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Renault lifts lid on potent twin-turbo diesel

The good oil: The Energy dCi 160 Twin Turbo engine (left) could end up powering a number of Renault models, including a future mid-size offering.

Renault’s next large sedan to get a record-setting F1-inspired 1.6 twin-turbo diesel

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Renault logo21 Feb 2014

RENAULT has developed the world’s most powerful 1.6-litre diesel engine that will end up powering a number of future models for the French brand, including a new mid-size offering.

The 1.6-litre ‘Energy dCi 160 Twin Turbo’ produces 119kW of power and 380Nm of torque, which Renault says puts it in 2.0-litre territory, but delivers 25 per cent better fuel economy and CO2 emissions than engines of that size.

Renault’s use of twin-turbo power in the new oil-burner makes for a combination of low-end torque and high power at higher revs which the company says will ensure “enhanced driving enjoyment”.

The system uses two sequential turbo-compressors, including one low inertia turbo that provides the high low-end torque for quick take-off and mid-range acceleration, with 90 per cent of peak torque available from 1500rpm.

The second turbo takes over at higher revs, producing power of 75kW per litre at faster engine speeds for “smooth, linear, dependable acceleration” up to maximum revs.

Renault says the Energy dCi 160 has benefited from the company’s development of the 1.6-litre Formula One engine, particularly in relation to cooling and friction reduction.

Friction is reduced thanks to DLC (Diamond Like Carbon) finish on the cam, while a transverse water flow system ensures more efficient cooling.

In 2011, Renault detailed what was then the world’s most powerful 1.6-litre turbo-diesel engine with its 97kW Energy dCi 130 engine that would go on to power the Scenic and the Megane in Europe.

Opel fired back early last year with its 101kW/320Nm 1.6-litre turbo-diesel ‘Ecotec’ from its new family of small displacement petrol and diesel engines. This unit is currently used to power the Astra small car and Zafira mini people-mover.

While an engine of this size is a natural fit for some of Renault’s smaller passenger cars such as the new Clio or next-gen Megane or Koleos, the company pointed to D- (mid-size) and E-segment (large) models for the oiler.

A version of the engine could also power a number of alliance partner Nissan’s models, with its as-yet unnamed Golf-rivalling small car that should appear at some stage this year a likely contender.

The Japanese brand’s new-generation Qashqai (formally Dualis) and X-Trail are also possible candidates.

Last week Renault CEO and chairman Carlos Ghosn said the French car-maker would accelerate the expansion of its product line-up, which will include replacements for the Megane, Scenic, Espace as well as a new D-segment (mid-size) offering.

Late last year it was announced that Renault would develop a new mid-sizer in collaboration with Mitsubishi Motors, with both companies set to sell a version of the car, but it is unlikely we will see the fruits of this alliance for at least two years.

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