Print 78 comment(s) - last by cozappz.. on Feb 10 at 11:37 AM

The turbocharged inline-4 in the Hyundai Sonata generated 274hp at 6,000 rpm and 269 lb-ft of torque from 1,800 to 4,500 rpm.

Entry-level trim levels of the BMW 3-Series will get a new turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder which pumps out 240hp
Customers continue to snap up cars with four-banger engines

With looming CAFE regulations requiring automakers to reach a 35.5 mpg fleet average in the coming years, automakers have no choice but to develop new, more fuel efficient engines for their vehicles. Thankfully for manufacturers, consumers seem to be more than willing to flock to fuel efficient vehicles.

As we've reported previously here on DailyTech, the use of V6 engines in cars is likely to dwindle as the quest for greater fuel efficiency gets underway. And according to Ward's Auto, the take-rate for four-cylinder engines in today's cars is steadily on the rise.

In 2008, just 51.5 percent of cars sold in the U.S. came equipped with a four-cylinder engine. In 2009, that figure jumped dramatically to 61.9 percent. The tally rose again in 2010 to 64.5 percent reports Ward's Auto.

V8 engines represented just 20.8 percent of the overall U.S. light vehicle market.

While enthusiasts may crave the power and torque of a naturally aspirated V6 or inline-6 engine, many U.S. consumers appear to be content with the advances made in four-cylinder engine technology (direct injection, turbochargers, etc.). BMW recently announced that it will be bringing a turbocharged four-cylinder engine to the U.S. market that generates more horsepower and torque than its naturally aspirated inline-6 counterpart while at the same time delivering greater fuel economy. Those are numbers you can't really argue with.

Likewise, Hyundai has been pushing its Sonata Turbo (2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder, 274hp) that generates more horsepower and torque than its V6 counterparts (Accord, Camry, Malibu, Fusion, etc.) and better fuel economy in the city and on the highway.

On the domestic front, the Buick Regal is only available with four-cylinder engines (naturally aspirated, turbocharged, and hybrid) and the next generation Chevrolet Malibu is widely expected to only be available with four-cylinder engines.

Four cylinder engines will always remain a staple of the subcompact and compact classes, and it appears that the midsize class is quickly moving to push six cylinder engines out of commission. That leaves larger full size, luxury, and sports cars to soldier on with six-cylinder (and beyond) engines.

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I wouldn't be so sure about that
By DanNeely on 2/2/2011 1:34:18 PM , Rating: 4
Four cylinder engines will always remain a staple of the subcompact and compact classes, and it appears that the midsize class is quickly moving to push six cylinder engines out of commission. That leaves larger full size, luxury, and sports cars to soldier on with six-cylinder (and beyond) engines.

If CAFE pinches hard enough we'll probably see some small cars with 2 or 3 cylinder engines; all the tricks that are being used to get 90's V6 power out of an I4 can be used to get 90s I4 power out of even smaller engines.

They're just starting with the mid/full size models because they have higher profit margins and giving them better fuel economy than the smaller models just boosts their attractiveness.

RE: I wouldn't be so sure about that
By Hulk on 2/2/2011 2:02:48 PM , Rating: 5
I grew up in the '70s and '80s and believe me we have it very good car-wise today. In 1983 the new Corvette was considered a very fast car, a rocket. It did 0-60 in 7 seconds flat. Today a V6 Honda Accord can beat that by a second. It would have challenged a 911 back then.

Turbo lag? Have you ever driven a Turbo Thunderbird from 1985? Have you ever heard the expression "on and off?" Today's turbo's are fantastic. I've driven the Audi/VW turbo 4, the Sonata's new turbo, the Mitsu Evo, and the Subies. They are all fantastic though some are better than others. The beauty of these engines, well not so much for the MItsu and Subie, is that you can loaf along at 60 or 70mph not even on the boost and get fantastic 30+mpg. A quick downshift and you are on the boost and away. It's not instantaneous torque like only big displacement can provide but we're talking about $3 or more a gallon gas so the days of big V8's for most people is a pipe dream. It's simply too expensive to run day-to-day.

The Sonata turbo using regular fuel is an engineering marvel when you consider with the same displacement VW makes only 207HP and needs premium fuel.

Also why does Honda insist on the 2L engine in the SI? 200HP and terrible mileage when they could slip in the 2.4L 190HP engine from the Accord which would likely be faster (more torque), more flexible, and would get far better gas mileage.

And BMW is going with a 2L turbo in the new 3 with 240HP and again premium fuel? If Hyundai can do it on regular can't BMW and VW/Audi, and everyone else. I mean it's not like they don't buy competitors cars and reverse engineer them.

Manufacturers are starting to get it finally but we still have a way to go before we see a huge variety of fast, fun, fuel efficient cars and not the handful we have today.

By Taft12 on 2/2/2011 2:40:36 PM , Rating: 2
Just wanted to say thanks for a great post that was an enjoyable read!

