We mentioned a few months ago about how advancements in turbocharging is starting to render V-8 and larger engines obsolete. As much as readers may not have wanted to hear that, it is true. For additional confirmation, we now have supercar builder, McLaren, in our corner.
In a recent interview with De Telegraaf’s Autovisie, McLaren managing director, Antony Sheriff, was quoted saying that “the V-12 engine is a thing of the past” and “the engine belongs in a museum.” Just as we pointed out, Sheriff claims that a boosted V-8 can pump out the same horsepower and more torque than a naturally aspirated V-12, plus it is lighter, less complex, and boasts better fuel economy.
Sheriff went on to further solidify our stance, as he explains that turbocharged V-6 engines may have a place in the supercar world as replacements for naturally aspirated V-8 engines. Granted, this is only the opinion of one automaker and it is not one of the big-three supercar builders – Lamborghini, Ferrari, and Porsche – so it doesn’t mean the V-12, V-10, and V-8 engines are going away just yet.
Having said that, we still hold firm in our belief that, in the next decade, the V-12 and V-10 engines will not be able to survive in a world of $5-per-gallon gasoline. Inside of this time period, smaller displacement engines and electric motors will replace these large, fuel-hungry engines. For now, we at least know that McLaren is on-board with the much-needed changeover.
We have all heard of Superchips in our lifespans at some point. Well, at least us motorheads obsessed with squeezing every ounce out of our engine that we can. Superchips sells and markets vehicle ECM/ECU/PCM remapping via an installed chip. These are typically good for a few extra ponies without any major overhauling needed.
The Ford 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine, which recently took home the International Engine of the Year Award, really pumps out a fair amount of power (127 horsepower and 149 pound-feet of torque) for a little 3-cylinder plant. It looks like Superchips has decided that wasn’t quite enough, as it has recently released a remapping chip for the 1.0-liter Ford engine that pumps its power up to 145 horsepower and 167 pound-feet of torque. It does this without affecting its 56.6 mpg rating either.
This chip runs ₤499, which translates out to $713 at the current exchange rate. $713 for an 18 horsepower and 18 pound-feet increase isn’t too bad. This is especially true when considering that it has no adverse effect on the mpg.
This hits home when we consider that Ford has already told us that the 1.0-liter engine is coming to the U.S. in 2013, which will likely be in the Fiesta. Considering the Fiesta hits 60 mph in 8.7 seconds with its current 1.6-liter engine that musters 120 horsepower and 112 pound-feet of torque, dropping some weight because of a smaller engine and adding 25 horsepower and 55 pound-feet of torque will get drivers a nice bump in acceleration. That means with this upgrade, the compact Fiesta can likely hit 60 mph in around the 7-second mark, which is damn good for a compact hatch.
Now we just have to wait and see if Superchips will offer this upgrade in the U.S.
In the past few weeks, Porsche has been busy developing both the 918 Spyder and the upcoming Cayenne Junior - aka Macan. Today, our spy photographers have caught the car testing one more time, and luckily, they have also managed to take the first shots of the interior.
The interior images aren’t as clear as all of us would like them to be, but they are still enough to see that the next Macan will be stuffed with all of the latest technology. Some of these elements may even be borrowed from the new Boxster’s interior, including the information on the on-board computer, communication, audio settings, and the navigation system being displayed on a high-resolution TFT color screen. Other elements include a 3-spoke sports steering wheel and all kinds of leather goodness.
As for the engines to be used in the next Macan, Porsche has already confirmed that the SUV will get a 370 HP 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine for the Turbo version, as well as a new four-cylinder engine with an output of about 220 HP. There will also be a diesel version for markets like Europe, and a hybrid version that could combine a 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder engine with an electric motor.
The new Porsche Macan will go into production in 2013, so we should get tons more information before that time comes. Stay tuned!
Porsche’s future entry level models have been rumored to sport a new four-cylinder horizontally opposed gasoline engine, but Porsche Canada CEO, Joe Lawrence, is trying to nip that in the bid. Lawrence was recently at the ALMS race at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park when he confirmed that the flat-four is definitely just a rumor.
At that point, everyone could basically let the flat four rumor go, but Lawrence immediately followed that statement up with the fact that he would actually like to see it sometime in the future. If everyone’s not on board with letting it go then the flat four cannot possibly be dead in the water, so we’re back to square one...again.
