Today we discuss an issue that has been dividing car guys and their buddies since engines were combusting and brakes were braking. That is, the debate between natural aspiration and forced induction.
Although this may seem like a large topic pulled out of thin air, it was the fairly recent release of the 2018 Audi RS5 that sparked this age old discussion. Specifically, the RS5 has made the transition to a 2.9 liter twin-turbocharged V6, as opposed to the 4.2 liter NA V8 of the previous generation.
As with all change, this decision arrived with both praise and criticism from the automotive community. Realistically, this engine swap should not have come as a surprise to those who have been keeping up with the current automotive trends. Manufacturers are swapping their extra cylinders for snails across the board.
This movement is driven by a few rather serious benefits. With all eyes on MPG these days, a forced induction engine significantly improves fuel economy without sacrificing power. More importantly, forced induction allows the vehicle’s power band to dip into significantly lower RPMs and, with regards to torque, is the equivalent to Popeye jamming a can full of spinach down his throat ( RS5 saw a leap from 317 to 443 lb-ft).
With that being said, given the opinionated nature of this blog, I’m here to tell you that its all a load of garbage. While I can be a reasonable person and acknowledge the benefits of forced induction, Notedood loves him an overabundance of cylinders and some good ol’ fashioned natural aspiration (insert redneck voice here).
There is just something about an NA V8 snarling down the road that excites something inside me that just isn’t awakened by the whoosh of turbos.
Although it is impractical, isn’t the love of cars in general impractical? If the automotive community had those loose screws in their heads’ tightened we’d all be driving around a Civic or a Prius, because a car at its most basic function serves to transport us from point A to point B.
But thats not enough for the enthusiasts out there. Personally, I interpret cars as art with a soundtrack and I like that soundtrack to be a symphony of cracks and gurgles as I awaken everyone within a 10 mile radius.
I suppose you could assume that I am basing my opinion based solely on the exhaust note of the engine (which wouldn’t have anything to do with the title of this blog) but that is what excites me, and it is what inspired my love of cars in the first place.
Returning back to our wonder boy, the RS5 has long been my all-time favorite car. The design of the previous generation has been regarded as one of the most handsome cars ever to put four tires down. While the new facelift doesn’t provide me with the same striking feeling, it is truly the loss of the V8 that broke my heart.
Alas, the forced induction era shows no signs of slowing down, and those who don’t jump on board will be left behind with a pshh and a whoosh. As time goes on, the NA V8 will go the way of the dodo and noise lovers will be forced to look elsewhere to get their eardrum-bursting thrills. However, there will always be a place in my heart for the V8s of old that made me into the automotive junky that I call myself today.