Any car-related news on this site is usually filled by the narrow-minded who slag anything that isn't their preferred religion and yours is a breath of fresh air! Cheers1

RE: I wouldn't be so sure about that
By walk2k on 2/2/2011 4:38:54 PM , Rating: 5
The K20 in the Si is a wonderful engine, 8500 rpm anyone? As far as mileage, it gets 24/33 or so, I used to get 34-36 on long highway trips, and I was NOT hypermiling by any means - A/C on, passing in 5th gear up a grade, etc... That's VERY respectable, and I don't think putting in a larger 2.4L is going to improve the mileage - however I do know people who have swapped the shortblock of a K24 from an Accord or TSX and put the head of the K20 (Civic Si/RSX) and can get easily 250 whp tuned (and well over 400hp supercharged =)

However it's still a FWD platform, probably another reason they don't make much more power - any more than about 170-180 hp in a FWD starts to have issues... just too much for the front tires to do.

RE: I wouldn't be so sure about that
By Hulk on 2/2/2011 11:37:48 PM , Rating: 2
EPA Mileage lists the 2010 Civic SI at 24mpg combined while the Accord is 25MPG combined. The Civic is at least 400lbs lighter. I'm telling you the Civic would get better mileage with that engine and most likely be faster due to only 10HP less but loads more torque.

For day-to-day driving it's not fun "living" above 4 or 5k on the tach just to get some oomph. Or should I say not fun for long for most people. That's why the S2000 eventually got punched out to 2.2 liters, and finally punched out of Honda's lineup. Was it a great car/engine? Yes but there is little demand for such a "demanding" engine.

The friction generated by high revving engines both mechanical and volumetric efficiency does not make them fuel efficient. Impressive from a HP/L standpoint but not efficient. They can exist and they should for the people that want them but I'm more interested in torquey 4 cylinders (oxymoron!) that produce peak HP below 6000RPM.

By lagomorpha on 2/3/2011 7:05:36 AM , Rating: 2
Part of the fuel economy difference is also likely the lower gearing and extra friction from the helical limited slip differential. You're probably right that a more relaxed engine could give better fuel economy, but I have a feeling the high redline is a big selling factor for Si purchasers. For people that want an engine with more torque there's already the Sentra Spec-V and Subaru Impreza.

By Brandon Hill on 2/2/2011 7:48:44 PM , Rating: 3
Also why does Honda insist on the 2L engine in the SI? 200HP and terrible mileage when they could slip in the 2.4L 190HP engine from the Accord which would likely be faster (more torque), more flexible, and would get far better gas mileage.

Honda IS reportedly putting the K24 in the '12 Civic SI:

RE: I wouldn't be so sure about that
By lagomorpha on 2/3/2011 7:14:36 AM , Rating: 3
It's unlikely we'll start seeing many 2 and 3 cylinder engines, especially in the United States. 4 cylinders are used because they're the simplest engines with reasonable balance characteristics. Inline-3s have substantial end to end vibration and parallel twins have either massive vertical vibration (360 degree crank) or significant end to end vibration (180 degree crank like most modern motorcycle parallel twins). Even a lot of Japanese Kei cars use 4 cylinder engines because it's better to make a small 4 cylinder than to deal with vibration issues of fewer cylinders.

Will we start seeing smaller displacement 4 cylinders than we saw in the late 90s? It already looks like 1.4-1.6L I4s are regaining popularity.

RE: I wouldn't be so sure about that
By JediJeb on 2/3/2011 2:26:07 PM , Rating: 2
I remember GM used a 3 cylinder back in the late 80s or early 90s, my uncle had one, but I don't remember how well they worked. I could see a lot of problems with 2 and 3 cylinder engines if you try to run at any type of high RPMs.

By lagomorpha on 2/4/2011 4:20:20 PM , Rating: 2
The problem isn't high rpm, Triumph makes some i3s that really sing to say nothing of all the 11000rpm vtwins. The problems come when you try to build an engine with enough torque to pull a car by increasing the stroke length. Longer stroke significantly increases vibration in these engines.

What costs more to build - 3 cylinders with a balance shaft or 4 smaller cylinders without? How much fuel do you save even though you add a friction increasing balance shaft? There's no question which gives smoother power delivery.

By TheDoc9 on 2/7/2011 5:31:25 PM , Rating: 2
I think most people here are missing your point that gas prices are what are driving peoples decisions - it's not what they really want. In other words because of high gas prices people are left with fewer choices in vehicle purchases and are being forced to buy a weaker car.

I don't care how good some may say a 4-cyl. is, it doesn't compare to having the power when you need it across the entire RPM range as found in a higher end six or eight.

4 cylinders suck quite frankly. Turbo charge it, eco boost, ect. - all sucks. I especially like it when you can barely pass an 18 wheeler in time to miss oncoming traffic!

Don't worry though, the gas execs all drive 12 cyl. bmw's and audi's!

Whatever happened to diesel cars?
By bitterman0 on 2/2/2011 1:03:04 PM , Rating: 2
How does 850+ miles on a single [22 US Gal] tank of fuel sounds? No, it is not some time away in the hazy future. It is available today, and in style - Jaguar XJ6 diesel (a European model, don't bother looking it up on CarsDirect). You think I'm exaggerating? Don't be so hasty to pass judgment, try getting some facts first (for example, a first-hand experience from a reputable body: Top Gear, Series 12, Episode 4).

