Supplier Spotlight

Video Exclusives

Mercedes-AMG unveils Project One in Frankfurt

gtr

Overnight, Mercedes-AMG has revealed the all-new Project One. Powered by the 1.6-liter V6 taken from the Formula One car, and teamed with four electric motors, the OEM’s first hypercar is making waves within the industry.


Nissan unveils the new, reworked Leaf EV

gtr

Nissan has revealed the all-new Leaf EV which, with a range of 378km and packed with innovative technology, is being heralded as a game changer.


Click here/on image to watch video

As new test cycles come in to effect across Europe, does the WLTP go far enough in rectifying the shortcomings to real world emissions and fuel consumption? 

Industry Opinion

« back to blog listings

Downsizing? Sure. Just not at Geneva 2016

Downsizing. That’s pretty much all we’ve heard about in the powertrain world for the best part of a decade. Well, it’s not - there’s direct injection, turbocharging, friction reduction, combustion optimization, NVH/performance trade-off, but you get what I mean.

And I’m all good with the D-word. Downsizing done right is pushing engine boundaries across the board. Just look  at how good those Ferrari (458 and 488 in particular, and yes both are technically downsized products) and McLaren (650S, specifically) supercars are; and then, at the other end of the spectrum, VW with the 1.4 TSI Twincharger and most recently 1.4 TSI ACT, and Ford with the 1.0 EcoBoost, and especially the latter in the racy Fiesta Red/Black series models. Downsizing is good, they said; downsizing needs to be embraced, they said; and downsizing is a way of life, they said, like it or not. And with that, we all accepted the new world order and got on with it.

So how peculiar then, when, at this year’s Geneva International Motor Show, a few things happened that went against the smaller capacity, fewer cylinders running order. It was BMW first out of the blocks. At the center of the Bavarian engineering powerhouse’s Geneva line-up was not some next-gen i concept, armed with a 1.5 triple and powerful e-motors. No. Instead there was the 760i – a flagship limo boasting a new super-smooth 12-cylinder powertrain. Yes, a 12-cylinder! Hmmm, I thought.

One of my first interviews at Geneva on press day 1 was with Ferrari CTO Michael Leiters. With the GTC4Lusso unveiled to a huge media crowd, he took me behind the scenes in his exec pop up room to discuss all things engine – and in particular the importance of the V12 to Ferrari.

While an all-new 12-cylinder is hugely unrealistic, said Leiters, making key step-changes to the current V12 is what it’s all about for his engineering team. “Everybody is talking about downsizing and 6.3 liters isn’t downsizing, but for us the V12 is so important it is something we want to maintain, so we have to work on it and further optimize it,” he said.

While Ferrari continues to support the iconic 12-cylinder – but won’t be getting an all-new design anytime soon – over at VW Group, board members agreed to a fresh W12 for Bentley four years ago. Making its debut at Geneva in the Bentayga SUV, Rolf Frech, Bentley’s engineering chief, said 99% of the 5,950cc engine is new. “In fact, the biggest similarity is the W12 design,” he joked. 

The new TSI motor produces 1,000Nm torque and 720ps, but it also has the best CO2 and emissions output performance in the world for a 12, says Bentley, thanks to things like ACT, APS and MPI/FSI injection. But does economy really count in the land of 12 cylinders?

Interestingly, during a chat with Wolfgang Demmelbauer, the VW spark ignition engine development head said that perhaps today, given the added environmental pressures car makers are under, a new W12 might not be signed off as easily as it was four years ago, but “we’ve done it now”, he added. “I’m not sure the 12 cylinder is coming to an end. For a long time we’ll continue to see customers that want to drive such an engine in certain applications. And we continue to work hard on this engine, to launch it in different cars, and meet future emissions regulations around the world.”

As I left VW and Bentley, I headed over to Aston Martin, which was having the motor show of a lifetime, unveiling the new DB11. While most media fussed around the luxury British car maker’s new design icon, right to the side of the car was its new heart: a 5.2 twin-turbo V12. Yes, another V12! 

For me, it’s really heartening that there’s still life left in such engines. I get that downsizing is important and that sustainable transportation is what it’s all about, long term, and I’m not saying three-cylinder runners and steady hybrids can’t enthuse the masses, but the day the 12-cylinder bows out once and for all will be a sad day indeed. Luckily, judging by Geneva 2016, that day remains some way off.

 

16 June 2016

Comments:

There are currently no comments.

If you would like to post a comment about this blog, please click here.


Read Latest Issue
International Engine of the Year Awards
Read Latest Issue
Read Latest Issue

Web Exclusive Articles

Engines on test: FCA Multijet turbocharged 1.4-liter
Fiat's 124 Sport Spider may be built on the ND-generation MX-5 platform but, thanks to a 1.4-liter turbocharged engine from the Abarth 500, it offers up a very different driving experience
Read Now

Personality Profile: Leah Bruce, Ford Motor Company
A regular in the magazine, Personality Profile highlights the work of those who work in the industry. First up online, is Leah Bruce, diesel manufacturing strategy manager, Ford  
Read Now

Daimler reveals how the GLC F-Cell went from testing to production
With the Mercedes GLC F-Cell SUV set to be unveiled at Frankfurt this week, Daimler has revealed the extensive testing process the first production plug-in hydrogen-powered car was put through.
Read Now


Supplier Spotlight

Supplier SpotlightClick here for listings and information on leading suppliers covering all aspects of the engine technology industry. Want to see your company included? Contact aboobaker.tayub@ukimediaevents.com for more details.

فروشگاه اینترنتی فروشگاه اینترنتی سیستم همکاری در فروش کانال تلگرام چت روم ماهواره آنلاین اندروید دانلود فیلم فروشگظ;ه اینترنتی

Submit your industry opinion

Industry BlogDo you have an opinion you'd like to share with the engine technology community? We'd like to hear your views and opinions on the leading issues shaping the industry. Share your comments by sending up to 500 words to d.slavnich@ukimediaevents.com

Submit Your Recruitment Ad

Recruitment AdTo send us your recruitment advertising or to receive information on placing a banner please email aboobaker.tayub@ukimediaevents.com