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Hyundai Sonata, Sedan
#2773 of 7871 Future Cyllinder Deactivation for V6?
Nov 13, 2005 (5:56 am)
Hi; first post here but been following this and other (mostly Sonata) threads for weeks, esp this thread, which I have been enjoying. FYI my posts are longer but less-frequent than most members. So if your time is short, please read just the first part (my question is in bold), or skip the message completely, rather than reading it all and then flaming me for the time you spent, thank you.
I won't waste any time and will get to my question. Background will follow.
Considering Hyundai has developed a brand new V6 engine, why did Hyundai not include Cyllinder Deactivation Technology (CDS), or what DaimlerChrysler calls Multiple Deplacement System (MDS) in the V6? I know the DM and (Chevy or GM) engines which feature it are pushrod engines, but the hybrid Accord V6 has it.
Being able to take the engine down to 4 or even 3 cyllinders while highway cruising would be a boon to this model (and Sonata sales I think). It is not often that a brand new engine comes around. It is much more rare even than brand new models or total redesigns. At Chrysler they are still using pushrod engines based upon models decades old. So a modern newly-designed engine should feature obvious technology, in my opinion. And I just can't figure out why Hyundai didn't add here!
CDS/MDS does not add much to the cost of the engine (maybe about $50 in the case of the big GM/Hemi engines, IIRC?); any cost is quickly made up in fuel savings. And with $3/gal gas (which I expect to go to $5 within awhile), this is a very important issue... especially since many Sonata V6 owners have been disappointed by their real-world fuel economy.
I have seen Hyundai's commitment to real-time product improvement (apparently not waiting to "get around to it" for next year's model to make an improvement or add features like some mfr's [suggestion: 6-spd auto...]), so this is a feature Hyundai could conceivably add to the engine, like DaimlerChrysler added MDS to the Hemi intended for the Magnum after it had already been released for pickups with no MDS. But it seems that it'd be easier to do it on an engine natively designed for MDS. So anyone want to take guesses on the chances Hyundai and/or other mfr's will upgrade?
Hyundai, if you're lurking (and you should be), if you put this feature in (and you should), something GM missed when they implemented their design was a lack of user control. Their MDS is conservative and kicks off easily and at faster cruising speeds is also off. I think CDS/MDS engines should come with an "Economy/Normal [or Sport]" switch which "Economy" switch would keep cyllinders deactivated under higher load, i.e. faster cruising speeds, even up to 80, if it saves gas. The car might come from the factory defaulting to "Economy" if it gives better EPA & emissions ratings. Owners would be able to permanently set the feature to default to "Sport"/"Normal" setting. DaimlerChrysler tried very hard to make their MDS transparent, but some users wanted a more obvious setting where MDS stayed active to noticeable levels, esp on long trips, so they could cruise at more normal (higher) speeds and still get good fuel economy. I think the fuel savings on their MDS Hemi have been disappointing not because of any ineffectiveness of MDS itself, but because it switches off so/too easily.
My background for those interested... (those uninterested please skip):
Considering Sonata mutually for a friend and perhaps later for myself. We are also going to look at Altima, Accord, and possibly Camry for her (not for me but I'm still curious). We already test-drove a 3.5L Magnum SXT and decided against it (believe it or not, its back seats were more comfortable than the front seats!).
First experience was a friend's (1992?) Excel Hatchback. Even as an almost-new car, I thought it sucked. We won't go over that. No point now. You know.
So... I was very anti-Hyundai all through the nineties and kept my bias into the 2000's... until I drove on a 4,000 mile round trip (of which I drove the majority) in a friend's used '00 or '01 Accent... until which time, I bashed her car regularly ("You paid 8 thousand for that?!"). Yes, I was a Hyundai hater. I wanted to hate the car, but during the trip the car earned my respect. It was the best manual climate control system I'd ever seen or used--so simple and worked so well; I couldn't get over it--nearly no need for auto climate. Seats (still shaking my head on this one) still didn't kill me even by the end of the trip; was fine at the end, despite the seats being small and fairly low. Cruised well and uneventfully. She had never had any problems with the car. That was when I started to open my mind to Hyundais.
