The TopSpeed time machine has taken us ahead before to see what Porsche has in store , now that VW controls it. It has also taken us to an alternate reality, where we got to see just how the i8 could completely fall on its face. Well, now with McLaren confirming what we all suspected (that the V-12 is about to becomes extinct), we are going to fire the old time cruiser back up and see what the supercar world might have in store for us in 2020.
McLaren has already come out and said that the V-12
"belongs in a museum" and plans to downsize its engine lineup, but this is just the tip of the iceberg. You see, in 2014, the FIA is dropping its engine sizes to petite 1.5-liter V-6 plants with turbochargers and energy recovery systems. Six years after that changeover, fuel will likely be so expensive that the FIA may drop to a 4-cylinder regulation, which opens the door for supercars to borrow said technology.
This would mean no more V-12, V-10, V-8, or V-6 engines and just super-powerful 4-cylinders will remain. Pumping 500 to 600 ponies from a 4-pot is not an impossible task, but it requires very precise research and development. The smaller engines will also result in lower weight, more manageable weight ratios, and better handling. Lower weight, in turn, results in better fuel economy and quicker acceleration.
There will be some tradeoffs, as expected. No longer will we have these 200+ mph supercars. You will also have a much less comfortable drive than expected, as these 4-bangers will be much more high-strung and touchy, much like a race car.
The big picture is what matters in all of this. No longer will there be a hunkin’ V-12 engine chugging down a gallon of fuel every 8 to 11 miles. In 2020, we should see smaller 4-pots getting 16 to 18 mpg and still keeping up with their larger ancestors up to 100 mph, which is really all that matters. Ask yourself, “When was the last time I drove 200 mph in my Aventador ?”
But what about electric? Click past the jump to read about electric-powered supercars in 2020.
gallery: Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4
gallery: Tesla Model S
See, our issue here is that even though Tesla has revolutionized the Electric-car industry, we are still not going to be ready for a full-electric takeover in just eight years. Yes, there will be many more than we have now, but not a complete takeover. However, the vast majority of the EVs on the road at that time will be extended-range variants, which use small gasoline-powered generators to charge the cars’ on-board batteries. Building an infrastructure to allow for mass amounts of all-electric vehicles will take several decades to complete and debug.
So, before electric cars take over the supercar and complete automotive realm, be on the lookout for constantly shrinking engine sizes as we progress toward 2020. We could be completely off of our rocker, but this is what we see coming, as fuel prices continue to rise and electric cars are still in their developmental phases.
Let us know what you think in the comments section. Can you see a 4-cylinder Lamborghini burning up the streets with a 600 peak ponies at 12,500 rpm? We sure can...