No automaker can afford to stand still these days. The pace of development is absolutely relentless, especially when it comes to powertrains. To keep its vehicles as competitive as possible, Hyundai has refined two of its engines.
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Rumors of a turbocharged Subaru BRZ are swirling around the internet, but would a turbo version even make sense?
There are smaller engines on the horizon for BMW‘s 3-Series cars, though a specific date isn’t set yet.
According to an article published by What Car?, BMW said it has exhausted engine technology within the currently offered sizes and that the future is to move towards smaller, more powerful technology.
BMW already stepped in this direction by returning the 2012 3-Series to a 2.0-liter turbocharged four, but this represents the most drastic step to date: a three-cylinder engine. While the powerplants motivating BMW cars are getting smaller, the turbocharging systems the company uses are getting larger — or at least more complex.
The company’s engineers are already planning to implement a tri-turbo system in their M cars by using a single, smaller unit that spools up on exhaust much faster to deliver power almost instantly. Then two larger units take hold and create the sort of forced induction necessary for big power from a small motor.
The three-cylinder engine that BMW is working on for the 3-Series use is still about a couple years off, according to the company and won’t be the same as the unit used in the upcoming i8 hybrid, which will be available in 2013.
Instead, the company is focusing on making an engine that will be able to power cars as large as the 3-Series without help from electric motors, which will remain mostly paired with the six-cylinder engines found in current Bimmer hybrids.
While unconfirmed by company executives, it’s believed that the next-generation MINI models will also make use of 3-cylinder powerplants.
[Source: What Car?]
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) fuel estimates are out for BMW‘s new line of 3-Series cars and it looks like they’ve caught the competition with their pants down.
The 2012 328i scores an impressive 24 mpg city and 36 mpg highway, that’s a 28 percent improvement in fuel consumption over last year’s model. What’s even better is that the 328i actually gets more power than the model it replaced for a total of 240 horsepower compared to last year’s 230. The 300-horsepower 335i doesn’t get a boost in oomph but as you may expect, is less thirsty in 2012. In fact, the automatic-equipped version is downright efficient, bragging 23 mpg city and 33 highway.
Though it might seem like it, these jumps don’t happen overnight, or by some magic gasoline fairy waving a wand. BMW achieved such impressive improvements in the 328i through cleverly engineered turbocharging and by lobbing a whole liter off of last year’s engine. That’s right, there’s a 2.0-liter inline four where there used to be a 3.0-liter six cylinder.
So what of the competition? The Mercedes-Benz C 250 has 39 fewer ponies than the 328i and only gets 21 and 31 mpg in the city and highway despite having a 1.8-liter engine. Audi‘s A4 uses a 2.0-liter turbocharged powerplant and also only gets 22 mpg city and 30 on the highway when equipped with their gas-saving continuously variable transmission, not to mention falling 29 horsepower short.
The jig is up for this model year, but it should be interesting to watch Audi and Mercedes-Benz respond to their Bavarian neighbor’s conservative consumption. Perhaps this is why BMW remains the top dog in the bratwurst pile.
The 2013 Porsche Boxster S is going to look more aggressive with fresh lines a new interior and bigger air scoops, but the real change is going to be how it feels on the road.
New looks are cool, but just wait until you see what the folks over in Stuttgart cooked up this time for the iconic roadster: a turbo cramming 50 extra ponies in for a grand total of 360 hp. What’s even more exciting is the fact that Porsche is doing this without it’s 3.4-liter flat-six. In fact, they’re slicing two cylinders right off in favor of a 2.4-liter flat 4, meaning a faster car that’s more forgiving at the pump.
A less potent version will also make its way into the Cayman and base Boxster models. This is great news for anyone thinking of buying a Boxster, because they know how much fun they are already with 310 ponies pushing past curvy roads. Furthermore, the car will shed some curb weight, meaning that extra power will punch even harder.
The official debut is slated for this year’s Geneva Auto Show, look for more details and pictures to come
[Source: Road & Track]
AutoGuide’s spy photographers caught an updated version of the Ferrari California testing near Ferrari’s home base of Maranello, Italy and our photographers noted that an unusual whistling sound – possibly that of a turbocharger, was heard emanating from the engine bay.
Ferrari hasn’t done a turbo V8 since the psychotic F40 of the 1980′s, and given the California’s reputation as a bit of a hairdresser’s car, the addition of some extra juice might not hurt. The mysterious hump in the car’s hood may also point to some kind of forced induction system. Given that the California has been out for a few years now, it seems like the timing is right for an aesthetic refresh and a power boost as well.
GALLERY: Ferrari California Refresh
Ford is revising their forecast for F-150 Ecoboost sales, estimating that the turbocharged 6-cylinder pickup will comprise 45 percent of F-150 sales, versus original estimates of 40 percent. Ford now estimates that the Ecoboost will sell 100,000 units this year.
The F-150 remains the best selling vehicle in the United States, and Ford was caught off guard by the Ecoboost’s popularity. A V6 option has only been available within the last two years, as the segment was dominated by V8 engines. Unstable fuel prices and a general trend towards environmentally conscious purchase choices are credited with helping Ford introduce a V6 powered F-150 in a favorable light.
[Source: Wall Street Journal]
General Motors much loved LNF engine, the same 2.0L Ecotec that powered the Pontiac Solstice GXP, Saturn Sky Redline and Chevrolet Cobalt SS is continuing on in the Buick Regal Turbo and Buick Regal GS, but a new generation of turbocharged 4-cylinder motor is set to replace the LNF next year, packing even more power.
