Engine:3.0L 182Cu. In. V6 GAS OHV Naturally Aspirated
Trim: SE Wagon 4-Door
Number of Cylinders: 6
Drive Type: FWD
Adak, Alaska, United States
At present, over 90 percent of all new vehicles sold in the United States today are equipped with event data recorders, more commonly known as black boxes. If the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gets its way, that already high figure will swell to a full 100 percent in short order.
Such automotive black boxes have been in existence since the 1990s, and all current Ford, General Motors, Mazda and Toyota vehicles are so equipped. NHTSA has been attempting to make these data recorders mandatory for automakers, and according to The Detroit News, the White House Office of Management Budget has just finished reviewing the proposal, clearing the way. Now NHTSA is expected to draft new legislation to make the boxes a requirement.
One problem with current black boxes is that there's no set of standards for automakers to follow when creating what bits of data are recorded, and for how long or in what format it is stored. In other words, one automaker's box is probably not compatible with its competitors.
This really was a matter of when, rather than if. Volkswagen will apparently be the first manufacturer to phase out naturally aspirated engines in favor of turbocharging its full slate. VW is kind of responsible for ushering in this push towards small-displacement, turbocharged engines that's taken the industry by storm. When it dropped its direct-injection, 2.0-liter turbo in the 2005 GTI it demonstrated that strapping an iron long to an engine can enhance the powertrain as a whole. VW made fuel economy gains, while also giving a linear, non-laggy turbo experience that it has replicated, model-after-model, to this day.
Speaking with The Detroit News, Volkswagen's executive Vice President of Group Quality, Marc Trahan, told the paper that, "We only have one normally aspirated gas engine, and when we go to the next generation vehicle that it's in, it will be replaced. So three, four years maximum."
Really, it's hard to get teary-eyed about either of these engines going away. VW has access to smaller powerplants that could easily match the performance of the 2.5 five-cylinder and the 3.6 V6, while gobbling up less fuel and providing a better driving experience. What we are sad about is that a similar statement about the extinction of NA engines came from the Vice President of Powertrain Engineering at Ford, Joe Bakaj. We'd certainly get teary-eyed over a world without Ford's excellent 5.0-liter V8.
It would seem Volvo is finally getting around to throwing all of Ford's things out of the apartment. Automotive News reports the Swedish automaker is preparing to unleash a range of new engines as well as a fresh platform designed entirely in house. The powerplants include an all-new four-cylinder engine set to bow before the end of this year before arriving in the US by 2014. Shortly thereafter, the world should get its first glimpse at the next-generation XC60, which will the company's first model to make use of the Volvo scalable platform architecture (SPA). US buyers can expect to see that machine on their roads by early 2015.
The next V70 and S80 will also use the SPA, though those models will carry V90 and S90 designations when they hit dealer floors. But that doesn't mean Volvo has completely weened itself off of Ford technology. The V40 will continue to ride on Ford bones until the model's next chassis can be co-developed between Volvo and Geely.