David Booth, who writes a column for the National Post, is less than knowledgeable about engines.
How can I make that statement? Simple. I was involved in the design and certification of a number of engines for non-road use. I was also involved as the exhaust and catalytic converter system designer for a number of others.
In Motor Mouth: Turbos face overboosted efficiency claims published today in the National Post, he makes a series of claims about Turbo-charged engine power output and fuel economy. Effectively he’s claiming that he’s smarter than all the engineers at companies like Alfa Romeo, BMW, Bugatti, Caterpillar, Chrysler, Cummins, Daimler-Benz, Detroit, Ferrari, Fiat, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, John Deere, Kawasaki, Kia, Komatsu, MAN, Maserati, Mazda, Paxman, Porsche, Renault, Saab, Scania, Steyr-Daimler-Puch, Suzuki, and Volvo.
A fascinating claim.
He bases his claim on an article from Consumer Reports, which he conveniently doesn’t link to, and which like the EPA mileage tests, also uses a specific test cycle that may not be related to real world usage.
Engine testing is a dark art. Minor changes in the parameters can have an enormous impact on the outcomes. No testing regime will ever match real world conditions, because there is no such thing as real world conditions.
Among other things we are being asked to accept that Consumer Reports picked the equivalent competitive vehicles, which they may or may not have. We don’t know, because we can’t view the information. We are being asked to trust his view of the data, because he doesn’t link to his source. We are being asked in other words to be mushrooms – to sit in the dark while someone shovels smelly brown stuff on top of us…
Don’t trust this article. Instead go out and test the cars yourself. The cars that he so blithely flips off might be the perfect solution for you. Or his recommendations might be dead on. It depends on how you drive, and where you drive.
Sunday February 24, 2013