30 Jun 2015

On V4 power

Whilst the two Porsche 919s with their 2 litre V4 turbocharged hybrid powertrains were roaring/purring around the Sarthe circuit to take a superb 1/2 in the Le Mans 24 hour race I was on the last few days of my V4 turbo powered 2000km drive in Oregon and Washington State.Sadly my mount was an Avis Ford Fusion Titanium with a 2 litre turbocharged Ecoboost power unit.It was in fact a surprisingly competent if characterless car.Well put together and comfortable with a well sorted chassis.The steering is too light and lacks feel for my taste but that seems to the market requirement nowadays.
With a rental car there is no handbook so I was never able to work out how to operate any locking and unlocking mode other than the basic buttons on the fob however the fact that red numbers appeared on the driver's side B post suggested there was PIN activated access system and another Fusion driver I spoke to told me there was also a proximity activated locking system.Typically American-too much choice.
I was able to access the menus on the electronic dashboard and so was able to set the aircon and exterior temperature readings to celsius as I no longer can relate to fahrenheit.

The Ford V4 turbocharged family of engines come in a variety of capacities and are fitted across the US Ford range in models as diverse as the Mustang and the F150 truck.In the car I was driving it was coupled to a 6 speed auto transmission.
The engine has good grunt low down -very useful for merging onto a fast moving interstate highway but it runs out of grunt at the top end.
Over 2000 kms it averaged 10.1 litres per 100 km fuel consumption.A tad lower that I might have expected given the eco part of its moniker but not so bad.

The 2/2.5 litre V4 turbocharged configuration seems to be the power unit layout of choice for many manufacturers as the way to meet ever tightening fuel consumption and emissions targets.Apparently Porsche are about to announce a flat 4 turbocharged 2 litre power unit for the Boxster and Cayman ranges and soon there will only be one sports car model Porsche with a naturally aspirated engine.Turbos are soon to rule beyond Le Mans.
919 photo by Porsche Cars

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