Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Direct Injection Turbo Sucks

I realize that my current opinion is not the popular one but I think that the current batch of direct injection turbo engines are an atrocity and I cannot wait for naturally aspirated engines to return.  Sure, they might look good on paper, but they all went "oppa Hyundai style".  They return sub-standard performance, sub-standard MPGs and wheezy, narrow powerbands.  They promised to be the next generation of engine but they were ruined just like hybrids because the automakers tried to make the turbo engines feel like they weren't turbo engines.

Of course, my primary target for this criticism is Ford's Ecoboost line of four cylinder engines.  The Ecoboost V6 is an exception because they started with a Duratec engine and ended up with a motor that could actually make power past 6,000 RPM.  The Ecoboost fours are a different question.  It used to be that only trucks would make maximum power at 5,000 RPM but now we have a 1.6 liter that tops out at that RPM.  That is just wrong.  A tiny motor like that should be able to rev to insane levels.  But when you're trying to make diesel like torque with zero turbo lag, you get a diesel like narrow powerband.  "But it makes it's peak torque at 2,000 RPM!"  Whatever!  You realize that your powerband is the same size as VTAK Honda boy who doesn't VTEC until 4,000 RPM and revs to 7,000 right?  Is that a "narrow powerband"?  Is that bad?  The really sad thing is that Honda boy probably gets better gas mileage too.  It's no surprise to me that Ford is having issues with people meeting their MPG estimates.  The key to making good MPGs in a turbo engine is to stay out of boost and Ford has designed an engine that boosts instantly.  "But it has no lag!"  The turbo lag is what used to help people stay out of boost.  It's not a bad thing, it's part of the charm of turbo engines.  Ford has designed an engine that is no better than the old 2.3 they put in the turbo Thunderbirds.

But the truth is that the 1.6 doesn't rustle my jimmies.  I was never going to buy such an engine anyways.  Sub 200 horsepower is so 90s.  It's the 2.0 turbo engine that upsets me because it was supposed to be the engine that replaces the V6 and is allegedly better.  It's so much better that the Fusion can't even break out of the 15s with it.  In other words, it's pathetic.  I can outrun a Fusion with my first generation Duratec that only has intake VVT.  Saying it's equally fast to the fat, AWD Fusion Sport with horrid Ford automatic from the last generation is a cop out.  It should have been a LOT faster than the old Duratec, especially considering that the Fusion is a smaller, more expensive car.  Basically we've given up displacement and added more moving parts for no additional performance.  "But MPGs!"  Bitch please, nobody wants MPGs in the top of the line engine.  It's made even worse by the fact that GM already has a better 2.0T because they just added direct injection to the old Cobalt SS motor.  Ford just got left.  Good thing that the new Malibu is a dynamic disaster or people would have given zero fucks about the Fusion.  It's bad enough that Honda just made the Accord look like a Lexus and a Hyundai, hopped up the motors and walked past the Fusion.  Yes, Honda boys, oppa Hyundai style.

So is this the future then?  Do we all want diesels so much that automakers are going out of their way to make gasoline engines have diesel powerbands?  What's next, are we going to start compression firing gasoline?  Ugh.  Wake me when the second round of the 80s is over.

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