Pros and Cons of Turbo Charged Engines

turbo charged engines by your auto mechanic

Speed and power go hand in hand as the most exciting attractions about auto careers and car culture. There are countless movies about cars flying about at breakneck speed, and our obsession with Formula One racing only cements the ideal of speed and power as the ultimate goal of a car. However, when it comes to turbocharged engines and supercars, they may not be all they’re cracked up to be. For all the demonic quickness and mind-rattling torque they offer, turbocharged engines definitely have some drawbacks. So what are the pros and cons of overclocking your engine?

The Pros

The most obvious advantage of getting a turbocharged engine in your vehicle is that you’re going to have a much faster, much more powerful ride – but you don’t need an auto mechanic to tell you that. However, your car will have the capacity for much more top-end horsepower than either natural aspiration of the engine or supercharging will afford you, meaning if you really want to get the most out of that growling V8, it could make sense for you to invest in turbocharging it.

Because turbo engines are predominantly run by exhaust gases, gases which would otherwise go to waste, you don’t lose anything in running a turbo. This also means that you’re able to get more power out of a smaller engine, without the need for upgrading. Larger more powerful engines take up much more space and are more expensive to run, so turbo charging a small engine is a great compromise.

However, for all the seemingly positive aspects of turbo charging, there are some glaring cons to the process as well.

turbo charged engines by your auto mechanic

The Cons

The most immediately observable con to a turbocharged engine is the money and time that go into it. You’re going to have to pay a handsome sum to an automotive technician to get your regular engine souped up and turbocharged. What’s more is that it will require some shifting and moving under the hood, as a turbo charged engine requires some additional wiring and tubing to function properly – cars with crowded front ends need not apply. Though many car companies such as Volkswagen offer factory made models with turbocharged engines, those wishing to upgrade on their own might encounter setbacks.

There is also the growing concern that, despite claims by car companies to the contrary, turbocharging an engine results in a fairly substantial loss in fuel economy. A 2013 study done by Consumer Reports tested eleven vehicles with turbocharged engines and found that, on the whole, each vehicle delivered fewer miles per gallon than their non-turbocharged counterparts. For example, the Ford Fusion 2.0L Turbo, advertised as getting an average of 26 mpg, only achieved an average of 22 mpg in many rigorous road tests.

So while turbocharged engines may offer some benefits in the realm of speed and power, they’re not doing the environment any favours just quite yet. However, companies like Volkswagen are finding ways around that, like with their VW XL1 turbo diesel hybrid, heralded as the most efficient car in the world. Check out this video of its amazing features:

However, examples like the VW XL1 are few and far between and for the time being, turbocharged cars means sacrificing economy.

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