aim at at small-displacement, forced-induction engines, saying the powerplants don't manage to deliver on automaker fuel economy claims. Manufacturers have long held that smaller, turbocharged engines pack all power of their larger displacement cousins with significantly better fuel economy, but the research organization says that despite scoring high EPA economy numbers, the engines are no better than conventional drivetrains in both categories. Jake Fisher, director of automotive testing for Consumer Reports, says the forced induction options "are often slower and less fuel efficient than larger four and six-cylinder engines."
Specifically, CR calls out the new Ford Fusion equipped with the automaker's Ecoboost 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine. The institute's researchers found the engine, which is a $795 option over the base 2.5-liter four-cylinder, fails to match competitors in acceleration and served up 25 miles per gallon in testing, putting the sedan dead last among other midsize options.
The Chevrolet Cruze, Hyundai Sonata Turbo and Ford Escape 2.0T all got dinged for the same troubles, though Consumer Reports has found the turbo 2.0-liter four-cylinder in the BMW 328i does deliver on its promises. You can check out the full press release below. You can also read the full study on the Consumer Reports site, or scroll down for a short video recap.
It was inevitable that we'd see the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray topless at some point, but that didn't make us any less interested when a pair of supposedly leaked official images showed up on theautoinsiderblog.com last week. We posted them on our Facebook page, but held off reporting on them here until we could get a little more information.
Those images, which feature a dark red car on a sterile black studio background, supposedly first appeared on the website of diecast model maker Maisto. A Chevrolet spokesman has been reported saying that they are "not official images released by Chevrolet PR," which isn't a denial they're the real deal, but neither is it a confirmation.
Close examination of the photos suggest they could be official shots of the Corvette Stingray Convertible, and while some have doubted their authenticity due to a lack of vents (which were seen on the C7s that debuted in Detroit last week), it could be that the images are of a base model car without the Z51 package that doesn't require the extra venting and cooling.
We tell you about what a car is like to drive every day, remarking on throttle response, steering weight and feedback, squat, dive, brake fade and a dozen or more other factors of performance. What we can't tell you, though, is what the car does to us - how its performance impacts us, physically. That's what makes this video series from Chevrolet so darn cool.
The Bow-Tie brand rented out Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch, got several (very) different individuals together, strapped a bunch of sensors to their bodies to record biometric data ranging from heart rate to respiration to brain activity, and then handed them keys to the new Chevrolet Corvette Stingray. The results are explained in a series of videos, devoted to each driver, showing how different people react to the Corvette's performance.
If, like your author, you're a nerd for medical science, this is going to be a fascinating set of videos. If not, it's still pretty cool to see how the body of someone with racing experience, like Gran Turismo creator Kazunori Yamauchi, reacts to tracking a car like the Corvette Stingray compared to the owner of legendary Detroit barbecue joint, Slows BBQ. Take a look below for all six videos from the series, or hop over to the Corvette Vimeo channel for the interactive experience, where you can see all the different metrics.