Seriously, though, why can't we get a decent selection of diesel cars here in the US?

By Brandon Hill on 2/2/2011 1:07:04 PM , Rating: 2
The Germans are bringing more diesels here (BMW, Audi, Mercedes, VW), but everyone else seems to be focusing on hybrids/electrics.

RE: Whatever happened to diesel cars?
By sorry dog on 2/2/2011 1:16:19 PM , Rating: 1
Why no diesel?

I present the 1982 Oldmobile 98 with 350ci diesel with 105 horsepower (on a good day).

More people born after 1982 will have to enter the new car buying market before the diesel trend gets going.

RE: Whatever happened to diesel cars?
By Nfarce on 2/2/2011 2:12:01 PM , Rating: 2
I present the 1982 Oldmobile 98 with 350ci diesel with 105 horsepower (on a good day).

You do realize that wasn't a from-scratch diesel, right? That was a gas engine GM converted to a diesel. My dad had one for about a year in an '82 Cutlass Supreme sedan - it spent more time in the shop than in the garage. Typical GM 1980s brilliance.

Anyway, don't bank on the diesel craze hitting America outside of full sized trucks. Depending on where you live, diesel pump prices can be as much as 30% higher than gasoline prices. Let's just use metro Atlanta as an example - as of today's prices:

Regular gas......$2.95

2011 Jetta Diesel hybrid mpg highway: 42
2011 Camry 4-cylinder mpg highway: 35

Total cost for 1,000 mile road trip:

Jetta - $81
Camry - $84

I don't see much incentive there.

By Pneumothorax on 2/2/2011 2:22:31 PM , Rating: 2
Here in CA, diesel costs about the same as premium which is required for all BMW's. My 335d routinely gives my about 34-36 mpg whilst driving at 80+mph speeds. Makes me laugh to see GM bragging about their 37 MPG <200hp "green" Buick.

By cozappz on 2/10/2011 11:37:28 AM , Rating: 2
I present you the 2007 Skoda Octavia Tour 1.9L TDI with 105 HP (on a good day, every other day 101 HP).
And 5.0L/100Km everyday

RE: Whatever happened to diesel cars?
By xprojected on 2/3/2011 9:29:48 AM , Rating: 2
The emissions requirements for diesel are strict, especially in California. Car makers won't sell them unless they're 50-state compliant, so they need extensive R&D, resulting in things like urea injection and nitrogen filters, adding significantly to the cost of US-market diesel cars. For many car makers, hybrids or enhancements to gas engines are cheaper solutions.

Likewise, many of the efficient diesels in Europe are only 100-130 hp, not enough for American tastes.

By JediJeb on 2/3/2011 2:32:42 PM , Rating: 2
I would take the lower hp if I get increased torque. But for me it just grits my teeth when I hear engines going over about 3k rpm, that's why I would prefer a diesel.

Are you sure?
By YashBudini on 2/2/2011 12:14:54 PM , Rating: 2
Popularity implies desirability. Think maybe its more necessity?

RE: Are you sure?
By tng on 2/2/2011 12:35:55 PM , Rating: 2
Had the same thought.....

The horsepower is not a great draw for me since I rarely have a chance to use it, but better mileage is something I can use every day.

I have a V6 Accord Coupe and only a couple of times have I been able to really turn it loose and use the whole power curve of the engine. Most of the time it averages ~20mph if you believe the trip computer in the thing.

I will say that engine in my Accord is silky smooth compared to almost all of the I4s that I have driven though.

RE: Are you sure?
By Brandon Hill on 2/2/2011 12:49:42 PM , Rating: 3
The Toyota Camry is popular, but I doubt that it's desirable...

The bottom line is, naturally aspirated fours are making the same power as V6 engines from a decade or so ago. And today's turbo fours make more power than many of today's V6s while providing better fuel economy.

For your average consumer, I think they can figure this out ;)

RE: Are you sure?
By YashBudini on 2/2/2011 5:56:00 PM , Rating: 2
I agree to an extent, but a common mistake is believing fuel ecomony equals low cost of ownership. In reality it's only one factor.

RE: Are you sure?
By xsilver on 2/3/2011 12:43:55 AM , Rating: 2
I would argue that a camry is desirable, just not to enthusiasts. The majority of the population treats cars as no more emotional than a toaster. The desirability comes from the total cost of ownership (or implied) which comes down to
1) fuel economy
2) reliability
3) size of the car for the price
4) resale value (often least considered)

popularity or availability?
By fatbaldandhappy on 2/2/2011 1:22:40 PM , Rating: 3
Are they rising in popularity or are they becoming the only available option?

RE: popularity or availability?
By Brandon Hill on 2/2/2011 1:40:22 PM , Rating: 2
Well, even in the traditional midsize sedan market where most manufacturers offer V6 and I4 engine options (Camry, Accord, Malibu, Fusion, Altima, etc.) the take-rate for the I4 is well over 90 percent.

So customers have the choice, but they aren't going for the V6s.

RE: popularity or availability?
By micksh on 2/2/2011 2:13:59 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe just because I4 is cheaper? In terms of car price, not fuel consumption.

