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Comment by Marcus Schurig: Turbo engines - salvation or downfall?

Comment by Marcus Schurig
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N The phone was annoying. Holger, a buddy from the old days of the Nordschleife, wanted to say hello again and say that he had finally bought his dream car. Which one, he didn't want to say, I would have to come by. When I came, it was great to meet two old friends again: him - and his new old Audi RS4 (B5), built in 2001.

Avus silver metallic, Quattro sports exhaust system, bucket seats, 140,000 kilometers of the watch, but with a new engine and overhauled gearbox, one of 6,030 built successors of the iconic RS2. 'It goes like the plague,' promised Holger. Sure, because a shovel of tuning paints 440 rammers on the data sheet. 'Get the key out immediately!'

Rummaging through the turbo memories

It was a wonderful one - Go back in time. sport auto had almost exactly the same car as a long-term tester. The 2.7-liter V6 biturbo was a hell of a unit with its own addicting acoustics, the sound of which will be stored in the ear canals forever. In any case, a 20 minute test drive put a grin on my face - I started brooding. Why did I find turbos cool back then, and why do they turn me on less and less today, even though they are much better? First I rummaged through my transfigured Turbo memories.

On the list were (without claim to completeness): Ferrari F40. Audi S1. Lancia Delta Integrale. RS2. RS4. Then it gets tight, the rally gods, Subaru Impreza and Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI. Somewhere here the boost pressure of my turbo euphoria sank, with difficulty I save myself into the modern age - Nissan GT-R and Audi TT RS. To note: V8 biturbo; V6 biturbo; Five-cylinder turbo; Four-cylinder turbo. Nice and colorful! The decisive factor: There were also many alternatives, regardless of whether they were suckers (M3, GT3) or supercharged supercharged carts (Corvette ZR1).

The The vacuum cleaner makes the turbo great

That means: It's the lack of variety that makes the desire for the turbo burn up, in two ways: First, the area-wide forced ventilation, because the vacuum cleaner is explained to us again and again , is dead, thanks to the NEDC cycle. The turbo becomes cool when I switch from the vacuum cleaner - the same applies vice versa, and it is the same with the compressor.

In the past, BMW M GmbH relied on high-speed vacuum cleaners, AMG on superchargers and Audi - like at theRS4 - on turbo. All three variations were awesome - precisely because there were three of them. Second, the turbo segment itself lacks diversity, apart from a few exceptions (Audi TT RS or Nissan GT-R). The turbos in sports cars are often commonplace farm horses who emerge from lower levels of service and are then presented to us as sports engines with sound generators.

Reason: the costs and the tiresome NEDC cycle. But every sports driver knows: In truth, a turbo always drinks more than a vacuum cleaner when it is kicked. The selling point is also a lie. The worst thing is the widespread V8 turbo plague, the pandemic uniformity at Mercedes, Audi and BMW, which gradually spills over into the sports car divisions.

Turbos can be cool, but ...

The sports car drivers' belief in progress is being put to the test. Turbo engines may be the salvation for manufacturers, but as a monocausal drive they are a neckbreaker for sports cars. The motorization of sports cars is changing in a direction that has nothing to do with driving fast.

Exogenous factors drive development, not the goal of driving faster or better. The turbo is not the better sports engine. Turbos can be awesome - but not if there are only turbos that all sound the same, drive the same and have the same number of cylinders. Buddy Holger's Audi RS4 has a glorious future behind it - because Holger will probably not give it up anymore.


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