In the last few years, we’ve seen an increase in manufacturers dropping their larger capacity engines in favour of smaller 3-cylinder engines with turbos. Having grown up around big V8’s and turbo track cars, I’ll admit that at first, I was slightly negative but more than a little curious. Recently we have had a large increase in the number of small engine petrol turbos that we remap; the most import thing is not to think “that sewing machine isn’t worth getting done”!
Most of these small capacity turbos actually gain a surprising amount of torque as well making them so much nicer to drive. The additional torque is what you notice when driving a car, it’s the thing that pushes you back in the seat. Even some of the big manufacturers such as Audi, VW and Ford are dropping their 2.0tfsi in favour of punchier 1.3 and 1.5 turbos. Fiat did this when stopping production of the 2.0turbo in the coupe and now have the 1.4 turbos in the Abarth and 124s models, and they are amazing cars.
I’m sure if you’re of a slightly older generation, you’ll have fond memories of the old RS turbo Ford Escorts, Ford Fiestas and cars like the Fiat Uno turbos, Fiat Punto GT’s and even the legendary Renault 5 Turbos. But it appears that cars like that are making a comeback, with the likes of Hyundai’s i30n, Fiat Abarth 500, Ford Fiesta ST, and the VW Polo GTI. Amazingly Toyota has just released theirs with a 1.6 3cylinder making 265bhp 265nm.
Still enough of all the hot hatch stuff, the best bit is that the non-sporty versions are fitted with exactly the same engines, but they have been down-tuned.
So, you know what you need to do… yes that’s right – get it remapped and unleash all that power and performance!
This is where the remapping the likes of BMW’s 114 can move it from 102bhp to 220bhp!! That is an impressive difference in drivability and performance. In short, do not be put off with not being able to get a 2 or 3-litre engine car, just go and test drive one of this new breed before making up your mind and lastly of course – don’t forget to get them booked in for a remap once you’ve bought it..