RE: popularity or availability?
By JediJeb on 2/3/2011 2:37:13 PM , Rating: 2
Could also be how many of each are actually on the lots to purchase instantly. How many people actually order a car just the way they want it versus grab one off the lot they like at the moment.

Just like the story here a while back that said consumers now prefer automatic transmissions to manual ones because of sales numbers, but then how many vehicles now come as automatic only where the manual is not even an option? When is the last time you saw a mini van or small SUV with a manual transmission, especially one you didn't have to special order?

It's very simple
By Beenthere on 2/2/2011 12:25:46 PM , Rating: 2
If a car maker refuses to offer me a quality six cylinder engine, I will not buy their product.

There are some excellent four cylinder turbo engines available but I prefer a six. If you refuse to provide it, I will buy somone else's product.

RE: It's very simple
By SSDMaster on 2/2/2011 1:50:28 PM , Rating: 2
"I'll have the linguine with red sauce on the side. If the sauce does not come on the side, I will send it back. I'll also have garlic bread, toasted. If the bread is burnt, I send it back."

Grotti - The Office

RE: It's very simple
By Taft12 on 2/2/2011 2:21:33 PM , Rating: 2
As Brandon has pointed out,

even in the traditional midsize sedan market where most manufacturers offer V6 and I4 engine options (Camry, Accord, Malibu, Fusion, Altima, etc.) the take-rate for the I4 is well over 90 percent.

The customers have spoken and they don't have the same opinion as you.

RE: It's very simple
By JediJeb on 2/3/2011 2:44:16 PM , Rating: 2
I still question though if the manufactures are offering those vehicles on the car lots in equal numbers of V6 and I4 with identical trim packages side by side? Most car buyers today will not opt for the V6 if they have to order it, likewise if the lots stock only V6 and special order the I4, you will see the I4 not sell as well as the V6.

I would say that easily over 50% of the people I know purchase cars by what the like when they see it sitting on the lot not even considering what engine it has. For the average buyer(unlike most of us who post here) the trim package and color are more important than drive train components, except maybe the style of the wheels.

By FITCamaro on 2/2/2011 4:25:26 PM , Rating: 2
While enthusiasts may crave the power and torque of a naturally aspirated V6 or inline-6 engine, many U.S. consumers appear to be content with the advances made in four-cylinder engine technology (direct injection, turbochargers, etc.).

Actually for a getting around vehicle, I am perfectly happy with a turbo 4. They're easier to modify to get more power out of than an NA V6. Granted I'd rather have a turbo-6 instead. Time for a new Grand National. :)

RE: Actually
By Spuke on 2/2/2011 7:16:32 PM , Rating: 2
I'd think you'd like a 135i (lighter than 335i..yeah it's ugly) with the N54 powerplant. 450whp on stock turbo's with mods, of course. Shave a few lbs off with some lightweight seats, light wheels, and a Braille battery. I would recommend the 6 speed auto with paddle shifters (amazing fast and smooth shifts..blows away the manual even with equal drivers).

RE: Actually
By EricMartello on 2/4/2011 2:46:55 PM , Rating: 2
I like the 1 series and I think it looks better than the 3 series. I've been thinking about getting one this spring.

Other stuff at work here
By sorry dog on 2/2/2011 12:54:30 PM , Rating: 2
I believe that is more than just fuel economy that is driving this 4 cylinder trend. That turbo Hyundai 4 that DT likes to continually reference is the product of a multi-manufacturer joint venture. So alot of the RD for these motors is shared, and if it's a compact four cylinder then it is easier to share across multiple platforms.

On the fuel economy front it's the combination of engine management, direct injection, and forced induction that has made smaller displacement engines perform well enough for larger cars. I think someone could build a 2.0 straight 6 or V6 with up to date engine tech and achieve similar fuel economy in the new sonata. But they won't because such an engine would only be more expensive to produce and be more difficult to package into a small space. Sure it be noticably smoother, but the price of the car would also be noticably larger. Also if you can isolate it enough and tune the sound enough then it become passable for normal driving.

So to me this trend is more about manufacturering commonality and reduced part counts as having 50% less to half as many cams, heads, gears, pistons, valves, headers, should more than make up for the cost of the turbo setup.

RE: Other stuff at work here
By Taft12 on 2/2/2011 2:44:54 PM , Rating: 2
Your post about commonality in the auto industry makes me think about how open standards (in software and hardware) are one of the biggest factors in the growth and improvement of the computer industry over the last couple decades compared to the "bad old days" of the gated communities of DEC, Sun, IBM, etc. with nobodies stuff playing nicely with the others.

Even Apple who is today's worst offender had to jump on the x86 bandwagon and benefited tremendously.

Race in Traffic?
By Calabros on 2/3/2011 3:48:40 AM , Rating: 2
I wonder who actually needs 274 hp?

2009 then 2010 spikes?
By cruisin3style on 2/3/2011 3:42:36 PM , Rating: 2
If the percentage of 4-cylinder engine equipped cars is high in 2009, then higher in 2010, wouldn't that mean that it is continuing to climb, and not "spiking again"...

