Why Ferrari Engineers Don’t Like Turbos

By  September 8, 2015
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[The subject of turbocharging came up again over the weekend, when Porsche announced that the 911 was going all turbo. There was a lot of discussion online about what this meant for Porsche’s future. I was initially thinking that turbocharging wasn’t such a big deal, as I tend to not think of fuel economy standards much, generally thinking of them as just a necessary hurdle. But then the more I looked into it, I was reminded of just how broken our fuel economy system is in the United States. It was then that I found this article from Road & Track’s Jason Cammisa, and decided to share it here. This was in response to the Ferrari California T, but much of the potential problems hold true. The point is that there are many drawbacks to turbocharging being used as the answer to all of the fuel economy problems, but in the end it’s driver involvement and engine response that matter. As long as the engineers keep working towards that, there is still hope.

Sam Smith summed it up really well in a few tweets, culminating with this one:

The article below does a great job of explaining the problems that we face going into the future with turbocharging. – Bryce Womeldurf]

Spooling_thm“We don’t like the turbo,” said the man with the Italian accent. Before I could stand up and cheer, he continued, “but it’s the right way to reduce emissions without sacrificing performance.”

Oh. A rare moment of honesty, then a graceful slingshot into the same turbo spin we’ve heard from all corners of the globe. But this was the first time I’d heard a senior executive from a major carmaker admit that turbos are less than perfect.

The fact is, every car company is being forced into forced induction, for the exact reasons our Italian friend gave. Since neither he nor the company he works for, Ferrari, can come out and say it, I will: Turbos aren’t the best solution, especially for high-performance cars, and they don’t always provide the benefits that carmakers claim they do. Less emissions, more performance? Let’s take a look. (more…)

Re-shared from Road & Track. Text by Jason Cammisa, image by Eric McCandless.