Chevy proves V8s may be fuel economy competitive with turbocharged V6 engines
Chevy doesn’t claim that its cylinder deactivation technology is new, but in a recent press release the company does claim that the current results it achieves with the technology make it competitive with other brands that have moved to turbocharged V6 engines to save fuel. Cylinder deactivation is simply what it sounds like. An engine that is not operating at full power need not pump air and fuel through all of its cylinders to maintain speed. Therefore, if the fuel/air mixture is suspended the engine will use less and have a higher mpg rating.
Many companies, GM included, are starting to promote smaller turbocharged engines as replacements for what used to be the standard for a given applications. For example, if a 6-cylinder was the norm, a 4-cylinder turbo is promoted. If a V8 was the norm, a turbocharged V6 is promoted. There is little doubt that turbocharging adds torque and power to an engine of a given size and cylinder configuration, however, it remains to be seen if smaller engines that are turbocharged will be more fuel efficient and also accepted by the public. Ford has made significant headway with its turbocharged engines and the truck line is no exception. It is this line that Chevy is trying to target with cylinder deactivation.