While the topic might sound pure technical in its presentation, let’s just break down what these Turbo-something things are, right at the onset. Turbochargers are to small engines what Spinach was to Popeye. Turbos are basically steroids for the engines, the only difference being they are built right inside and don’t need to be administered from the outside. They enhance your engine’s overall power figures while being equally greener on the economy. It’s a win-win for you and the environment but let’s dwell deeper and find out why every other car maker in the country is incorporating turbo in their future lineup of engine options.
Naturally aspirated engines are becoming a thing of the past and are now being replaced by the more fun to drive turbocharged engines. Up until very recently, these now common turbos were reserved for top of the line luxury and sports oriented cars. But with the ever so increase in demand, there has been a push for bringing this tech to the masses and there are a plethora of options available today for you to choose from, both in Diesel and Petrol.
For understanding turbocharging we first need to understand how a normal car engine works. Our cars use the Internal Combustion Engines to take you places and what it basically does is create an explosion between the air and the fuel to generate work. The gases from this explosion expand and set the pistons in motion. With that, the work of these gases is over and they are channelized outside through the exhausts.
So that’s it- Oxygen meets Fuel and your car moves. There’s a fixed ratio between these two key components and no two can be altered to gain better results. You can, of-course add more fuel by playing up with the regulator but the amount of air we have is equivalent to the volume of the combustion chamber and no matter how much we wait, the amount of air cannot be increased. Any surplus fuel would be a waste as there won’t be enough oxygen to burn it. So when an engine is made, the size of its combustion chamber largely influences the maximum amount of power it will produce.
Here’s where a Swiss engineer by the name of Alfred Büchi stepped in with his novel invention- the Turbochargers. A Turbocharger has two basic components- a turbine and a compressor. He used the outgoing gases, with some potential left in them, to move the turbine, which in turn powered the second component- the compressor. Now, since the gases can be compressed we have more of those in the same combustion chamber and with added fuel, you have more power every time you put your foot down.
It’s all in the name- Turbo is for turbine and the extra surge of power is attributed to the ‘charge’ created by it.
While almost all diesel cars in India came with turbochargers, manufacturers are now offering the technology in petrol cars as well. These petrol cars have made their way to our shores and there are a number of options that fit a range of budgets.
Tata Zest and Tata Bolt
Tata came up with a new lineup of engine options for its current offering- the Zest and the Bolt. The 1.2 L Revotron Engine is a petrol powered turbocharged engine producing 140Nm of torque and 89bhp of power @ 5000rpm. A Pre-Owned Zest can be bought at 4.55 lakhs while a Pre-Owned Bolt can be bought at 4.50 lakhs.
Volkswagen Polo GT TSI and Vento TSI
The popular German hatch was given a fresh new life with the addition of the 1.2 L TSI petrol engine. Mated to the 7 speed DSG gearbox, the car gives a peak torque of 175Nm and a massive 103bhp of power, available right from 1500rpm. The Vento too receives the similar treatment to make it an even more enticing prospect. Pre-owned Volkswagen Polo and Vento are priced between 2.45 to 4.50 lakhs and 3.80 to 6.90 lakhs respectively.
Ford created ripples in the industry, with the introduction of its 1.0 L EcoBoost petrol engine. It’s the smallest engine in our market to receive the turbochargers and has 170Nm of torque and 123bhp of power to its credentials. A Pre-Owned EcoSport is available between an affordable price range of 7.5 to 8.9 lakhs.
One of the earliest to receive turbochargers, the Linea remains an amazing drive with its exceptional ride and handling. The 1.4 L petrol T-Jet engine produces 207Nm of torque @ 2200rpm with 112bhp of power transferred by a 5 speed manual transmission. An older version of Pre-Owned Linea can be bought at 3.50 lakhs.
There is a growing shift towards turbocharged engines among manufacturers. These engines efficiently burn fuel while also producing more power than regular engines. This means manufacturers can provide drivers more power while at the same time, make their engines more eco-friendly. The turbocharger technology is now going to find its way to more cars as it becomes inexpensive and more efficient.