Freeman Cebu Business

Power in small packages

Lord Seno - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - This year has seen an explosion in the number of turbocharged small displacement petrol  and diesel engines available under the bonnets of new cars. Volkswagen, Ford, and Chevrolet  have already launched small displacement turbo engine units, and their number is set to grow, as is the number of increasingly larger cars they are used in.

The basic principle behind these powerful compact forced induction packages is to increase torque levels while keeping fuel consumptions at a low level.  These units provide more power  and torque than conventional naturally-aspirated (NA) engines of larger displacement while keeping  fuel consumptions at a low.

Engine Control Units have also gone a long way in its development since the advent of the Electronic Fuel Injection System. These control units are now pushing these little engines to produce more power with efficiency.

The Ford EcoBoost  engines for example are excellent specimens of this widely adopted technology. The  1.0L Fiesta Ecoboost is quite a surprise as who would think a little engine could produce 125 HP and boasts of more fuel efficiently than any recent 1.6L Naturally Aspirated engine in the market.  The 2.0L Ecoboost engine fitted to the new Ford Explorer is also a testament that this small engines can match or surpass the power produced by conventional large displacement NA engines. The largest of the Ecoboost engines is a 3.5L unit that has unsurpassed power in its category with 290HP. This is well into the horsepower  and torque levels of a V8 engines while maintaining an impressive fuel efficiency rating.

The Volkswagen Polo Notch is powered by a  1.6L direct-injection turbo diesel that produces optimum torque as soon as you hit  1,500rpm. This is due to the latest innovations in Turbocharged Direct Injection technology which features high-tech common rail injection technology, making them responsive  as well as being incredibly efficient.

The Chevrolet  Spin is probably the first 7-seater  Asian Utility Vehicle that is fitted with a compact 1.3L Turbocharged Diesel that produces 75HP at 4,000 rpm at 140 foot pounds of torque from 1,750 to 2,500 rpm. 

The new Subaru Forester now runs with a 2.0L Turbocharged Engine with a direct injection system that is more efficient as compared to the model before which ran with a 2.5L Turbo Engine.

I’m curious to see how Honda and Suzuki  will react to this as they have been introducing turbocharged units outside the Philippines. Given their history of making small turbocharged engines, I expect their forced-induction units to be as competent as all the other manufacturers in the market.

This technology is gaining widespread adoption since Volkswagen first installed a small displacement gasoline turbo engine in a Passat.  In the near future, I would say majority of the cars will run with this package. There will be no more large displacement naturally-aspirated engines to speak of. These new forced induction engines will be better packaged, it will probably shrink even further and produce more power. Forced inductions systems and engine managements will improve to give us more horsepower at a fraction of the fuel cost.  With Formula One spearheading the innovation by using a 1.6L hybrid engine, the “trickle effect” of  technology of  racecars to roadcars will only make  these engine packages get better and better.

The road to zero emissions is a difficult task yet this is an important step towards our dependency to fossil fuel. (FREEMAN)



  • Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with