Mazda is currently getting into turbo engines in a big way. Oh, it's not the first time, but now the idea is to give a couple of their models a more premium overall vibe.
Both the Mazda3 2.5 Turbo, a compact, and the CX-30 2.5 Turbo, a compact SUV, are the respective models' top-of-the-line variants for 2021. Mazda's slogan for them: Refined Performance
So, what exactly is a turbo, and how is it beneficial? The term has haphazardly been applied to everything from sneakers to sunglasses. But on an engine, a turbocharger has an actual function.
Basically, it's a small device attached to the engine. Exhaust gases are routed through the turbocharger in one half. That spins a shaft, and on the other half of the shaft, air is pressurized and forced into the engine's intake. More airflow, more power. Basically, a smaller engine with a turbocharger can produce the same power as a larger engine without one.
For decades, Cadillac's sedans used large engines to move them down the road. But the new CT5 V-Series gets a relatively small 3.0 liter V6 engine, with twin turbochargers. The result? Three hundred sixty horsepower, which really lets the car scoot.
There was a time, years ago, when turbo engines weren't so great for everyday driving. You'd step on the gas, there'd be a delay, and then all of a sudden the power would come on, and the car would feel like it was shot out of a cannon. Today's turbo engines are much smoother, thanks to modern engine management technology.
And turbos are showing up more places than you may realize. Ford's been installing EcoBoost engines in its popular F-150 pickups for a number of years now. They don't call it a turbo by name, but that's what it is. The twin-turbo V6 EcoBoost trucks now handily outsell the V8 version, by a wide margin. There are now millions of these Ford trucks running around with turbos.
There was a time when calling a car a "turbo" typically meant something speedy and exotic. Today, it may just mean a car that has good power, good fuel economy and good drivability.
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