Big Power, Small Package: The Rise of Tiny Engines

Auto careerWith constantly escalating gas prices and a growing trend in smaller vehicles, it should come as no surprise to recent graduates of mechanic colleges that automotive companies are currently working on creating a new lineup of smaller, turbocharged engines. These modestly sized but powerful engines are not only restricted to generating power for smaller vehicles, but they are also being used in more mainstream ones. As the standard V-6 and V-8 engines continue to fall short of emerging heightened expectations for emitting less pollutants and using less gasoline, turbocharged, four-cylinder engines look like they’re going to be a hit within the next few years. General Motors is one of the first in the automotive industry to have explored this rising trend. Take a look at what the future of automotive engines may have in store for you.

GM taps into the tiny engine market

General Motors has already begun to develop, and is slowly unveiling, an entirely new lineup of three and four-cylinder Ecotec gasoline engines. By the model year of 2017, GM is anticipating 11 variations within the Ecotec lineup, including four three-cylinder engines, six four-cylinder engines and one hybrid engine. Once complete, the Ecotec lineup will include 1-litre to 1.5-litre turbocharged engines that range from 75 to 165 horsepower with torque from 70 to 184 lb-ft. Other automotive companies such as Chrysler and several Japanese automakers are beginning to latch onto the trend as well, while Ford and German automakers already have a range of smaller turbo or diesel engines on the market dating back about a few years.

Turbocharged three- and four-cylinder engines

The new 2-litre, four-cylinder engines generate just as much power as six to eight-cylinder engines while emitting fewer toxins and using less fuel. As students registered in auto mechanic courses can understand, that much power from a tiny engine is possible because of turbocharging, which is the injection of air and fuel into the cylinders at a high pressure to deliver extra power. The Buick Regal GS is a perfect example of a vehicle that houses a 2-liter turbocharged engine. A few other major names in the automotive industry that have gotten on board with tiny, turbocharged engines include the likes of BMW and Ford. Mazda has created a small 2-liter engine as well, however it is not turbocharged. In a world that is constantly demanding more for less, these tiny and powerful engines seem like a promising alternative to our current ones.

Here’s a very cool animation of the 1.6 liter 4 cylinder turbocharged engine in the new Nissan Juke:

The future of engines

Now, more than ever, would be the perfect time to begin an auto career because the North American standard of engines is changing with these new advancements in automotive technology. Studies have predicted that the use of our beloved, standard V-6 and V-8 engines will eventually drop a whopping 17% in our continent, while users of four-cylinder engines will rise 74% over the next decade. The new and powerful four-cylinder engines will be readily accepted in North America because of their turbocharged power, minimal fuel usage and emission of fewer pollutants.

Categories: ATC News, Montreal
Tags: Auto career, auto mechanic courses, Mechanic colleges

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