Also, "four banger engine"...why?? just say 4 cylinder engine if you are concerned your readers won't understand, or say four banger and go for the "in the know" vibe...but don't combine into phrases no one uses in the scene

I like...
By MrBlastman on 2/2/11, Rating: -1
RE: I like...
By headbox on 2/2/11, Rating: 0
RE: I like...
By Spuke on 2/2/2011 12:08:07 PM , Rating: 2
As a motorcyclist who does ride the track on the weekends, I laugh at "sports cars" that can't do 0-60 in the time I can do 0-100, for a fraction of the price and insurance for $6/month.
I LOVE motorcycles!!! BUT, I also don't want to be an organ donor either. If I ever do get another bike, it will likely only be used for weekend warrior duty. BTW, IMO, splitting lanes in LA traffic is retarded. Good luck with that.

RE: I like...
By headbox on 2/2/11, Rating: 0
RE: I like...
By Nfarce on 2/2/2011 1:31:33 PM , Rating: 4
When wearing proper riding gear, you can crash at 100 mph and walk away. Can't do that in a car.

Yeah I've seen that happen a lot during GP races. No problem there sliding on your well-padded leather butt until you come to a stop. But back in the real world, there are telephone poles that get in your way while flying through the air, cars that pull out in front of you, cars that don't see you, change lanes, and then slam you against a guard rail, etc. That just doesn't sound fun to me.

Nobody said you couldn't ride and not get killed on a two-wheeler. However, the odds go up significantly you will die on one vs. a car. As blastman referenced, metro Atlanta's cemeteries are filled with formerly cocky bikers who thought their riding skills would keep them alive. I dug up some data that's a few years old, but it drives the point home:

* Motorcycles are the most dangerous type of motor vehicle to drive. These vehicles are involved in fatal crashes at a rate of 35.0 per 100 million miles of travel, compared with a rate of 1.7 per 100 million miles of travel for passenger cars.

* Motorcyclists were 35 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in a crash in 2006, per vehicle mile traveled, and 8 times more likely to be injured.

* Although motorcycles account for only 2% of vehicles on the road, they make up more than 10% of all crashes.

Never have liked motorcycles. And never will.

RE: I like...
By Jeffk464 on 2/2/2011 4:26:03 PM , Rating: 4
If you don't like motorcycles its because you have never ridden one. They are about the most fun you can have. Now having said that they are also about the most dangerous thing you can do. Doesn't mean I don't like them though, just smart enough not to own one now that I'm past my 20's. They are definitely for people to young and dumb to understand the risk.

RE: I like...
By Laereom on 2/2/2011 9:29:35 PM , Rating: 2
What you just said has nothing to do with what he just said.

RE: I like...
By Spuke on 2/2/2011 1:40:10 PM , Rating: 2
I've been riding 15 years and have never been injured. When wearing proper riding gear, you can crash at 100 mph and walk away. Can't do that in a car.
I'm not worried about me. I'm worried about other drivers which is FAR more likely to happen to you when you get into an accident on a bike. I know tons of experienced riders and most all have had to lay down their bikes once or twice in their lives. I just don't want to be sandwiched between two cars in LA traffic or broadsided going through and intersection. Guess who loses in those cases?

Regardless, I still love bikes.

RE: I like...
By silverblue on 2/2/2011 4:00:20 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry, but my brother crashed at about half that speed whilst wearing proper gear and was in critical condition in hospital for a few weeks. Granted, he slid off his bike as he misjudged a corner and hit a telegraph pole as opposed to sliding over some grass...

In any case, I'm just trying to emphasise the "can" in your statement. Never, ever get cocky. All you need is someone to open a car door on you, or jump lanes, and your luck can rapidly change for the worse. Be careful.

RE: I like...
By FITCamaro on 2/2/2011 4:22:36 PM , Rating: 1
Yeah lets see your head go through a car door and see you walk away from it.

I've seen dead bodies on the road from motorcycle accidents at far less than 100 mph. A helmet is nothing more than something to keep your brain from spilling out in an impact crash. And you don't even have to hit something to die. A guy I know has had several friends killed from when they took a turn too fast, laid the bike down, and slid into the other lane of traffic to be run over by semis.

Hell if I wasn't paying attention on day, I would've run over an idiot in front of me on a sport bike who was trying to pop a wheelie for a camera. Luckily for him I was and saw that he was about to eat the pavement before he did. Oh and he was only doing about 40 mph with full gear on and got taken away on an ambulance.

RE: I like...
By MrBlastman on 2/2/2011 12:14:50 PM , Rating: 2
In Atlanta, the average life-expectancy of a "street biker" is about 3 months. They die frequently on our roads. Be careful out there (even if you are in LA). I'll happily stick to my 4-wheeled "cage" for now. It isn't yourself you need to be worried about, it is the other people in "cages" that are oblivious, too busy talking on their phones, putting on makeup or reading a book.

