Turbo Equipped Cars Set to Triple. 

It will be interesting to see what other technologies emerge to meet the 54.5 MPG is the EPA has mandated for the CAFÉ average by 2025, For the next 5 year though, we can expect manufactures to add turbochargers to even smaller engines.

Flash Back: Fuel Shortage 1976,

By 1980, just 4 years after the Arab oil embargo, it was clear adding engine displacement improve power was in direct opposition to improving fuel economy. To increase fuel economy, Saab, Ford, Mercedes and Porsche introduced turbo technology unbelievabley to their present day production cars. Engineer’s quickly found that turbocharging provided more than just power—turbocharging also increased fuel economy. Win/Win.  A fun review of these early Turbocharged cars can be viewed on this link:  http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/news/vintage-speed/4296068

Fast Forward 30 years to 2012:

Most car makers are ramping up turbocharged car production in numbers that are truly astounding.  For example, Ford’s Eco Power turbo engines will be available in 90% of the 2013 product range. Every car maker will add a boost gageto monitor the addition of turbocharging a smaller displacement engine.  It is predicted that direct injection and direct ignition and integrated turbocharging improved 2015 cars to 44 Highway and 36 MPG around town.

“With the 2016 37.5 CAFE standards looming, downsized powertrains and turbocharging is a primary adoption strategy,” said Tony Schultz, vice president of the Americas for Honeywell Turbocharger Technologies. “In North America, I don’t see any slowdown in the adoption rate.”

With near $4.00 per gallon gas prices in the USA, 2012 car buyer’s mention fuel economy as one of the most important factor when buying a new car.  By reducing the size of the engine then adding a turbo to regain power and acceleration, automakers are measauruing improvments to fuel economy in 10% to 20% in gas powered cars and up to a 40% mileage improvement in diesels.

Pike Research said:
“The market for turbo chargers in small engines is about to heat up. If Honeywell is to be believed the global market will grow from 17 million new turbo vehicles in 2009 to 35 million in 2015, while the U.S. market will see growth from 5% to 20% of the internal combustion engine market. With the tightening CAFE requirements and the growth in demand for smaller vehicles, these numbers are not too hard to believe. In fact, I might argue that the numbers for 2015 may be a bit on the conservative side assuming it includes diesels and Chinese manufacturers”

“The total number of turbo equipped product ion cars will jump from 1.3 million units last year to 4 million in 2017”, forecasts Honeywell, a leading turbocharger manufacturer. The Morristown, N.J., company also expects by 2017 25 percent of light vehicles sold in the United States will be turbocharged.

Praise for those first brave turbo car producers have really paved the road to mileage improvement and have bought us: “Back to the Future” with great MPG and more power from smalled engines.

Don Wollum, ASE Master Technician and Owner Tech Check mobile auto Inspections. http://www.usedcarinspectionsnc.com