Time for some mind-dump because I just realized how bonkers new cars are nowadays. You can get a direct-injected 2.0 liter turbocharged 4banger that makes 270hp and 295 ft lbs of torque... in a Buick.
That's a pretty ludicrous amount of power for a pedestrian-looking FWD car, or AWD if you go with a slushbox. It has the highest hp per liter of any Buick engine ever made. I don't understand why more people aren't talking about this thing. I personally keep forgetting it exists (I blame marketing).
And it doesn't stop there.
Want more bonkers? Ford has it. 2.3 liters, direct injection, and a snail gets you 310hp and 320 ft lb of torque. That's similar to the 320hp and 310ft lb of torque that rumbles from the 4.6 liter planet-moving powerplant in the Cadillac XLR and contemporary STS. And this stupidly potent little 4-banger comes wrapped in a damned attractive package.
Four-banger. I4. Four cyl. These used to be words of disdain among gearheads, usually referring to some soulless econobox, a Geo Metro, or hondabros with their farty cans and snaping backs and wrap music. Now four thrashing cylinders and complex technology (turbos) have found their way into two of the most recognizable performance car marquees to come from America. The Buick GNX, once a 3.8l fire-breathing turbocharged lambo-beater, now gets more horsepower per liter while sipping fuel. The Mustang, an automotive icon and wall poster car of twelve year old boys everywhere now sports an engine the same size as the 150hp LD2 from the 90s, but making twice as much horsepower and even more power than the NA V6 version.
It's a weird time. No longer are cylinders synonymous with greater power. It's strange.
But it's great. And I love it.