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Old 14th December 2010, 15:47   #1
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Default How do car manufacturers come up with engine capacities?

When a manufacturer decides to bring in a new car, how does he decide what the car engine capacity should be?

Eg. What made the 1st few manufacturers consider ~1000 cc for a hatch, ~1500cc for a sedan and ~2l upwards for a SUV?

When they do start working on a car, what are the factors they consider when they decide the engine capacity?

Also, why Zen with 1l but Indica with 1.2l, City with 1.4l but Corolla with 1.8l.

Also, do they decide what the engine capacity should be and then decide the hood size and placement accordingly or they have the chasis outline in mind and come up with an engine?

Been suddenly curious about it, anyone with idea?

MODS : I searched as much as I could on the forum, and only then posting this new thread. If/where it should be, up to your discretion. I am curious about this w.r.t all cars, hence not posting it under any of the threads on my cars.
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Old 14th December 2010, 21:05   #2
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Default Re: How do car manufacturers come up with engine capacities?

I would suspect that the engine isn't the first thing they consider. They probably design the look, and then modify it to fit in a decent engine. They're concerned with selling cars at certain price points, and selling the same models for as long as possible. Once they've got the basic look in place, they probably choose their engine based on the amount of performance they need, and the weight and strength of the chassis.

Most cars have different engine options, and are sold globally to very different audiences, and are used in very different conditions. Fuel, top speed, budget, safety, hardiness, weather and reliability are probably some of the factors that could be considered when deciding which engine to stick in which car.

A car manufacturer would spend millions on r&d promoting his new line up, so he'd want to use the same chassis in as many configurations as possible. So he'd want to design a chassis that's visually appealing, roomy and comfortable, stable, tough, and that can be tweaked to accommodate a variety of engine/suspension options.

That's what I'd do anyway, whether car manufacturers do the same I don't know, but I'd suspect they'd probably be thinking along those lines too.
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Old 15th December 2010, 05:16   #3
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Default Re: How do car manufacturers come up with engine capacities?

Although engine is considered as heart of any car, it doesn't evolve as the first component in the drawing room, First they will complete the design then the chassis and come to engine. In most cases they use the same engine which is used in the other model by doing some minor tweaks. Developing a new engine for every car is more pain than developing a new design and it involves lot of money in R&D.
In India, its different case since most manufacturers have one successful engine and they plonk the same in all models (Ex - Maruti with its K-Series engine, Hyundai with its Kappa, Tata with its MJD, Indica engine and 2.2 VTT engine). Added to this we have our own government policies which restricts and in the same way encourages manufacturers to plonk 1.2L for hatch and get some due benefits. This idea is also to gain maximum efficiency by employing opt engines. Sedan car gets bigger engine as people prefer more power to sedans and so on.
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