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William Maley

Industry News: Automakers In Europe To Go Back To Larger Displacement Engines

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The current trend in powertrains is to downsize engine displacement to meet emission standards. Paired with a set of turbochargers, three-cylinder and even two-cylinder engines can produce enough power to move large vehicles. But this trend is coming to an end in Europe.

Reuters reports that a number of European automakers are beginning to scrap their small displacement engines for larger displacement ones. With a number of real-world tests showing these engines produce higher CO2 and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions than in the lab, and stricter tests coming in the next few years, automakers are making a costly reversal.

"They might be doing OK in the current European test cycle, but in the real world they are not performing. So there's actually a bit of 'upsizing' going on, particularly in diesel," said Pavan Potluri, an analyst with IHS Automotive.

Industry sources gave Reuters some examples of automakers going bigger in terms of displacement.

  • General Motors will ditch the 1.2L diesel in 2019. The smallest engine will be 25-30 percent bigger in displacement
  • Renault will be increasing an almost 10 percent increase on the 1.6L diesel engine in the near future
  • Volkswagen will replace the 1.4L three-cylinder diesel for a new 1.6L in their Polo subcompact

"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." said Alain Raposo, head of powertrain at the Renault-Nissan alliance.

We can't help but wonder if this change will extend into the U.S. There are a small number of three-cylinders engines on offer, but many automakers have been swapping V6s for turbocharged four-cylinders. 

Source: Reuters


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Proof that smaller is not always better. Just look at the emissions. I hope this continues till the Hybrids and EVs take over. After all, bigger is greener! :P

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I'd assume they will still be under 2 liter engines, but they have probably found they can rev it less and put less stress on a 1.6 liter, than they do on a boosted like crazy 1.2 or 1.4 that revs higher.  I don't think they'll be going back to widespread V6s.

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46 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

I'd assume they will still be under 2 liter engines, but they have probably found they can rev it less and put less stress on a 1.6 liter, than they do on a boosted like crazy 1.2 or 1.4 that revs higher.  I don't think they'll be going back to widespread V6s.

How many cars in Europe even have v6 engines in them?

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Its still all relative though. 

Adding 10% to a 1.6L diesel ( Renault ) is only adding 160cc..

GM of europe small diesel will be 1.8L

They're not ditching tiny engines for  " large displacement " Large displacement in Europe is what, like a 2.5L?

 

 

 

 

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It's just a reversal of a trend... and a good reversal too. I originally felt that displacement reduction + turbo charging was the answer, but it hasn't seemed to be the case. 

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1.5 in my malibu is pretty good little small displacement mill and actually gets pretty good mpg.  would love the power of a 2.0 but it would suck lots more gas.  A 1.75 turbo would be about perfect.

Like the turbo mid range punch so much, driving the pentastar van makes me think the midrange is sluggish on it.  Ford Edge sport has the 2.7 turbo v6, but that isn't super on gas either.  Wonder if a 2.5 turbo 6 wouldn't be a great mill for good power and mpg mix for vans and SUV's

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most of us probably remember Dwightlooi's many technicals about large displacement, low piston count engines and such...  good times, and interesting.

22 minutes ago, regfootball said:

1.5 in my malibu is pretty good little small displacement mill and actually gets pretty good mpg.  would love the power of a 2.0 but it would suck lots more gas.  A 1.75 turbo would be about perfect.

Like the turbo mid range punch so much, driving the pentastar van makes me think the midrange is sluggish on it.  Ford Edge sport has the 2.7 turbo v6, but that isn't super on gas either.  Wonder if a 2.5 turbo 6 wouldn't be a great mill for good power and mpg mix for vans and SUV's

why not an atkinson cycle ~3L I4 using ~2.6L of it with a low/medium pressure turbo probably good for 230+HP possible, but really good low/mid torque and decent FE...?

Edited by loki
changed the equivilent displacement estimate.

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9 hours ago, loki said:

most of us probably remember Dwightlooi's many technicals about large displacement, low piston count engines and such...  good times, and interesting.

why not an atkinson cycle ~3L I4 using ~2.6L of it with a low/medium pressure turbo probably good for 230+HP possible, but really good low/mid torque and decent FE...?

Mazda has done excellent work along just this line.

On 10/17/2016 at 10:37 AM, Drew Dowdell said:

It's just a reversal of a trend... and a good reversal too. I originally felt that displacement reduction + turbo charging was the answer, but it hasn't seemed to be the case. 

The devil is in the details. I really like some of the small displacement Turbo stuff. I want to drive a JCW 2017 Mini really badly.

 

But yes, the trend can go too far, and I think we need to see a bit more displacement.

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10 hours ago, A Horse With No Name said:

Mazda has done excellent work along just this line.

The devil is in the details. I really like some of the small displacement Turbo stuff. I want to drive a JCW 2017 Mini really badly.

 

But yes, the trend can go too far, and I think we need to see a bit more displacement.

about mazda, yeah, but just make a mazda3 speed already?! haha.
I do like the torque peak mine has at 3250... it can tool around in 5th from 30-40mph fairly well.and if the road is flat estimates at 60MPG on my DIC is common.

be interesting if mazda skipped the 2.0L and turboed the 1.5L for ~150HP... just because.. hehe. you think that'd be better than the 2.0L in the MX-5?

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13 hours ago, loki said:

about mazda, yeah, but just make a mazda3 speed already?! haha.
I do like the torque peak mine has at 3250... it can tool around in 5th from 30-40mph fairly well.and if the road is flat estimates at 60MPG on my DIC is common.

be interesting if mazda skipped the 2.0L and turboed the 1.5L for ~150HP... just because.. hehe. you think that'd be better than the 2.0L in the MX-5?

Not sure, the MX5 is pretty tempting as is.

And yes on a speed three, although I am thinking maybe WRX for my next car.  You only live once!

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