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Engine downsizing to have major impact on gasoline engines: Frost & Sullivan

ABR Staff Writer Published 11 May 2012

Engine downsizing is poised to have a major impact on gasoline engines and suppliers with complete powertrain development and benchmarking capabilities for this will gain significance, according to a new study from Frost & Sullivan.

The study said the downsizing may bring a similar as witnessed diesel engines did in terms of engine downsizing and turbocharging 10 years ago.

Frost & Sullivan senior research analyst Bharath Kumar Srinivasan said due to comparatively lower CO2 emissions, diesel engines will not face a challenge in complying with CO2 limits; hence, the limitations in downsizing diesel engines will not be an issue.

"Reducing the level of downsizing will also help control NOx emissions from these engines, which are being tightened for Euro 6 (to be enforced in 2014)," Srinivasan said.

The report said that about 35-38% of gasoline engines are likely to be turbocharged by 2018, with the number of cylinders in gasoline engines is likely to decrease only for engines below 1.2 litres.

The sales of vehicles with small engines will be driven by legal regulations and end-consumer environmental awareness.

Cost-sensitive segments are expected to be boosted as addition of supporting technologies such as turbochargers and variable valvetrain technologies are likely to drive costs.

The report further indicated that introducing variable geometry turbocharging (VGT) at a low cost for gasoline engines will be a challenge, which can increase torque output that will get reduced due to downsizing of engines.

"In diesel engines, aggressive downsizing results in higher specific load and, therefore, increased NOx emissions," said Srinivasan.

"This, in turn, will have an effect cost as NOx after-treatment technologies such as SCR are expensive.

"With improved emissions and performance, without drop in fuel economy, being the key drivers, engine downsizing is all set to have a major impact towards achieving emissions of <120 g/km CO2 in two-thirds of new car sales by 2016."