The four-cylinder horizontally opposed gasoline engine was initially rumored to be used for the upcoming baby Boxster (aka 550) which has been put on hold due to the lack of expected demand. What we see happening is new fuel economy regulations making it necessary for the four-pot to be used, even for the Baby Boxster when it gets dragged off the backburner, as well as for the Cayman. Automakers can’t make their decisions based on the market sometimes because the government forces their hand when it comes to strict environmental guidelines and as Lawrence said, "Porsche is not exempt from increasingly strict emissions and fuel economy regulations" and it’s "more likely that you’ll see more turbocharging in more vehicles moving forward." The government is, after all, the puppeteer in this stage show.
We cannot say that no one has boosted a Subaru BRZ up until now, as we really don’t know if someone may have already done it and just not plastered it all over the Interwebz yet. That said, we can at least now say that there is officially a turbocharged BRZ running the streets. Its builder is Toledo, Ohio-based Accelerated Performance.
These guys and gals fitted a custom-built turbo onto the intake of the 200-horsepower (161 wheel horsepower) 2.0-liter 4-banger and netted some decent results. After running it on a dyno, they found that the boost netted the BRZ a cool 54.5 horsepower.
Many of you are probably wondering why in the world only 54.5 horsepower, as a turbo is typically good for 100, or more, ponies. Well, the BRZ boasts a 12.5-to-1 compression ratio and Accelerated Performance calculated that with such high compression, they could only run about 4 psi of boost – roughly 5 psi less than most aftermarket turbo cars push out.
Soon enough someone will tune the ECU a little more and throw in a much-needed set of low compression rings on the FA20 engine. Get that compression ratio down to about 8.5-to-1 and you can safely run 9 to 12 psi of boost through the engine without issue. That would get the BRZ near the 250- to 300-wheel-horsepower mark.
Maybe once people really start throwing turbos on the BRZ and have relative success with it, Subaru will finally add a BRZ Turbo to the mix. There have been rumors of a factory-turbocharged BRZ in the works, but nothing confirmed yet. For now, we just have to rely on savvy modifiers.
UPDATE 09/08/2012: Accelerated Performance have taken their new Subaru BRZ Turbo Kit out for some testing, managing a world record quarter mile time of 11.3 seconds at a speed of 127.4 mph! Hit the jump for the video!
Hit the jump for a video of the Subaru BRZ by Accelerated Performance. Full story
Earlier this week, we brought forward reports that Aston Martin is considering downsizing its lineup of engines, which almost exclusively include V-8s and V-12s. This consideration is an obvious attempt to squeeze a few more mpg out of its lineup without depleting horsepower, which will allow the boutique automaker to achieve the fuel economy numbers required by the ongoing CAFE standards.
According to De Telegraf, Aston Martin may be considering Toyota as a partner in this downsizing attempt. In particular, Aston is eyeballing the V-10 engine used in the Lexus LF-A and the 8-pot used in several other Lexus models.
If you are wondering how Aston plans to milk these engines out of Toyota, keep in mind that Aston and Toyota already have a working agreement for Aston Martin to use the Toyota iQ to create its own Cygnet. So, for Aston Martin executives to get into conversation with Toyota brass about this possibility wouldn’t take too much.
The only issue that Toyota may have is the fact that this sharing of engines may result in added competition for the LFA and other Lexus models. Then again, with Aston Martin being such an exclusive brand without a long production list, Toyota may not see this as a threat, but rather a way to get its name on the tip of premium sports car buyers’ tongues. This could result in the ultimate word-of-mouth advertising for Lexus’ sports cars, which will soon include a car that may rival Aston Martins, the LF-LC.
We’ll keep you up to date on this developing situation and let you know as soon as more details become available.
Aston Martin is not exactly your poster child for fuel economy, as every model, sans a re-badged Toyota iQ, boast either a V-8 or V-12 engine. That about puts them near the bottom of the list in average fuel economy. With new CAFE and emission standards coming about each and every year, Aston Martin needs to get up to speed with creating slightly more efficient cars.
According to a report from Autocar, Aston Martin boss, Ulrich Bez, said that Aston is “open to the concept” of using small-displacement engines under the stipulation that they do not hamper the boutique automaker’s desirability. This ultimately translates out to “as long as it is still fast.”
