So India is witnessing a new trend in automobile segment. Ever-rising fuel prices along with strict emission norms are forcing car makers to use smaller capacity engines in bigger segment cars. One added reason is, accepting this process will help car makers to reduce the price of the cars which will be beneficial both for the company and customers.
We have plenty of examples, like Ford has developed a 1.0 Liter petrol engine that delivers similar power like a 1.6 Liter engine. Ford will the same engine to power up their upcoming SUV, Eco Sport. Maruti Suzuki’s 1.2-Liter diesel powers up 3 of their cars, D-Zire, SX4 and the newly launched Ertiga. But the engine is tuned in different states to deliver different power output. Toyota Etios and Corolla share the same 1.4 Liter diesel engine. Renault Fluence and Pulse also share the same engine. So, it’s just a matter of alteration in engine tuning and use of turbocharger.
Mr. Michael Boneham, President, Ford India, says: “The key driver is fuel economy; Ford has done it (with a one-litre engine), by delivering 20 per cent improvement over a 1.6-litre engine in terms of fuel economy and performance – in terms of torque and power”.
Mr. IV Rao, Managing Executive Officer, Maruti Suzuki India, says: “The bigger engines are being replaced by smaller engines with a turbocharger, which gives the power of a larger engine without compromising on fuel efficiency”.
Turbocharged diesel engines have been around for decades. But in recent times we are witnessing a revolution of using turbochargers in petrol engines. This will make the companies to use smaller engines in bigger cars. Mr. NP Thimmaith, Former MD of Honeywell Turbo Technologies says: “The penetration of turbochargers is currently at about 25% for both petrol and diesel globally; we expect it to touch 70 per cent by 2020 and it is the adoption of gasoline turbochargers that will drive this penetration”.
The editor of AutoCar India, Mr. Hormazd Sorabjee explains that sophisticated turbocharging and engine management systems have allowed smaller engines to develop as much power and torque as larger ones. The trend is catching on in India as fuel economy plays a crucial role. However, manufacturers say that customer perception needs to change as there is a feeling that smaller engines in larger vehicles make it underpowered. The issue here is that a turbocharger gets activated at a particular optimum and that may prove to be a chicken-and-egg situation as Indian drivers tend to be soft on the accelerator in their endeavour to save fuel. Which, in turn, means that the turbo charger does not kick in.
So drivers also need to change their driving habits in order to extract power from the engine, along with high fuel efficiency.
News Source: Economic Times