Cost minimizing and downsizing are destroying the excitement of cars. Platforms and engines are shared among cheap cars and high-end models; 3- and 4-cylinders are flooding, while 6-cylinders are dying; over-design and over-sharing lead to the faking trend and the superficial luxury. I would suggest that some car makers should roll out more delicate products.
Porsche: front-mid-engine Panamera
Under the modular platform strategy within VAG, Porsche applies the shared structures to Cayenne, Macan and Panamera. The engines sit ahead of the front axle in all these modular platforms, and the weight distribution between the front and the rear is inherently imbalanced. The R6 engine is not feasible on these chassis due to the engine positioning.
Consequently, we see Panamera using V6s, and its bonnet just seems too short. I can forgive the SUVs for using shared parts, but Panamera s hould be a long hood GT just as the famous 928, which was famous for powerful V8 engines and shooting brake styling. The last model of 928, 928 GTS, was equipped with a 5.4L V8 NA producing 350ps back in early 1990s. A front-mid engine platform should have been deliberately designed for the 4-door coupe, rather than an Audi-origin layout. The V6 should be replaced with R6 or even the B6 directly from 911. The only rescue for Panamera now is the Porsche-origin V8 engine.
Volvo: 2.5L R5 turbo engine
Currently Volvo offers 2.0L R4 petrol and diesel only. Although they perform reasonably, the number of cylinders and the revving quality do not match the price. Considered the transverse layout that Volvo has been using for decades, a R6 or a V8 is definitely not a good idea (though Volvo did once use both of them). In addition, I can forgive Volvo for not using V6 with an eye on eco-friendliness.
How about the R5 that Volvo was once famous for? The 850 T5 and the S60 R were once the icon of the brand, and they should have get proper descendants. So please Volvo, forget the twin-charging T6 2.0L R4 and bring back the 2.5L R5. The 0.5L per cylinder configuration would be the same as current 2.0L R4, and thus part-sharing could be achieved. R5 engine still has its market. Just see how Audi engineered the transverse 2.5L R5 turbo engine on RS3 and TT RS.
BMW: 2.0L R6 turbo and 3.0L R6 NA
The so called “bay six” was a significant feature of entry-level BMW models. Some popular badges, such as 320i, 520i and 728i, were the members of baby six family. Since the 2.0L R6 M20 engines, BMW has offered 2.0L R6 M50, M52 and the 2.2L R6 M54 until mid-2000s. Though not as powerful as the 2.5L, 2.8L and 3.0L siblings, the 2-liters still have mesmerizing revving sounds and decent output curves. Due to the downsizing and the modular trend, however, the 2.0L manufactured by BMW now is 4-cylinder, and even the 30i models get the 2.0L R4 turbo. Imagine that the N20 and B48 2.0L R4 turbo were in R6 form. This would bring about extra smoothness and revving capability, and the 30i models would not be so rumbling and noisy.
The 3.0L R6 NA was another legend that should have been revived. With all the innovations such as Valvetronic and VANOS, it was considered the greatest 3-liter NA engine of all time. Just see how often it appeared on the Ward’s Ten Best Engines list. The ultimate version of BMW 3.0L NA must be the S54 applied to E46 M3 CSL, which delivers 360ps. Though the 3.0L R6 NA would probably be considered out-dated under the prevailing turbo trend, BMW should have offer some special models with R6 NA, just as the B6 NA Porsche 911 GT3. I would suggest that the G29 Z4 be provided with 3-liter R6 only: entry level Z4 30i with 3.0L R6 NA and M40i model with turbo one. The 2.0L R4 turbo should have not been used on this exotic roadster.
TOYOTA: a proper Supra please!
The TOYOTA Supra was once an amazing sport coupe with 2JZ 3.0L R6 turbo under the lid. It produced over 300ps nearly 20 years ago. During this lapse, the rumor of a new Supra never stopped, but the real one we see this year is definitely not the dreamed one. Compared to the exaggerated FT-1 concept, the new Supra seems to be deflated and shrank into the smaller BMW Z4 platform. Despite the BMW DNA inside it, the new Supra does not match the anticipation of many.
What fans want is a coupe that could compete with BMW 8-Series and Mercedes E-Class coupe. With the existing LEXUS LC coupe, TOYOTA is definitely able to develop a larger and more powerful Supra, but the Japanese engineers did not choose to do so.
Special credit: The revival of Mercedes R6
Back to early 2000s, Mercedes-Benz discarded the R6 and switched all models to V6. Although the Mercedes V6s were still smooth, silent and reliable, it could not compete with the BMW R6 in terms of performance and efficiency. In the first decade of 21st century, BMW completely dominated Mercedes with the prime M54 and N52 R6 naturally aspired engines. Models from that era, such as E39 530i, E46 320i 2.2 are still strongly sought after today on the second hand market.
Fortunately, we finally saw the new Mercedes M256 on the W222 S-Class LCI in 2017. Furthermore, AMG 53 models such as E53, CLS53 and GT53 also get the same 3.0L R6 turbo with 48V motor. With the revival of 3-liter R6, Mercedes-Benz is back to the R6 competition again.
All these fictional dream cars are just my own imaginations, and they will possibly never be adopted. As a totally nonprofessional car enthusiast, I composed this article just to elaborate my horribly subjective ideas!