The next experience a few years later was in an '03 or '04 Sonata LX... a friend's gradma bought one, and I had the chance to spend some time in it during a 2-car road trip. I was far more impressed with this one than the Accent. My friend is a car enthusiast and independently wealthy and both of us were impressed at the comfort and quietness and smoothness of ride... cruising at 80 it felt like it could go to 100 with no drama at all... almost felt boring being in the car at 80. Perception of speed was very low, which to me is an indication of high quality. She said she got it for $21,000, and we were very impressed... both "for the money" and "in its own right". I felt, unbelievably at the time, that if Hyundai made it safer, and raised the seats, and made it a bit bigger that I could... (???!!!) maybe someday possibly buy one of these???!!! Add to this that they're now being made in the USA, and seem to be even more of an "American car" than a Dodge Magnum, and I'm really interested. (Too bad about the new U.S. plant not being able to do Pearl White because they only have 2 paint stages vs Korea's 3? --so much for "Ultra-Modern" plant? Or is this a "ramping up" deal?)
I then realized the great strides Hyundai was taking and started to watch the brand carefully. And then they released the '06 Sonata... and now I'm here.
For the record... my friend I'm shopping with currently owns a '92 Honda Civic DX ("D"on't got e"X"tras). That car is a disaster. Talk about bad 1st-year redesigns. The Sonata re-design is smooth as silk compared to that Honda POC. I could post the full list somewhere if someone's interested, but some brief highlights were a blown head gasket and tranny work needed before 100k miles, things literally falling off the car and breaking left and right, and simply insufferable seats... not to mention the car pulls to the right--until it gets to highway speeds--whereupon it tracks perfectly straight (can't figure out that one).
#2774 of 7871 Re: Future Cyllinder Deactivation for V6? [brj]
Nov 13, 2005 (6:55 am)
Good question. Perhaps there is more to adding this technology to a V6 than you think. Consider that the only V6s to have it right now are the 3.5L i-VTEC engines used in the Accord Hybrid (a $30k car) and the up-level Odyssey (also about $30k). i-VTEC is Honda's most advanced passenger car engine technology. Hyundai started using CVVT technology on their passenger cars only a couple of years ago, first on the Elantra, now on other models like the Sonata. Honda has been doing CVVT for years. Thus Hyundai's engine technology is generally behind that of Honda's. Also, Honda's VCM (trademark) technology involves some trickery in cancelling noise created by turning off a bank of cylinders--they call it Active Noise Cancellation. If it were easy/inexpensive to add VCM to a V6, I would expect that Honda would have added it to all their V6s, and that other companies with advanced engine technology, e.g. Toyota and BMW, would have added it as well. I wonder also if Honda has patented their VCM technology, since we haven't yet seen something similar on other makes.
So while Hyundai has made great strides in engine technology in the past few years, e.g. with the new I4 and V6 in the Sonata being competitive with those from Toyota and Honda in power, perhaps it is too big a leap for Hyundai to offer something like Honda's VCM right now. But in the future... who knows?
#2775 of 7871 Re: Future Cyllinder Deactivation for V6? [brj]
Nov 13, 2005 (8:21 am)
The botom line is MPG. The Sonata's peppy V6 gives 20 & 30 mpg. What competitor MDS or CDS engine gives better mpg with equal pep without having to spend thousands of dollars more for cost?
#2776 of 7871 Re: Future Cyllinder Deactivation for V6? [backy]
Nov 13, 2005 (11:24 am)
This cylinder deactivation is not a new technology.
