A new day is dawning for cylinder deactivation. The technology that idles unneeded cylinders in V-6s and V-8s during light-load driving cycles had been shelved after General Motors Corp. engines so equipped in the 1980s performed miserably. But over the past several years, as the popularity of fullsize pickups and SUVs collides with volatile fuel prices, cylinder deactivation has become increasingly attractive for auto makers eager to boost the fuel economy of their fleets without ...

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