DOWNSIZING: WHAT’S THE RATIONALE
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
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.