It’s no secret that automakers and consumers alike are favoring forced induction engines to keep fuel economy and performance intact amid fuel prices that choke up on budgets more every year.
While you shouldn’t be surprised to read that, it might be intriguing to learn that Honeywell Turbo Technologies, a major industry parts producer, expects the number of turbochargers put into cars this year to climb by 1 million units. Last year 2.2 million made it into cars sold in North America, but that number will likely grow to 3.2 million this summer.
A million turbos is enough to get some attention, yes, but what’s even more striking is the market share being gained by forced-induction engines. More specifically, it’s the projected sales growth that you might want to pay attention to. In 2008 only 2 percent of gasoline and flex fuel engines were equipped with turbos, but by 2011 that figure rose to 9.5 percent. What’s more, J.D. Power predicts that number will balloon to 23.5 percent in 2017.
From a consumer’s perspective, that means we can expect a significant jump in the number of small-engined turbo vehicles, presumably with power that dwarfs what would have been on par a decade ago. Expect to see more motors with less than 2.0-liter displacement making the same power as many engines twice their size or more made near the early 2000’s.
It’s something that companies are realizing in advance as well. Audi, for example, recently bought Ducati with at least one of the major factors behind the acquisition being to buy the motorcycle maker’s small engine technology. As the items that made superbikes like Ducatis possible mixes with the pressing need for power and efficiency, the best of both bike and passenger car worlds are likely to marry and give birth to a more efficient engine family.