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Survey Says Americans Crave Turbos

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  • Survey Says Americans Crave Turbos

  • #2
    Re: Survey Says Americans Crave Turbos

    What average people (non-Bangshifters) really want is "transparent performance."

    In other words, plenty of instantaneous low-end torque and decent horsepower at freeway speeds, all wrapped up in a package that requires virtually no maintenance (and most certainly no special "futzing" or unusual service demands), minimal extra buy-in costs, and high fuel economy.

    The first round of turbos in the 1980s didn't deliver all of this because of (a) "turbo lag," (b) special oil change requirements, (c) less than bulletproof reliability. Thus, when the 1990 Clean Air Act made turbocharging harder to certify, and the average customer seemed satisfied with larger multi-valve sixes (and antique two-valve pushrod engines in the rapidly growing SUV class), Detroit mostly abandoned turbocharging.

    Hopefully, this go-round, turbos will be more successful. They're more durable. They have better internal aerodynamics and boost response. And the engines are better matched (direct injection and variable cam timing are a huge help).

    That being said, the first Ecoboost engine seems a little bit underwhelming. Or maybe, an "ECOBUST."

    As I posted (in part) at and in the legendary "So were not rich but we arent stupid" turbo thread at Car Craft (

    "The EcoBoost 3.5 has a brace of tiny GT15 turbos that run out of breath at 200 h.p. each. The pistons and rods are not forged. The intake and exhaust manifolds are probably the worst things this side of an antique A-series BMC. The compression/boost relationship is virtually maxed out at the factory. The rev limit is a pushrod-esque 6,200 r.p.m."

    "There is no displacement-on-demand, or variable geometry intake, or full VTEC (just variable cam phasing), or direct ethanol injection." (Direct, on-demand ethanol injection provides an effective octane of around ~160! see"

    "Seemingly the lessons learned by the Ramchargers nearly fifty years ago on the scientific design of intake and exhaust manifolds have been lost or, more likely, ignored to placate the penny-pinchers."

    "To say these pedestrian specifications are tractor-like, is probably an insult to some of the high-tech tractors now available. "

    "Moreover, the early tests report that Ford?s electronic management of the EcoBoost system manages to deprive enthusiasts of the sensations and sounds that have made turbocharging legendary. It?s as if Ford set out to engineer a clandestine, tamper-proof ?black box? engine that no ordinary motorist would even suspect was turbocharged. [REMEMBER, THEY'RE SHOOTING AT THE "TRANSPARENT PERFORMANCE" BOGIE AND NOT BUILDING A HOT ROD]"

    "About the only really exciting development that probably couldn?t have been offered in the late 1980s or 1990s is direct injection. GDI allows for a stratified charge at part throttle, more targeted fuel induction events, and in-cylinder evaporative cooling. All good stuff, but an expensive, steep hill to climb for tuners and hot rodders."

    "Thus, turning the not-so-stunning 3.5 EcoBoost into a legitimate performance engine will take buckets of money and time. (a limp 104 horsepower per liter isn?t exactly the stuff of legends)"

    "Also, given the fact that the underwhelming initial installment of the EcoBoost family will be implanted into a series of 4000+ pound AWD sleds, any aftermarket pressure to develop the engine may be initially limited. And the EcoBoost V6 option runs over a couple of thousand dollars ? which doesn?t exactly feel like the deal of the century."

    "Maybe it will get better in future installments. But the first chapter of EcoBoost is decidedly less exciting than some anticipated."


    • #3
      Re: Survey Says Americans Crave Turbos

      I like the ecotec turbo ......