GM Plans to Build Fuel-Efficient Trucks

General Motors will put more fuel-efficient V-8 engines in its light trucks starting in
2004. As a result, mileage will be up by as much as 25 percent. The new engines use
electronics that automatically shut off half of the V-8’s cylinders temporarily, when the
trucks are cruising or are under light load. During acceleration or when towing, all eight
cylinders do the work. GM says the engines will be standard on many pickup trucks and
sport-utility vehicles. The new system is said to be unnoticeable and far better, because
of improved computer technology, than when Cadillac tried a similar system in 1981. In
addition, GM is working on other technology, including variable-valve timing, variable
compression, as well as adding continuously variable transmissions and five-speed
transmissions. Ford is said to be working on similar technology for its truck engines.


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