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Old 04-02-2010, 09:11 AM
 
8,468 posts, read 13,231,012 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G.Costanza View Post
The late 90s (B5) A4 had a turbo 4, while the S4 had a biturbo V6 (2.7L). I'm not sure what you actually drove, apparently you don't know either.
I'm probably mixing up the model names. It was over 10 years ago. I just know that what I drove was a Turbo 4.
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Old 04-02-2010, 11:25 AM
 
Location: NYC & NJ
747 posts, read 2,210,858 times
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Based on your comments, I'd try to find a v6 that was relatively fuel efficient and met your needs. Seems you like the smooth delivery and don't want lag. There have been all sorts of developments in forced induction, but the only way to virtually eliminate lag is twin turbo applications on 6 or more cylinders. A single turbo 4 without lag and with the smoothness of a v6 hasn't been designed yet, afaik.
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Old 04-02-2010, 11:26 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DennyCrane View Post
I'm probably mixing up the model names. It was over 10 years ago. I just know that what I drove was a Turbo 4.
the b5 A4 came with the 1.8T and the 2.8 V6 motors
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Old 04-02-2010, 11:34 AM
 
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while lag is an "issue" alot of people should not be worrying about it because most people can only drive with an automatic transmission. the slush box on most cars is factored into how much the car's electronics will let the engine accelerate. My wife has a BMW330CI inline6 sport-auto and it does not respond or accelerate faster than any of the manual turbo4s i've owned
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Old 04-02-2010, 12:06 PM
 
Location: NYC & NJ
747 posts, read 2,210,858 times
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Lag will be an issue especially if the 4 has a big turbo allowing it to produce such power. And whether a v6 is auto or not has absolutely no bearing on whether a compltely different car has lag or not.

The op's concerns are smoothness, passingvpower and economy, not which car is quickest off the line or makes more peak power.

Ps i kinda see what you're trying to say but there's a big difference between waiting for an auto to downshift and turbo lag. Not to mention newer auto trannies with more gears and better software can better address the first issue, while lag is simply inherent to a stock single turbo 4 (unless you're going to modify it to make all it's power down low but that's a separate headache entirely, ntm you'll lose power up top for passing)
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Old 04-02-2010, 12:47 PM
 
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I realize this is all anecdotal, subjective and situational, but FWIW my Saab (Aero 9-5) 2.3 Turbo 4 auto does not exhibit much if any lag in normal and even aggressive driving situations. I suppose if I mash the accelerator at very low RPMs it may lag some but so would most normally aspirated cars. While I am a pretty aggressive driver, I seldom need to floor it (especially for a long time) and it seldom downshifts in normal driving. The power delivery is smooth and strong over a wide range.

While generalizing about engine type, characteristics, and engineering is fun and informative, and each of us can describe our cars, for the OP to decide, they should drive the cars they are considering. They should also read some road tests and owner reviews of that specific model(s). In fact since they also asked about maintenance, engine noise, and other characteristics, this is also the best approach. The Internet is a great resource for this too.

This IS a nice discussion though
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Old 04-02-2010, 01:39 PM
 
Location: Central Texas
13,720 posts, read 24,628,032 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G.Costanza View Post
Based on your comments, I'd try to find a v6 that was relatively fuel efficient and met your needs. Seems you like the smooth delivery and don't want lag. There have been all sorts of developments in forced induction, but the only way to virtually eliminate lag is twin turbo applications on 6 or more cylinders. A single turbo 4 without lag and with the smoothness of a v6 hasn't been designed yet, afaik.
Many recent turbos are very refined and have little noticable lag. An example - the Acura RDX. It has a turbo 4. I have a passenger several times in one. It has no whine, has smooth delivery of power, and basically feels like a V6. The driver of this particular RDX doesn't even think about it being a turbo.

I think the automatic transmission can be a big factor - the shift points and ratios can be carefully chosen to keep engine RPMs in a range where lag isn't singificant. I would not be surprised if the same engine had a 5 or 6 speed manual the driving experience would be much different.
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Old 04-02-2010, 03:00 PM
 
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As the OP, allow me to clarify a few things. First, I would not be looking at driving a stick. I don't know how to drive one, I have no desire to drive one, and I live in an area that would take a lot of the fun out of driving one. So let's remove that from the equation.

Second, more and more of the newer automatics are 6-speed. Not sure how much of a difference that would make, but the non-Turbo Hyundai Sonata I drove had it and compared to other non-Turbo 4s I've driven, the shifting seemed to be a lot less noticeable. I've also ridden in, though not driven, the Acura RDX Turbo. At the time, I didn't know it was a Turbo and I don't remember really feeling the gear changes. So I'm wondering if the issue of Turbo lag is overstated since Turbos of today are a lot different than Turbos from 10 years ago. Third, my primary concerns are smoothness, passing power, and fuel economy. But that doesn't mean I don't care about peak power and being quickest out of the line. While I have no desire to keep up with A BMW M5 or Nissan Z, it's still nice to launch out of the gate and leave the majority of cars in the dust. It'd be even nicer to not have to deal with torque steer, but being in the midwest, I kinda need FWD. As for power, the Sonata Turbo press release claims to get 269 lb-ft of torque across 1,800 rpm to 4,500 rpm. I guess I'll just have to wait til it's available for a test drive.
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Old 04-02-2010, 03:41 PM
 
Location: Chicago
38,691 posts, read 86,838,061 times
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Turbos today aren't that different from turbos of 10 years ago. The biggest change in turbo technology in the last decade is the introduction of gasoline direct injection which has allowed turbocharged engines to run at compression ratios similar to normally aspirated engines, which in turn has nearly eliminated the gap in fuel economy between turbocharged engines and similarly sized N/A engines. The turbo tech itself remains basically the same; it's the fuel delivery method, which is not specific to turbocharged engines, that is changing.

Lag is still an issue on small-displacement 4-cylinder engines, especially those designed to generate high horsepower like the forthcoming Sonata turbo. But it's really only an issue when you're trying to call up heavy engine load (that is, "step on it") from light load at low RPMs. Do it with an automatic, especially a modern auto with 6 well-spaced gears, and the transmission will drop into a gear ratio with a high enough RPM to spool up the turbo very quickly; or if starting from a standstill, a modern 6-speed auto will have a short enough 1st gear to get into a higher RPM range and spool up the turbo far quicker than the old 4-speeds.

So the bottom line is I doubt the Sonata turbo will suffer from any lack of passing power.
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Old 04-03-2010, 11:27 AM
 
Location: NJ
854 posts, read 2,482,413 times
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some of the people bashing turbo 4s in here should go test drive an Evo X or a Mazdaspeed3...
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