Where in my post did I brag about power? Read it again, I didn't. I simply said to negate turbo lag, you really need a manual transmission. The real reason behind this is keeping the engine in high enough RPM's so that the turbo remains spooled up. Where is this useful? Say you are trying to cross a busy street and there is fast moving traffic. If you don't know how to work your engine/turbo, you won't have enough low-end power to get your car moving fast enough in order to not be a disruption to the flow of traffic you are crossing. Another time where it is useful is say performing an emergency evasive maneuver. If you don't know how to properly work the throttle and rpm's (you can't in a pure automatic), you might not be able to muster enough grunt out of the engine to get out of harms way.

My post had nothing to do about bragging about horsepower. Please check your attitude at the door.

RE: I like...
By Dr of crap on 2/2/2011 12:27:56 PM , Rating: 1
Not sure if you do your driving in a dream land, but what I've found is other drivers DO NOT care about anybody else on the road. If they be the slow one to CUT into a lane to make their turn in front of you - to bad for you.

I have yet to see a fair MAJORITY of drivers drive like they want the flow of traffic to move smoothly.
Rather it's all about getting in front of everyone else.

So HP is NOT a main concern, it's just a marketing/selling point. Most wouldn't even have a reason to kick the turbo in to half it's boost. I see Stangs and other FAST cars driven like they have a 3 cyclinder in them! These people bought them for the image not to take the full use of the enegine!

RE: I like...
By MrBlastman on 2/2/2011 12:32:11 PM , Rating: 2
Not sure if you do your driving in a dream land, but what I've found is other drivers DO NOT care about anybody else on the road. If they be the slow one to CUT into a lane to make their turn in front of you - to bad for you.

Oh I agree with you on that. Sometimes I feel like I'm the only one on the road that gives a darn about making traffic move steadily, efficiently and effectively through doing my small part to contribute to it.

RE: I like...
By nolisi on 2/2/2011 1:34:02 PM , Rating: 2
I'd like to suggest that everyone has a different perspective on how a smooth traffic flow is accomplished. This perspective usually coincides with the opinion that the speakers manner of driving is the correct method and that it is others on the road who violate rules of roadway courtesy.

I'd also like to suggest that everyone drives like an a$$ sometimes, and everyone drives politely other times. Usually I drive like an a$$ when I'm in a hurry/late for something, and critique people for moving in packs along the roadway. Other times, I drive with the flow and critique the a$$ behind me for crawling up my a$$ and that there is no reason for his behavior- usually this happens when I'm not in a rush.

I freely admit that I drive like a hole at least 40% of the time, and it also tends to coincide with whatever speed metal band my car based entertainment system is playing at the time.

RE: I like...
By tng on 2/2/2011 12:27:46 PM , Rating: 2
Let's be honest- when is turbo lag a problem? When you take your car to the track? Or are you one of those people that laughably say you need that power to "safely" merge onto a freeway?

Since I have only driven one car that had a turbo, I can't say that this is turbo lag or not, but in France I rented a BMW X3 2.0L Turbo Diesel.

Great car, fun to drive and with the price of diesel in Europe, economical as well. The one problem was when you would depress the accelerator from idle, the engine would be about 1-2 seconds behind in revving. This only happened when you started from a stop, and caused me to stall the vehicle numerous times just backing out from parking. As a veteran manual transmission driver it drove me nuts.

I am not sure if what I described above was "turbo-lag" or just a function of the engine management system, but it annoyed me none the less.

RE: I like...
By MrBlastman on 2/2/2011 12:39:16 PM , Rating: 2
The one problem was when you would depress the accelerator from idle, the engine would be about 1-2 seconds behind in revving.

Yes, this is a component of turbo-lag and you were a victim of it. In order to properly launch a vehicle from a standstill in an emergency situation, you have to first press in the clutch, then rev the engine to the RPM range in which the turbo is spooled and there is a sufficent torque-horsepower ratio in the power-band curve and then slip the clutch out while applying throttle.

This process is even more complicated if you have a two-wheel drive car (front or rear, rear is even harder) and requires more finesse. Likewise, if you are changing lanes on the freeway in a traffic-filled situation, you could be lazy and just brake and move to the next lane (right behind the person, might I add) leaving yourself vulnerable to them suddenly braking or need for accelerative evasive maneuvers leaving you in a weak portion of the power-curve; or, you could properly change lanes by downshifting, leaving it in a lower gear to decelerate keeping your RPM's higher (you do not consume excess fuel when engine braking) and giving you enough resources to react if needed.

It doesn't matter how much power your engine has, you could have a small turbo engine or a high-horsepower, it doesn't matter as they both suffer from this problem (though engines with higher volume/displacement have a less-pronounced lag problem). Another solution to this is a twin-scroll or dual-stage turbo/supercharger system but these can be quite costly but more appropriate for an automatic transmission.

RE: I like...
By sorry dog on 2/2/2011 1:05:42 PM , Rating: 2
actually sounds to me more like an engine management issue, bacause you shouldn't need any "boost" to get out of a parking spot. In turbo cars that I have driven, the turbo doesn't impact responsiveness at light throttle, even ones like the old over boosted Chrysler K cars. Maybe the fuel pump or injector was slow to respond or maybe some extra EnviroEuro crap they have to put on over there...

