To Turbo or Not to Turbo
The world of performance vehicles has changed a great deal. Where we used to rely specifically on the naturally aspirated power that an engine could offer we now enjoy the benefit of an impressive power boost of turbocharging that can be had in many of the engines we enjoy on the road today. Not only can turbocharging offer you more power and overall engine performance but you’ll enjoy the torque that comes from these engines that are meant to provide you with what you want on the road and on the track.
The purists have hated turbocharging for a long time and they have some reason to dislike them. While turbos and superchargers offer a push of power the fun and true power of an engine that hasn’t been pumped up is becoming lost. The concern is how small we can go with engines and still get the performance we want to enjoy on the track. In the past you knew more power meant more cylinders and some engines went as high as twelve to provide you with insane sports power you expected, but now we see some of our favorite brands with what should be boring old four-cylinder engines.
There’s certainly nothing boring when you look at the Porsche 718 Cayman S and the BMW M2. Both of these cars come in with engines that use modern turbocharging to provide the power desired. The truth of the ride is these are two cars that prove that turbocharging offers us something that older engines didn’t have on the track, the improved torque that makes it easier to slide sideways when you want to enjoy the ride and see where it’s going to take you on the road. This is certainly one impressive advantage of the turbocharging of smaller engines for these two performance cars.
Another advantage is the weight savings. Automakers have spent a lot of time working to see how much weight they can get out of a car. This means using smaller engines, lightweight high strength materials and in some of the expensive exotics using carbon fiber parts to give you the feel and the build you want but this material is much more expensive than most that we build vehicles out of. Because automakers are after weight savings they have worked to create smaller engines that provide similar power to larger ones for the ride.
The two cars mentioned and shown in the video linked below are two examples of the power you want at the small size and turbo build that makes a difference to you. These two vehicles come with the numbers that show off and make you want to get behind the wheel. Looking at the M2 you see a 3.0-liter six-cylinder turbo while the 718 Cayman S uses a 2.5-liter four-cylinder turbo for the power. This results in a power of 365 horsepower for the M2 and 350 for the Porsche making close to the same power but a huge difference in the weight of each vehicle.
As you watch this video it will become easily obvious that the Porsche is faster than the BMW, but with the added cost you should expect that. The difference in weight and agility makes a huge difference on the track and is why the use of turbocharging has taken over. As automakers look to continue to find more from their vehicles we’ll continue to see the models we want on the road and at the track that bring in the ride that’s right for us to enjoy the drive.