Auto industry boosts turbocharger sales to save gas – Mr. Kustom Chicago

The auto industry is turbocharging the sales of cars with a turbocharger.

The little devices, which use otherwise wasted exhaust gases to help engines breath better, increasing performance and fuel economy, will show up in an estimated 3.2 million new vehicles this year, according to Honeywell Turbo Technologies. That’s up from 2.2 million last year.

Passenger vehicles will account for 850,000 of those turbocharged engines, up 61% from last year.

Turbocharging allows automakers to get the same power out of an engine with fewer cylinders. No wonder that many cars that had six-cylinder engines now have four-cylinders with turbos.

Turbochargers were fitted in only 2% of gasoline or flex-fuel vehicles produced in the United States in 2008, but that figure jumped in 2011.

2011 Aston Martin V8 Vantage S

That’s when it hit 9.5% and is expected to more than double to 23.5% in 2017, LMC Automotive predicts.

“With fuel prices being a significant concern for consumers and businesses, turbochargers are a smart choice for getting more miles to the gallon,” said Tony Schultz, a vice president for Honeywell Turbo Technologies.

Turbocharging has been around for decades, but many of the little spinners didn’t perform well in the past. They were known for “turbo lag,” in which cars took an uncomfortable lurch as the turbochargers kicked in. Today, they operate so smoothly that most drivers wouldn’t even know they had them.

Ford, in particular, has given a high priority to turbocharging with its EcoBoost engines. Turbos are a cheaper way to save gas that hybrid technology, which requires a massive, expensive battery and electric motors in addition to the gas engine.

Turbocharging “is a proven technology that can be used across market segments and does not put the consumer in an extended payback period like other technologies to realize its benefits,” Schultz says. “Turbocharging technology has been a fuel economy driver for decades in the United States for the on- and off-highway commercial vehicle market, as well as in global passenger vehicle markets like Europe.”

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Original Article: USA Today