RE: I like...
By MrBlastman on 2/2/2011 1:16:01 PM , Rating: 2
It depends on how far you press your throttle in and how the ECU is setup to pump fuel to the engine--so yes, you are right to a degree. However, many times cars are tuned to be more fuel efficient lower in the RPM-range and delay full boosting of the turbo until later to avoid excess fuel consumption. In this case, you'll find that if you dump the throttle from a dead start, you'll get a worse takeoff than you will with a gradual one (or at least, it will feel like it takes forever for the power to kick in and this is in fact turbo-lag waiting for the engine to produce enough exhaust gases to spool up the turbo).

RE: I like...
By Spuke on 2/2/2011 2:56:16 PM , Rating: 2
There is a throttle lag "problem" with BMW's. There's also a clutch delay built in too. It's designed in so it's not necessarily something to be fixed. There are aftermarket components that claim to fix this.

RE: I like...
By Johnmcl7 on 2/2/2011 1:23:49 PM , Rating: 2
Having driven turbocharged cars for around eight years now I can't say I've ever had that problem nor found the turbo complicated or needing finesse even when the car has been on the racetrack. No-one who has driven my car has had any trouble with the turbocharger either even when it's been their first time and they've been given no instructions on the turbo characteristics. The change to smaller turbocharged engines has been on going in the EU for a while as a smaller, lighter turbocharged engine can suit a smaller car better while giving the same high performance, there's been no problems with the turbos driving wise which are becoming more and more standard in petrol cars and have been standard for a long time on most diesel cars.

If anything, I found the opposite as people preferred my last car suffered from noticeably bad lag but it meant the car had a huge surge of power as you accelerated giving the wheels more time to put the power down. My current car develops more power but the turbo is much more subtle as there's little feeling of lag but I preferred the older engine.

RE: I like...
By FITCamaro on 2/2/2011 4:28:48 PM , Rating: 2
Actually it sounds more like extremely bad lag between the throttle and the throttle body since any newer car is going to be drive by wire.

Turbo lag would have nothing to do with the engine not revving at all for a second or two after the gas pedal is depressed.

RE: I like...
By FITCamaro on 2/2/2011 4:30:50 PM , Rating: 2
On my GTO, there is about a 1/2 second delay between depressing the gas pedal and the engine responding. Many people actually get rid of the drive by wire setup for the more responsive and reliable cable driven throttle bodies.

RE: I like...
By Broadwing on 2/2/2011 4:54:55 PM , Rating: 2
It's somewhat doubtful that he would have been experiencing throttle body actuator lag on a diesel. It still could be something in the ECU, but...

RE: I like...
By Netjak on 2/2/2011 5:35:46 PM , Rating: 2
This only happened when you started from a stop, and caused me to stall the vehicle numerous times just backing out from parking. As a veteran manual transmission driver it drove me nuts.

Same thing happened with VW's 2.0 turbo diesel. You have to rev engine in first gear. But, they have smaller engine - 1.9 tdi - with similar output and that thing doesn't have problems at all. You can start at idle, even from 2nd gear.

RE: I like...
By walk2k on 2/2/11, Rating: -1
RE: I like...
By dubldwn on 2/2/2011 5:00:42 PM , Rating: 2
Anyway just wanted to correct you, in case any other bikers or potential bikers read this - "lane sharing" is NOT legal in CA.

Yes it is. Many think it's unsafe, and it can be unsettling to drivers as they are surprised by the passing bike, but it is legal in California. The reason we allow this is two-fold: we don't want bikes sitting in the back of a cue on the highway, and many bikes are air cooled.

RE: I like...
By walk2k on 2/2/2011 7:46:15 PM , Rating: 2
It is not legal in CA. Don't know about other states. Read the CA VC posted above. Not legal.

RE: I like...
By dubldwn on 2/3/2011 2:36:48 AM , Rating: 2
Scroll down to the third question:
This question has been asked and answered countless times on the net. Google it. I'm not going to go into my level of expertise here, but I'm 100% on this one.

RE: I like...
By fic2 on 2/2/2011 5:08:47 PM , Rating: 1
High temp today in Denver is 0F. There are a lot of people that I work with that ride motorcycles, but strangely they all have been driving to work this week.

What gets me is the people that insist they need the HP to merge on the highway, but no matter how long of a merge lane they have they are only doing 45 mph at the end of it and trying to merge onto a 65 MPH highway. I seem to be able to get up to speed in my 5-speed 165hp Subaru.

Oh, and try driving in the mountains in the 55hp 3 cyl Geo Metro. Ain't going to happen. Having had a 118hp manual Trooper I can tell you doing 50mph in 3rd gear up a mountain highway is not fun.

RE: I like...
By JediJeb on 2/3/2011 2:58:34 PM , Rating: 2
As a motorcyclist who does ride the track on the weekends, I laugh at "sports cars" that can't do 0-60 in the time I can do 0-100, for a fraction of the price and insurance for $6/month. Your 4 wheel "cage" is not fast. I can also legally split lanes in CA. I can get across LA in 15 minutes during peak traffic, when it would take 1-2 hours of stop & go in a car. The ladies like bikes more than cars too- trust me.