While the LNF makes as much as 270 horsepower and 295 lb-ft in the Regal GS, the new engine, dubbed the LHU, will be used as a replacement for V6 engines in mid-size cars, and is expected to make at least 280 horsepower in standard trim. Given that GM’s current “high feature” V6 makes 306 horsepower, we should expect a figure somewhere in that area.
The LHU will get its first use in the Cadillac ATS sports sedan and the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu. Expect it to migrate to other products in the near future as well.
[Source: GM Inside News]
While Ford has stopped short of confirming it, a recent article on Automotive News suggests that a Fiesta subcompact fitted with the company’s newest 1.0L Ecoboost 3-Cylinder engine is all but a done deal for North America.
Ford confirmed that the engine would make it to America in some capacity, and the motor is only capable of fitting in the Ka, Fiesta and Figo. Of those three, only the Fiesta is sold here, with the Ka meant for Europe and the Figo sold only in developing markets. No word on when the engine will come to market, or how much power it will make, but the engine is said be to producing around 120-horsepower, roughly the same as the Fiesta’s 1.0L 3-cylinder motor.
[Source: Automotive News]
With the rise of turbochargers as a “green” technology, the lifespan of superchargers looked numbers as their popularity decreased, with the belt driven forced induction systems appearing only on high-end V6 and V8 powered sports cars. While superchargers delivery power in a smooth, linear manner, their cost, complexity and noise has relegated them to near extinction.
An interview with Automotive News, featuring Eaton’s Ken Davis, President of their vehicle group, suggests otherwise. Davis remarked that their new line of superchargers are gaining favor with automakers, among them Nissan and Volkswagen. Audi’s 3.0L V6 engines already use superchargers, as well as some of Volkswagen’s small displacement 4-cylinder engines not sold in North America. Volkswagen could use superchargers across a broader number of engines, but we’re stumped as to what applications the new Eaton blowers could have with Nissan products.
Davis also notes that Chinese OEM Chery has been using greater numbers of superchargers. Their QQ small car is equipped with a blower, and given the vast amount of vehicles sold in China, Davis’ claims of doubling supercharger sales in 5 years doesn’t look so outlandish anymore.
[Source: Automotive News]
While forced induction has long been in favor in the rest of the world, Americans have often favored big displacement motors, but recent trends towards fuel economy have necessitated a shift to smaller motors, and turbocharging is considered the optimal way to stretch 4-cylinders into feeling like 6.
Honeywell, one of the largest manufacturers of turbochargers, is forecasting use of turbochargers to double in time for strict new fuel economy regulations that are set to take effect in 2015. Honeywell expects 20 percent of engines to use turbochargers by then, up from 9 percent in 2010. However that number lags behind Europe’s 67 percent figure and 28 percent in India.
While turbochargers previously carried negative connotations in the United States, the need for more power and efficiency has led them out of a small performance niche and into the mainstream. Ford expects 90 percent of its lineup to offer a turbocharged Ecoboost motor by 2013, and Chevrolet’s Cruze Eco, one of its heavily promoted “green” cars, uses a small turbocharged engine to deliver 40 mpg.
BMW has always been known for their trademark inline-6 engines, but the recent industry-wide trend of downsizing has led to BMW adopting turbocharged four-cylinder engines as an alternative to smaller, naturally aspirated I6 engines in the name of efficiency.
First to get the turbo-4 treatment is the X1 small crossover, although Jim O’Donnell, head of BMW USA, said that more are on their way. Likely candidates for this engine are the 3-Series and Z4, whose rivals, like the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, SLK and Audi A4 and A5 already offer a turbo 4-cylinder as the base engine. The X3 could also be a candidate, as Audi’s Q5 shares the same 2.0T engine and doesn’t seem to fare any worse than its 6-cylinder siblings.
Expect an announcement at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November. With the X1 hitting 60 mph in about 6 seconds while returning a smidge under 30 mpg on the European highway cycle, we’re pretty optimistic that these new BMW four-bangers will be just fine.
Volkswagen‘s famous 1.4L twincharged engine, which uses both a supercharged and turbocharger to squeeze 170 horsepower from 1.4L, could be axed shortly due to its costliness and mechanical complexity.
While the engine has garnered substantial praise from both consumers and the motoring press, Volkswagen engineers say that current turbocharging technology can achieve the same power and fuel economy benefits without the complexity and expense of a twincharger setup.
BMW has recalled 130,000 vehicles using turbocharged inline-6 engines after complaints regarded the fuel pump used with the engine. Vehicles affected include 2007-2010 135i, 535i, X6 and Z4 cars, while another 20,000 2008 X5s are also being recalled, despite not using the turbo motor.
BMW owners approach ABC after they complained of “losing power” while driving, which was apparently the result of a fuel pump malfunction that caused the vehicle to enter into the “limp home” mode that owners of high performance engines may be too familiar with. In limp home mode, the engine reverts to a “safe” configuration that reduces power and load on the engine while ensuring that the driver can safely get the vehicle to a secure location.
ABC is said to be continuing their investigation, and we’ll avoid passing judgement untill all the facts are out.
GM is recalling 547 Cadillac SRX’s equipped with the 2.8L twin-turbo V6 due to potential engine failure if the car is run with regular, rather than premium fuel.
In a statement released by NHTSA, the agency said that “The combination of regular fuel usage and aggressive driving maneuvers may induce pre-ignition.” If pre-ignition occurs, you may hear a pinging or knocking sound from the engine. If the vehicle continues to be driven after the onset of this noise, a connecting rod or piston may break, resulting in engine damage, and perhaps engine failure, which would disable the vehicle, increasing the risk of a crash.”
Cadillac will re-program the car’s ECU for free, and owners can contact the company at 1-866-982-2339. In the mean time, take it easy with the loud pedal and don’t cheap out at the gas pump.
[Source: Inside Line]