Downsizing Is Ending, But It's Not All Good News

We're the first to pop the champagne open when it comes to the return of bigger engines, but the outlook isn't as rosy as it might seem
Downsizing Is Ending, But It's Not All Good News

Downsizing is set to stop, and engines could even start to increase in size again – because, bizarrely, that’s the only way to pass future emissions tests.

Oh, the irony. But don’t get too excited, because it’s likely that electrification will take a much bigger role instead of cranking up the cylinder count. Sadly, we’re still unlikely to see too many more V12s.

Reducing cubic capacity and making up the difference with turbocharging, a technique some manufacturers have only just gotten to grips, has already been exposed as a false economy, said experts at the recent Paris Motor Show.

Downsizing Is Ending, But It's Not All Good News

We’ve all known it for ages, especially those of us tasked with driving the latest metal and seeing nothing but a downward trend in real-world miles-per-gallon, but this is the first time manufacturers have started to admit it themselves.

The EU’s NEDC efficiency test cycle has been quietly acknowledged as a disaster, having forced car makers to adopt techniques to score well on the test rather than on real roads. Renault’s 0.9-litre TCe petrol engine, for example, has to inject additional fuel into the cylinders to prevent overheating when it’s being used on faster roads, giving it the thirst of an alcoholic on St Patrick’s Day.

Manufacturers will need to turn to hybrid and electric car solutions to keep lowering their fleet average emissions in the wake of the forthcoming, ‘more representative’ emissions tests. That’s likely to mean more hybrid sports cars in the vein of the Porsche 918 Spyder, and fewer like the Ferrari F12tdf. We’re not really sure whether that’s good or bad news, so ask us again in 10 years.

Downsizing Is Ending, But It's Not All Good News

The Reuters news agency quoted Alain Raposo, head of powertrain at the Renault-Nissan Alliance, as saying: “The techniques we’ve used to reduce engine capacities will no longer allow us to meet emissions standards. We’re reaching the limits of downsizing.”

VW is set to swap its 1.4-litre three-pot diesel for a 1.6-litre four, while Renault is going to replace its barely three-year-old 1.6-litre diesel with something closer to 1.8 litres.

Almost no one is willing to comment on specific engine plans, possibly because no one actually knows how they’re going to dig themselves out of this hole yet. The most frustrating thing for most manufacturers is that these fresh problems are the fault of European politicians, not their own miscalculations.

Mazda, whose ‘right-sizing’ policy sees it still producing a 2.2-litre diesel, is probably having a laugh at its rivals right about now. As must Toyota be, with a full range of hybrid models already on its dealer forecourts.

Source: Reuters



So downsizing engines is ending.. I guess that means we are gonna hear a lot more VW emission fails

10/17/2016 - 16:12 |
90 | 8

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Damm thats right😂😂

10/17/2016 - 18:19 |
4 | 0

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Vw already started

10/18/2016 - 06:49 |
4 | 0

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

VW said sorry for trying to give you more powerful diesel engines.

10/25/2016 - 19:17 |
0 | 0
Dat Incredible Chadkake

For a second there I thought we were seeing a return of the big blocks like the 440 and 454.
However it’s more car makers slightly increasing the size of their economy engines.

10/17/2016 - 16:14 |
60 | 4

Don’t mind me, this 0.9 litre Fiat 500 TwinAir needs to be econo-fied… I’ve got a spare 502 stroker in the shop out back.

10/19/2016 - 22:16 |
0 | 0
10/17/2016 - 16:17 |
14 | 0

Mazda is laughing? Then I am laughing too.

10/17/2016 - 16:18 |
16 | 6
10/17/2016 - 16:18 |
180 | 2
AmilBRZ 🌐

They’re trying to take over…

10/17/2016 - 16:28 |
72 | 2

I’d like to have a Volt, from home to school and back home again without using Engine.

10/17/2016 - 21:30 |
8 | 4

Nice! Don’t mind my new eco-friendly city car, I’m just going to park it in this comment section

10/17/2016 - 16:29 |
498 | 0

Wow I need to get one of those. I suddenly care a lot about the environment.

10/17/2016 - 17:29 |
72 | 0

You got a eco friendly car? Well don’t mind that I park mine next to it

10/17/2016 - 18:14 |
322 | 0

Kids kids…

10/17/2016 - 19:53 |
102 | 2

In reply to by DL🏁

Don’t mind if I do.

10/17/2016 - 20:02 |
230 | 0

The most economic car in the world is the M3

10/17/2016 - 20:13 |
36 | 2
Downsizing Is Ending, But It's Not All Good News
Dreaming In Cars

Good to hear about upsizing. Lol at anyone who buys a 0.9 litre car.

10/17/2016 - 16:31 |
34 | 2

Some of the 0.9 litre or 1.0 litre engines aren’t too bad. The turbocharged Fiat TwinAir or the Ford 1.0 EcoBoost for example, are doing pretty well in small city cars. But at anything beyond B-segment, they are de trop.

10/17/2016 - 16:41 |
38 | 2

0,9 Tce doesn’t use that much fuel, I manage with 6,5l/100 km and I’m usally the fastest on the road. Upsizing won’t help with anything since engines will be tuned down because of emmisions.

10/17/2016 - 19:24 |
6 | 0
Clorox Bleach

Gotta miss the 7.7L Firebird Trans Am.

10/17/2016 - 16:55 |
8 | 2

I’ve heard of a 7.5 (455), but never a 7.7 Trans Am.

10/17/2016 - 17:29 |
6 | 0

Peugeot already killed the 1.4 HDi, giving in alternative a 75ps 1.6 BlueHDi and suprisse suprisse is better to use than the older 1.4, efficiency is a story that i can’t answer…

10/17/2016 - 17:16 |
2 | 0


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