Why Are Turbos Being Used More?


You probably associate turbo chargers with modified shopping trolleys driven by pre pubescent boys in supermarket car parks, burning gallons fuel, causing a nuisance and generally being anti social. If this is your view then you are grossly mistaken. The truth is more and manufactures are moving towards fitting turbos to their cars, not with a view to increasing performance, but instead, to decrease emissions. You may think this is counter intuitive, how would a turbo charger help you save fuel if it designed to make you go faster?.

 

Turbos are essentially a way of assisting an engine to achieve its task of propelling a motor vehicle along at speed, but this is missing the point. Say you had a 2 litre engine that produced a certain amount of horsepower, the unit is only using a mixture of air and fuel to burn as its energy source, spitting out exhaust gases as waste. To achieve a similar level of performance you could take a 1600CC engine and attatch a turbo, no big deal you might think, but herein lies the beauty, the 1.6 turbo engine will actually burn less fuel while delivering the same or similar performance because the turbo is assisting. Turbos are used in all kinds of vehicles from people carriers to vans.

 

This means that you are getting 2 litre naturally aspirated performance from a 1.6 unit because the turbo is working away happily doing its job. The turbo assists but sucking in exhaust waste gases produced by the engine, these spin up a turbine which drives fresh, clean air back into the engine, increasing performance and not using any fuel. It is as close as Jeremy Clarkson will ever get to recycling! More and more manufacturers are now using this method for their cars purchased on contract hire because they realise that customers will be paying more attention to MPG figures amid ever rising fuel costs. Turbos can also be added as aftermarket car accessories.

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