Less is more – Why 3 better than 4-cylinder (part 1)

Smaller, lighter, less: the auto industry knows the word "downsizing" For these three. The term stands for smaller and lighter yet powerful engines with reduced fuel consumption and lower exhaust emissions. The creative minds have discovered the benefits of a three-cylinder, which is in the range of 1.0 to 1.5 liter engines about to break the dominance of four-cylinder.

<> In Part 2, we have an overview of all current 3-cylinder on the market for you <>

have three cylinder engines

The cost champion from Romania have a three-cylinder on sale: the Dacia Sandero.© Dacia

Less is more - Why 3 better than 4-cylinder (part 1)
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in the micro and small cars have the say. With the EcoBoost in the Ford Focus they entered into the compact class 2012th BMW developed the first premium manufacturer to offer a three-cylinder and transplanted it into the new Mini, which starts to roll these days at the dealership. The same engine will do in 2014 2er in the new BMW Active Tourer service from autumn. VW has equipped the new Polo with even more economical working three cylinders. Citroen, Peugeot and Toyota put this year in their small cars also on modernized force of three pots. Also Cheap champions Dacia comes up with a threesome. What's going on in the engine? Can three cylinders really what previously were four good and cheap?

Smaller, lighter, better

The modern automobile is characterized not only numerous assistance systems to enhance safety mainly by efforts to reduce weight from. Thus the engine manufacturers support the efforts to reduce fuel consumption, which in turn leads to lower CO2 emissions. Since a three-cylinder engine weighs less than a comparable

Comes out with a consumption of 4.3 liters: the EcoBoost three-cylinder Ford Fiesta.© Ford

Less is more - Why 3 better than 4-cylinder (part 1)
Copyright: Manufacturer

Four-cylinder engine, it brings the desired weight reduction. Simultaneously, its smaller structural volume takes up less space, which benefits mainly small cars.

And the inner values? They lie in the modern three cylinders with those of the conventional four-cylinder. They are characterized by a relatively high power and high torque even at low engine speeds. so that they resemble the character of the diesel engines. And the fuel consumption tends in the same direction. Experts called this development "downsizing".

Genes of a 6-cylinder

see engine developers the benefits of a three-cylinder versus a comparable four-cylinder in a fuel-saving potential of five to 15 percent and in a better response.

In the Mini Cooper a three-cylinder engine is the diesel and the petrol used.© BMW

Less is more - Why 3 better than 4-cylinder (part 1)
Copyright: Manufacturer

It also comes with genes from the six-cylinder, which has become for the middle and upper classes become a symbol of smooth running, pleasant acoustics, high performance and noticeable torque. Half the six-cylinder lost it a little bit, because the firing order for three cylinders also causes no disturbing inertial forces first and second order. With a balance shaft to free mass moments can dominate. Its sound tends to growl that can, if necessary, transform today's audio design in music for the ears. A turbocharger is part of the accessories of modern three-cylinder as well as the direct fuel injection that makes her finely controllable engine management the desired effects possible.

pioneering Smart

The first three-cylinder engine of recent history built Smart from 1997. It was the sheer lack of space, which forced less into a cylinder. This engine has indeed undergone a development, but not one of the top products of his craft. Current three-cylinder engines 900 cc to 1.5 liters, most rely on 1.0-liter engines. The petrol consumption under standard conditions usually between four and five liters per 100 km, about 100 g to 115 g CO2 / km. These are values ​​that were previously reserved for diesel engines. The modern three-cylinder diesel engines bring it to consumption standard values ​​well below four liters of diesel and less than 100 g CO2 / km.

<> In Part 2, we have an overview of all current 3-cylinder on the market for you <>

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