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08 Apr 2008, 22:01

How about comparing apples with apples? A naturally aspirated engine can not be fairly compared to a forced induction engine, not for hp/l related to life anyway.

100hp/l still is a high figure for N/A car engines designed for everyday use. On the other hand, for a turbo engine it really isn’t anything to get excited about today, quite the opposite – today we have come to expect higher numbers. And for modified road cars… Well, any old 2.3l Volvo 740/940 turbo can have 300 quite reliable horsepower out of its outdated 1970’s 8 valve 4 cylinder engine, or 500+ hp (still without any reliability related internal modifications) if the owner accepts the risk of stuff breaking sometimes. Replace a few weak parts and the stoneage engine is good for even more power and will still last for a long time.

The N/A versions of these engines are also popular for tuning here, but in those cases 100hp/l really is a good measure for how stressed they are. A 3.05l rallycross engine costing around 10000€ would give you about 300hp, some claiming slightly more and others slightly less. And that engine really needs maintainance if you don’t want it to blow up very soon…

Okay, so those engines aren’t modern by any standards, but I happened to know a bit about them. The same applies to the modern 4 valve per cylinder engines available in new cars today, they are to diffrent to be compared directly.

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