DOWN­SIZ­ING: WHAT’S THE RA­TIO­NALE

Car India - - YOUR VIEWS -

I have a ques­tion for you: why are en­gines steadily be­ing down­sized in this era?

I have wit­nessed that a num­ber of su­per­car man­u­fac­tur­ers have been down­siz­ing their en­gines by a litre or two and even three in some cases. More­over, the use of tur­bocharg­ers in on the in­crease. What is the rea­son for this? Is a big­ger en­gine bet­ter or a smaller one with a turbo bet­ter? Ge­orge D’cruze, Panaji, Goa

Dear Ge­orge,

The pri­mary rea­son for down­siz­ing is the pro­gres­sive tight­en­ing of emis­sion norms, as the per­cep­tion is that smaller en­gines with a turbo con­sume lesser fuel and thus pro­duce lower emis­sions, in­clud­ing lower car­bon diox­ide. This, ac­cord­ing to au­thor­i­ties the world over, is seen as more en­vi­ron­ment­friendly. CO2 is a ma­jor cri­te­rion for lower in­surance pre­mi­ums or tax­a­tion in sev­eral global mar­kets. As for which form of en­gine is bet­ter, there is no ab­so­lute an­swer as it de­pends on what you want out of the en­gine. For out and out per­for­mance, a nat­u­rally as­pi­rated big­ger en­gine is the ob­vi­ous choice; how­ever if ef­fi­ciency is your goal, then you would do bet­ter with a smaller, tur­bocharged en­gine.

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