Major car companies have “reduced cylinders” turbocharging will become an important driving force
In March of this year, General Motors released a new generation of Ecotec engine family in Detroit. The engine family contains 11 small displacement engines, with displacements mainly concentrated in 1.0L to 1.5L. In the future, GM will sell many small cars and compacts. SUV will use these small displacement engines, including the new generation Cruze of Chevrolet launched in the Chinese market.
Also in March, Porsche CEO Mullen said that its Boxster and Cayman models will use four-cylinder engines, and the powertrains of these two models are currently six-cylinder engines; Ford’s joint venture in China, Changan Ford, also ushered in EcoBoost engines. The smallest member of the family has officially rolled off the 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine.
At the end of February, Volvo Car announced its Drive-E powertrain series in a high-profile manner. The distinguishing feature of this powertrain is miniaturization. Use more four-cylinder engines.
The world’s major car companies have “reduced cylinders” one after another, indicating that the era of engine downsizing has begun.
Energy-saving emission reduction standards to upgrade small engines should be born
In fact, the miniaturization of engines is not a new topic. As early as 2008, automobile companies such as General Motors and Ford in the United States proposed small engine development strategies. With the arrival of the time node for the assessment of energy saving and emission reduction by governments of various countries, the trend of engine miniaturization has become more obvious.
In January of this year, my country officially released the “Passenger Vehicle Fuel Consumption Limits” and “Passenger Vehicle Fuel Consumption Evaluation Methods and Indicators” for soliciting comments, pointing out that the fourth stage standards continue to use vehicle fuels grouped by vehicle kerb quality Consumption evaluation system, while improving the technical characteristics and requirements of special structure vehicles, and further tightening the limits of passenger vehicle fuel consumption. This is an important policy refinement and strong promotion following the State Council’s proposal in 2012 that the average fuel consumption of new cars in 2015 and 2020 will reach 6.9L and 5.0L per 100 kilometers.
The European Parliament also set a world’s most stringent vehicle carbon emission control target in February: By 2020, 95% of new vehicles sold in the EU must achieve an average level of carbon dioxide emissions of no more than 95 grams per kilometer (approximately 100%). Km 3.8 liters), by 2021, all new cars sold in the EU must meet the above emission requirements. If automakers fail to meet the above standards by then, vehicles that exceed the carbon emission standards will be subject to a fine of 95 Euros (approximately US$130.60)/g/km per vehicle in the European Union. In addition, the U.S. market has also proposed the goal of achieving an average fuel consumption of approximately 6.6 liters and 4.3 liters for new cars in 2016 and 2020, respectively.
It is against this background that the world’s major car companies have begun to accelerate the launch of small engines. The mid-to-high-end cars and SUVs that originally used large-displacement engines have also begun to “slim down” to reduce the cost of new cars. Average fuel consumption.
Turbo boosts small engines to welcome market spring
Engine downsizing can reduce fuel consumption, but the pain point for consumers is whether the power efficiency of the downsized engine remains the same. Therefore, how to reduce the engine displacement while ensuring sufficient power has become the key to the success of the miniaturized engine in the market, and the development of turbocharging technology has become a top priority.
Turbocharging increases the engine power by more than 30% by improving the intake efficiency, while the fuel consumption value remains close to the original level. This means that the reduction in the number of cylinders in the engine does not mean a loss of power. After the use of turbocharging technology, the original 6-cylinder engine can be completely replaced by a 4-cylinder.
Automotive turbocharging* was first introduced by Honeywell in the United States in 1962. As of today, turbocharging technology has gone through half a century. Compared with its first birth, this technology has also made a qualitative leap. . For example, through the improvement of materials, the turbocharger can withstand higher temperatures, and the service life is the same as the engine life; the improvement of the cooling cycle system can make the vehicle stop immediately without idling; in addition, the current turbocharger is in a low-speed state It can work, and it can also be fully matched with the start-stop system.
It is worth mentioning that turbocharging has never stopped its efforts to improve fuel economy. According to Honeywell, the company has launched a new generation of products in about three years. The fuel consumption of new products has improved by 2% to 3% through ordinary technology upgrades. Currently, the highest fuel consumption can be increased by 5% through technological innovation. To 10%.
However, with the gradual miniaturization of onboard engines, achieving high torque at low speeds is still a major challenge for turbocharging. At present, some companies are trying to apply the VNT technology, which is mostly used in diesel engines, to gasoline engines, but this technology is currently relatively expensive. In response to this, Honeywell has introduced DualBoost technology. The axial turbine is matched with the back-to-back double-sided compressor, which further shortens the time to reach the required torque, and has better rapid response capabilities and steady-state performance.
With the energy shortage and the tightening of emission restriction policies in various countries, the degree of attention to turbocharging has gradually increased. In Western Europe, almost 70% of new cars are equipped with turbocharging. Although the current application status of turbochargers in the Chinese market is not optimistic, the proportion of new car sales is currently only 22%, but in recent years, consumers’ acceptance of turbochargers has shown a clear upward trend. A consumer survey from Sinotrust found that among the nearly 50,000 interviewees who participated in the survey, nearly 80% of the interviewees said they knew about turbocharged engines, and 60% of those who had plans to buy a car Will consider buying turbocharged models. This is related to the continuous maturity of turbocharging technology and the gradual reduction of costs after large-scale applications.
With the strengthening of the engine miniaturization trend, more and more car companies have begun to adopt turbocharging technology. In addition to multinational companies, local auto companies such as Brilliance, Great Wall and Chery are also accelerating the application of turbocharging technology. This means that, whether in the high-end, terminal or low-end markets, turbocharging technology is gradually infiltrating major market segments, and engine miniaturization may come faster than imagined.
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