This need for speed means that the likely replacements for the powerful V-8s and V-12s that Aston Martin uses would be 6-cylinders with some serious boost. A supercharger certainly would not give a 6-cylinder the kind of pop that Aston Martin would require, so a turbo or pair of turbos would definitely be the only route to take.
We have already seen BMW making use of forced air to pump up its in-line 6-bangers. Take the 2012 BMW 335i xDrive Coupe for example; it has a 3.0-liter engine that pumps out a healthy 300 horsepower. Of course, BMW also de-tuned it a little to avoid it conflicting with M3 sales. At full tilt, we would anticipate a boosted 3.0 to crank out upward of 400 horsepower.
That would give Aston the chance to just about match their V-8-powered cars’ current output rating while helping save a few mpg. It would obviously be a win-win situation, with the exception of the likely price hike for the increased technology.
We’ll keep an eye on this situation and update you as more information becomes available.
When SRT unveiled the new generation Viper, we were a little disappointed to see that the classic racing stripes that made the previous generation Viper so famous were gone. Don’t get us wrong, the cherry red was nothing short of spectacular, but the car was still missing a little something. Turns out, SRT read our minds and have revealed the first image featuring the new Viper with its famous stripes. In fact, this is the first time we’ve seen the new supercar wearing anything else other than a solid exterior paint finish. The photo also comes with the following announcement: "the new Viper just passed its dry-track stability control testing with flying colors."
As a reminder, the new Viper is powered by an 8.4-liter all-aluminum, V-10 overhead-valve engine that delivers a total of 640 HP and 600 lb-ft of torque. The new engine will be mated to an improved Tremec TR6060 six-speed manual transmission. it is rumored that the car will be priced somewhere in the $110K area.
There are very few things in this world that include the word “Eco” in its name and still remain fun. Ford somehow managed to find a way to have its cake and eat it too – what a weird saying – with the EcoBoost engines. Not only are they more economical than the engines they replaced, but they, for the most part, are drastically more powerful.
For example, let’s look at the F-150. In 2011, Ford dropped the 5.4-liter V-8 and 4.6-liter V-8 from the F-150’s options list and replaced them with the twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V-6 EcoBoost engine. The 2011 EcoBoost engine pumped out 55 more horsepower than the 2010 5.4-liter and 73 to 117 horsepower more than the 4.6-liter V-8. Add in the fact that the 6-pot boosted engine also got 2 mpg city and 2 mpg highway better than the 5.4-liter, and 1 mpg and 2 mpg better than the 4.6-liter V-8, and you have a winner.
Well, this all added up to some impressive sales, even more impressive that Ford could have imagined. According to the Detroit Free Press, Ford anticipates selling about 1.6 million EcoBoost engines in 2013, according to its current pace, which is 100,000 more units that its initial target was. Ford is seemingly always adding a new EcoBoost engine, with the 2.0-liter and 1.0-liter variant coming out this year and a 2.3-liter variant looking like a sure thing for 2015, so we see this number going nowhere but up in the coming years.
Ford definitely bet the farm on the EcoBoost engine in the F-150 to start with and much like it did in 1996 when it drastically restyled the F-150, it won back the farm and took the neighbor’s farm along with it. Our hats have to go off to Ford and its ability to think outside of the box and constantly give the customer what he wants. It’s no wonder Ford was one of the few Detroit automakers to survive without a government bailout.
The rumor mill has been churning out tidbits about Maserati’s new mid-engined sports car for a little while now. Propositioned as the GranSport, this new Maserati is expected to go on sale in 2015 and is rumored to cost about £90,000, or about $140,000 at the current exchange rates. So what’s all the fuss about?
Well, AutoExpress is saying that the new Porsche 911 competitor will be dropping the current V8 engine (yeah, Maserati and everyone else) in favor of an all-new V6 engine developed by Ferrari. Despite its lower capacity, the new engine will be both more powerful and more fuel efficient than the current 4.7-liter V8 engine. The new V6 engine will be equipped with twin turbos and will eclipse the current 450 HP output from the GranTurismo. As a result, the next GranSport will sprint from 0 to 60 mph in under 4 seconds and up to a top speed of 190 mph.
The future Maserati Gransport will be built on a modified version of the 4C’s carbon-fiber chassis and thanks to the intensive use of composite materials, it will be extremely agile.