GM's first use of Displacement on Demand was in 1981 on the Cadillac V8-6-4 engine. GM's engine controller, based on engine load, signalled electro-mechanical actuators to engage or disengage rocker arms to permit or prevent engine valve operation, thereby deactivating cylinders. The system was capable of operation with 4, 6, or 8 cylinders
#2777 of 7871 Re: Future Cyllinder Deactivation for V6? [desertguy]
Nov 13, 2005 (11:43 am)
As I recall, that experiment died a quick death.
#2778 of 7871 Re: I'm not happy. [gregg4]
Nov 13, 2005 (11:53 am)
I just got a 06 Sonata GLS V-6 and also have heard and felt that faint click in the gas pedal when you first start out.
I also filled up the fuel tank and am now hearing that sloshing, perculating (sp?) sound when I brake and start up again.Don't remember it doing it during the test drive, it started after I filled the tank up.
Love the car though, I had an 01 GLS up until 2 yrs ago and traded on SUV ( now long gone).
Any other issues to watch for? Have the dealers been discussing these 2 noises at all and is there a fix?
#2779 of 7871 Re: Future Cyllinder Deactivation for V6? [desertguy]
Nov 13, 2005 (1:45 pm)
That Caddy V-8,6,4 was a total disaster and was quickly yanked from the market. It's a long time ago, but I think GM even replaced some of those engines with conventional engines.
#2780 of 7871 Re: Future Cyllinder Deactivation for V6? [bhmr59]
Nov 13, 2005 (2:53 pm)
Hey guys, I'm not touting the 1981 Cadillac on demand engine. My point was that this concept was around 25 years ago. Secondly, who is to say that these newer on demand engines will not be a bust? To me it is just another complication that can go wrong on a car and for what...3 more mpg?
#2781 of 7871 Re: Future Cylinder Deactivation for V6? [desertguy]
Nov 13, 2005 (3:13 pm)
> GM's first use of Displacement on Demand
> was in 1981 on the Cadillac V8-6-4 engine.
I didn't know that was ever actually implemented at all--wow. I do remember reading a Popular Mechanics article on GM's (specifically Calliac's) further endeavors on this line later in the 80s--that was the first time I heard of it. Cadillac even tried piggybacking a small engine (like a small 4-cylinder) onto a larger one. The large one would kick on and off as-needed like the hybrids today, and the car would cruise with the 4-cylinder. Obviously that one was never tried.
But I think it's important to be careful not to bash a technology simply because it was released years or even decades ago as a failed version by an American auto company at the low point of its competence. (Not that anyone was bashing the technology itself--it's just easy to to fall into that trap.) Look at what that thinking did to the progress of diesel engines in our country, thanks to Plymouth and closed minds who needed no more information. I personally would rather have a diesel and have the option to burn vegetable oil (and may still do that). Although CDT was implemented irresponsibly in 1981 just like diesel was before that, it showed that the technology was there, and technology has improved.
Well I do think I remember reading a statement from one of the DaimlerChrysler VP's that the MDS added about $50 to the cost of the production of the engine, but I can't find that statement now. So well-heard about the level of technology and cost, but considering the Magnum RT goes for under 30K and is a lot "more car" in terms of mechanics, it seems to be more of a savoir-faire/engineering know-how issue than actual production cost. Regarding BMW and others not all doing it (yet), it isn't every day that brand new engines are designed from the ground up, so I just figured that as long as you're doing that, why not include CDT. It's probably in the future, I realize there are constrainst like deadlines and getting a new car to market. At least Hyundai apparently isn't afraid to add new features admidstream.
And I meant Cylinder Deactivation Technology (CDT) by the way, not Cylinder Deactivation System. (And I spelled cylinder with 2 L's, not one!) It was late.
#2782 of 7871 Re: Future Cyllinder Deactivation for V6? [backy]
Nov 13, 2005 (3:18 pm)
"As I recall, that experiment died a quick death."
This technology is nolonger an experiment. It is now available in the new Malibu. Computers and engine controls have come a LONG WAY since the 70's.