Number Of Turbocharged Engines Has Hit A Record High In The US


No replacement for displacement? Yeah, about that.

We figured this would probably happen because, well, literally every automaker now offers at least one turbocharged engine. According to a Ward’s Auto survey, the use of turbocharged engines has reached more than 25 percent of new vehicles in the US, specifically for the 2017 model year. A grand total of 27.6 percent of new cars and light trucks are now turbocharged, and that figure will likely increase. For example, in 2016, 24.1 percent of US market vehicles were turbocharged, and in 2011 it was just 10.7 percent.

Before the beginning of this decade, that figure hovered between 4.5 and 6.6 percent. What’s also interesting is that Ward’s Auto did not include twin-charged engines in its survey, meaning they have both a turbocharger and supercharger. Turns out those engines have lost market share, decreasing from 0.2 percent last year to 0.1 percent in 2017. Not surprisingly, supercharged engines are not popular among automakers; they never surpassed the 0.5 percent US market share. The survey also indicates that, despite the VW diesel scandal (remember: turbo diesels), turbocharging still continues to gain popularity due to engine downsizing.

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This is a relatively quick and less expensive solution for automakers to improve fuel economy. Developing hybrid powertrains, especially for a single model, is anything but cheap. Turbocharging can mainly be attributed to Ford, which launched its line of EcoBoost engines several years ago, and continues doing so today. Its latest one is an updated 3.5-liter V6, which is now optional in the best-selling F-150 pickup truck.