by Dan Aitken
on May 30, 2017

The Takeover of the Turbo

The automotive industry is always an exciting talking point; the ever-developing industry always has news coming left, right and centre. From the latest in-car technology to concepts of the future, there’s always a discussion to be had. However, something that hasn’t been spoken about too much is surely the takeover of the small turbo powered engine.

Cars of all brands, shapes and sizes are now more regularly available with an engine modification of this sort and unless you’re in the market, you possibly wouldn’t have even noticed. Now there’s fewer car manufacturers producing those 1.6L and 1.8L petrol engines we’ve become so accustomed to seeing. When shopping for a new vehicle you will now find more manufacturers offering engine modifications in the forms of a 1.0L turbos or even 1.2L turbos!

So, why the change in the industry?

It’s not as if turbo chargers are a new found technology we all know that. The earliest use of a turbocharger dates back to 1962 when General Motors manufactured the first turbocharged production car; the Oldsmobile Jetfire which featured the Turbo Jetfire engine.

The main reasons for the change comes down to car manufacturers having to follow ever-growing and demanding economy standards set by the Government, along with this the impressive fuel economy, torque and power outputs that can be achieved are extremely beneficial.

With these engines being smaller in size, less fuel is burnt on those crawling commutes & every day drives compared to a larger sized engine. In-fact, some of these slower moving parts of your journey may not even require the turbocharger to kick in because a larger power output isn’t needed at that point of the drive. For those times where more power is required, such as during overtaking, or when you’re simply putting your foot down (within the speed limit, of course…), smaller engines installed with a turbocharger can almost act as if they are a larger engine. The addition of the turbocharger means these new engines could potentially produce double the amount of power than a traditional, non-turbocharged sized engine.

A strong example of the change has been with Ford. Over the years, Ford have made significant advances in the production of their famous, smaller sized EcoBoost engine range. Since launch, these engines have been something to take note of over the years. Ford claim that they are not only statistically more impressive when it comes to fuel efficiency, but they also provide a serious reduction in CO2 emissions. As well as being more economically friendly, the EcoBoost 1.0L engine range is also available in a number of outputs, from 100PS, 125PS all the way to a whopping 140PS! And if that’s not impressive enough, the maximum power output that’s achieved by these engines is that of an older and heavier 1.6L petrol engine! It’s no surprise these engines have won Awards in the last few years.

But as with everything there has to be downsides, right?
With the benefits of these engines clear to see, it’s hard to argue against manufacturers making the switch over. But one thing that’s been noted as a bugbear for drivers is it can be difficult at first to find a balance in driving style to achieve truly impressive fuel economy stats. We all know being heavy on pedal is a quick and easy way to drain the tank, and petrol engines aren’t going to achieve the MPGs a diesel can, but it does seem petrol engines have come a long way forward in recent years.

As a driver of a 1.3CDTI, why has this topic appealed to me so much?
I purchased my current vehicle nearly two years ago for a number of reasons. Not only was it one of the nicest cars on the lot, and within my budget, despite desperately wanting a new car… It most importantly ticked a number boxes for me. As a young driver (18-25) driving isn’t cheap in the first place. Insurance isn’t the most affordable and when combined with all the other expenses that come with driving (cost of fuel, road tax, service & maintenance etc.) saving money where you can is important. Not only is the car great on fuel, the road tax is seriously more affordable compared to others. The insurance hasn’t worked out too bad either. I’m soon going to be looking for a change and the main factors for me are to find more of a balance between fuel efficiency and power. So after taking all this into consideration, a small turbo charged petrol engine could well be the way forward.


Dan Aitken

As well as managing the social channels for both his college band and local music retail store, Dan also has experience working for a green energy market leader as a marketing executive with a main focus on lead generation. He is also a Drummer, frequent gig goer, passionate Chelsea FC fan and a lover of animals.