Maybe fine in LA, but I would like to see you beating out the 4 wheel cage right now in the mid west with 18 inches of snow on the ground. I definitely think the ladies would prefer a warm truck to a bike there right now ;)

RE: I like...
By Flunk on 2/2/2011 1:48:00 PM , Rating: 2
This is the reason a lot of those cars now have dual-clutch automatics, which perform much better (arguably better than a manual) with small engines and turbos.

RE: I like...
By Hiawa23 on 2/2/2011 2:03:51 PM , Rating: 2
I am curious. I have a 2006 Mitsu Lancer Ralliart 2.4liter engine, gets 21city 29hwy, 160 something horses, & I think the 4 cylinder turbo charged engines could be the answer for both fuel economy & power as most consumers don't need 200plus horses. I also have 1997 Honda Civic that has much less power & both vehicles drive good to me & has more than enough power for me. Just seems like a good way to go for the masses. Of course there will always be consumers who want more, but they have to be in the minority if you ask me, & probably more than willing to pay more for that.

RE: I like...
By jharper12 on 2/2/2011 2:18:03 PM , Rating: 2
Back to this original comment, since every one is some how on motorcycles now. Turbo lag is becoming less and less of a problem. I market for Chevrolet, and I recently took the Cruze out on the test track for a good solid hour, and it has practically NO turbo lag. Turbo lag is entirely dependent on the design of the system. With the Cruze, the turbo charger is integrated into the engine's exhaust manifold, which reduces the turbo lag. Add to that the fact that shifting with the automatic transmission is adaptive to the driver's driving style, and you have a very responsive system. I truly hope Chevrolet is careful about only letting reviewers drive a Cruze that has several hundred miles of seasoning already, because I have noticed that before that transmission is really programmed, acceleration is hampered, which some may attribute to turbo lag. Overall though, I highly doubt BMW's new system will suffer from much turbo lag, and hopefully this trend continues with high powered four cylinder turbo charged engines that deliver some serious fuel economy. I'm still a regular consumer, and I can buy any car I want. I want the Cruze, because it's just very fun to drive and economical.

By the way, 148 ft/lbs of torque at 1850 RPMs... pretty awesome. I currently drive a manual, and when I'm driving for economy I go from 1500 to 2500 RPMs, and when I'm driving aggressively, usually, 2000 to 3000 RPMs. With this same engine, I could pretty much expect to maintain some serious acceleration power when driving aggressively. So, yeah, I am tempted to buy another manual. Thinking automatic for the day I settle down, since my cars usually last me ten years.

RE: I like...
By dandar on 2/2/2011 4:05:22 PM , Rating: 2
That 2.5 liter has a large turbo. A smaller turbo won't have the top end power but will spool much sooner. My 2.0 liter Passat has 200 torque from 1800 RPM. There is no discernible lag in that engine.

RE: I like...
By walk2k on 2/2/2011 4:27:14 PM , Rating: 2
There is still lag time between when you put your foot in it and when the power comes on. Yes the time is smaller with a smaller turbo than a bigger one (though you will run out of boost faster with a small one as you pointed out). It is still a significant delay vs a normally aspirated engine, this is just a fact of turbos. It's why I prefer supercharging (that and lower intake air temp).

That said, I'd rather have a 4cyl turbo motor with 250+ hp than a N/A one with only 170. ;)

RE: I like...
By Spuke on 2/2/2011 7:08:28 PM , Rating: 2
. It is still a significant delay vs a normally aspirated engine, this is just a fact of turbos.
It is NOT a significant delay. That's what a lot of people are trying to say. I drive one daily (80K miles on a direct injected turbo 4 cyl). I put foot down, I am in boost. No delays here. If there is lag, it is imperceptible. I have driven many different types of cars. I've driven the laggy 80's turbo cars. THAT was lag. THAT does not exist anymore.

RE: I like...
By Runiteshark on 2/3/2011 4:06:27 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah those little turbos are great. Combined with direct injection I'm sure you get decent gas mileage as well.

I got to drive an old 80's car and it reminded me of a GT40 on a supra. Christ allmighty, those guys couldn't match a turbo with an engine if their life depended on them.

RE: I like...
By Pryde on 2/4/2011 4:08:29 AM , Rating: 2
I would have to disagree

When I shift my Ford XR6 Turbo 4L I6 ZF 6 speed into sports mode it keeps revvs above 2000rpm. peak torque is at 1950rpm to 5200rpm all 565Nm of it. ( thats 416.67ft.pd lol ) When the box is in economy yes there is lag but thats the price you pay to get the best economy from your engine.

TL:DR Most these autos have sports mode that keep the engine on boost when you want sporty performance.

RE: I like...
By Netjak on 2/6/2011 6:11:21 AM , Rating: 2
Yes, if you drive turbo without gas, there is some time to accelerate turbo. But, after that u got surge of power and torque significantly larger than NA engine with similar max power so u can do more in same or less time, ie read acceleation time from 40-100 and so on. for example, when I want to overtake somebody, usually there is no need to change gear an rev up engine (wich can take almost a second and I have to move hand from wheel), just depress accelerator fraction of second earlier and I can fly :) that surge of power is far more funnier than any NA can give :)

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