To Turbo or Not To Turbo?


As much as that would hope to be a Shakespearean question it really isn’t.  The reality is technology moves forward, cars have to be advanced to keep up.  Imagine a big honking V8 that coughed up so many fumes it looked like it smoked three packs a day from the 1950s versus the V8s we now have that barely emit any pollution and give us more for the money.  When I hear purists speak of saving the naturally aspirated engines I think they are nuts, mostly because the only thing they can actually turn to and say is better is the sound; really, that’s all you got, better sound, give me some tech and modern features any day.

Yes it is really cool to hear a big engine growl and fun to wake up the neighbors with a loud engine that offers a monstrous noise, but the fact remains that adding a turbocharger to the engine puts out more power, gives better fuel mileage, and lowers the emissions of a car.  If you put the Lamborghini Huracan and the McLaren MP4-12C side by side on the track the McLaren is apt to win every time.  it has a massive amount of power, handles better, has much less understeer and will whip around the corners better than the Huracan, and that is coming from someone who loves the Lamborghini model.

The only positive anyone can tell me about the Huracan over the McLaren is the noise it makes from the engine and exhaust.  Yes, I agree that a loud engine can be a great part of the experience, but if you are getting your doors blown off by a turbocharged model that has embraced the reality of progress how much fun are you really having.

Lamborghini Huracan Turbo

With nearly every exotic and sports car company putting turbos into their cars it’s going to be harder and harder to find a naturally aspirated high powered engine.  If you do find one you are most likely going to pau the gas guzzler tax on that car anyway, which makes the turbo a more economical choice as well.  As I mentioned a turbocharged engine certainly gives you better fuel efficiency which is another money saver.  Think about this as well, with the advancements made we are seeing horsepower from a four or six-cylinder engine that used to be reserved strictly for those with eight or more.  That certainly gets my attention every time and reminds me how important it is to embrace advancements and technology.

Certainly if you are restoring and older model sports car, keeping it as close to the original as possible is important but when you have a newer model the turbocharging is becoming a requirement.  Much like the manual transmission is starting to disappear so are the loud sounds from a naturally aspirated engine, but what we have in their place is exactly what we want to be able to fully enjoy and appreciate the drive on any road or track.  Forget about the noise and enjoy the pure speed and performance the turbos give you while you pass your buddies on the track who still think louder is better.