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Quite honestly, I have noticed that it is almost inevitable that our engines get bigger as we age. We throw money on better cars and prefer a more luxurious appeal. I suppose that we arrive at a certain point in our lives that our 'wants' become more particular and even so peculiar for some.
Gone were the days where I enjoyed the sound of a screaming 4 cylinder VTEC in a "boy racer" configuration. Today, I would prefer performance with a touch of luxury and refinement. Sprinting off the line in a Honda with every possible panel rattling would be very different from cruising in a V8 while seated comfortably on well stitched leather seats.
All the more, the cars of today are heading in the luxury compact direction thanks to the European makers like Audi and Volkswagen. With high torque twin-charged and turbocharged 4-cylinder engines being more common these days, we could soon see the end of the smaller, conventional naturally aspirated engines found in the Japanese makes. Even that market is currently being overtaken much by the Koreans.
Somehow, my middle aged ears are now tuned to the sound of a rumbling Maseratti, a high revving LFA or for that matter a tuned Nissan GTR. I'm not sure if it's me or male ego but I just do not seem to see 4-cylinders or VTECs the same way no more (No disrespect, VTECs are great engines).
Whatever the case, I just think that it's a coming of age. As the saying goes that the difference between a man and a boy is the price of his toy.