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Downsizing Report: The Benefits of Downsizing Engines

Karl-Heinz Augustin
Downsizing Report
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E parents know that: A vehemently expressed' no 'solves it with the little ones at best an insulted pout, but mostly a violent, curiosity-driven and-now-especially-defiant reaction.

In the case of this comparison test, the manufacturers did not seem to be interested in their ultra-modern to allow supposedly efficient downsized engines to take a clear position vis-à-vis large-volume, similarly powerful engines. In any case, corresponding test car inquiries received a clear 'no'. BMW and Fiat dealers apparently see the topic more relaxed and helped with appropriate models. Only the 528i was officially released by BMW.

BMW four-cylinder with moderate savings potential

In the large fan base, the substitution of the classic in-line six-cylinder aspirator through supercharged four-cylinder still for downright philosophical discussions. Are the Bavarians really selling their soul to the NEDC devil? On the comparison drive, the suspicion actually arose, because the three-liter engine with seven-way bearing crankshaft inspires with its euphoric revving and a smooth running that must be included as a shining example in the engine etiquette - when someone finally starts to write it. With great enthusiasm, the tachometer needle hits the range beyond 4,000 rpm, which on the one hand gives the sedan good driving performance, but on the other increases concerns about fuel consumption - and rightly so.

In the test average, the 12.0: 1 compressed direct injection engine required 11.5 L /100 km. The two-liter turbo unit in the BMW 528i has an output of 10.8 L /100 km - an interesting difference. The consumption lap is different, where it has a clear advantage with 6.4 L /100 km. Here the four-cylinder sloshes on its torque shaft of 350 Nm, which already piles up at 1,250 /min (530i: 310 Nm at 2,600 /min). However, with increasing speed, which falls outside the 120 km /h NEDC framework, consumption increases more sharply than with the six-cylinder.

Turbo engine with better performance

However: The 528i does better than the 530i when it comes to performance, when accelerated from zero to 100 km /h in 6.6 instead of 7.3 seconds. In addition, he proves to be sufficiently cultivated and easy to turn,easily cracks the 6,500 rpm mark. So far, so emotional. And the sound? As devastatingly banal as a visit to the district administration department Munich II.

The Fiat Panda 0.9 Twinair, on the other hand, is not lacking in an independent sound, but certainly in running culture. Some find it sympathetic because it reminds of their beloved ride-on lawnmower at home, others simply annoying.

The fact is: The 10.1: 1 compressed engine goes to work with determination. In the standard sprint, the difference between the two Fiat's is almost three seconds, and in the elasticity measurement, the two-cylinder's lead is enough to quickly nibble on a cornetto until the four-cylinder 69-hp Panda accelerates from 80 to 120 km /h in fifth gear well - is sprinted.

Downsizing engine can score in city traffic

Oh, isn't that interesting in this vehicle class? Might be. Lo and behold, the tide seems to be turning when it comes to consumption. Especially at full load, it demands a hefty express surcharge that is barely related to temperament - the difference of four tenths on the country road, however, is (6.2 to 5.8 L /100 km).

However, if the small car is to roll around the city for the most part, the turbo engine equipped with variable inlet valve control scores again: 7.2 L /100 km are 8.6 L /100 km in the specially driven one City tour opposite - although all disciplines were driven without taking the Eco button into account. It limits the power to 78 hp and the torque to 100 Nm. But even without this trick, in the end the data speak for the two-cylinder, which by the way works without direct injection: test consumption 6.9 liters compared to 7.2 L /100 km, which is also accompanied by the tough temperament of a northern Italian mule.

Conclusion: At BMW, the advantage of the downsizing engine in terms of performance and consumption is not quite as clear in everyday car life as with the Fiat. It offers significantly better performance with only little additional fuel consumption.


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