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Old 01-19-2010, 06:11 PM   #2 (permalink)
Left Lane Ecodriver
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Location: Buffalo, NY, USA
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Prius C - '12 Toyota Prius C
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You'd barely save any gas. Air would still need to be pumped through all four cylinders, and engine friction would remain the same. Noise, vibration, and harshness would be a serious problem. You'd gain a little economy because you'd open the throttle plate wider, but:

You'd need to spin an elaborate web of lies to keep the ECU from throwing a check engine light and going into "limp home" mode. You'd need fake fuel injectors for the ECU to look at, and the front O2 sensor would pick up O2 all the time, rendering it useless. I think you'd need two O2 sensor simulators, which are more elaborate than a voltage source.

BTW, Honda does the variable displacement thing on its V6's. I'd like to see it on their hybrid 1.3L L4, using the electric motor to smooth out the uneven power production that results from having only two cylinders.
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