Contact Channel Magazine
It's all about kilowatts (kW) Cars and their engines – understanding the power banner

EUROPEAN MOTORING: with Penny Thorne, Tristram European

It's all about kilowatts (kW) Cars and their engines – understanding the power

Have you found yourself arriving at a car dealership and struggling to understand what the heck all this engine jargon is now all about?  Whatever happened to a 1.6 litre 5-speed manual, or the 2 litre twin-turbo? You may have been used to your 1968 Valiant Regal with a straight six engine? Or that first car being a 1978 Ford Escort 1.6 litre 4-speed manual?

That does it, you say! Whatever happened to me being able to understand what power I need now when purchasing a car and what exactly am I now buying.

It’s really important that your salesperson explains to you exactly how the vehicle you are interested in and its engine relates (in your thinking) to what you have experienced.
I often drive our new models and try and think, right, so this car in terms of its power reminds me of another type of car I’ve driven some years ago and that is how I am going to interpret this car to others.
So, how are engines now advertised?
In the Volkswagen world, everything is now in kilowatts (kW). Engines have been cleverly designed to be smaller – as in we are talking 1.2L, and you should see most peoples face when you break the news that they are buying a 1.2L car! However, turbos, twin turbos, supercharged turbos are all added in weird and wonderful ways to make these vehicles little pocket rockets!  At the same time they are more fuel efficient, drawing more on the battery power to operate these vehicles.
For example. take a look at Volkswagen new Golf R. It is 221kW and comes with 380Nm of torque. What is this you might ask? In simple terms it is capable of 0-100km in 4.9 seconds. We understand this, but what about understanding how this engine translates to us in our lingo? The engine size in CC (Cubic Capacity) are still featured in the specification details, however, the output of the engine can make the cubic capacity very misleading with technology as it is these days.
In summary, to get your bearings on what exactly the engine is all about, ask what the CC rating is and what the output is in kW. The higher the kWs, the faster your car will be.
So look at the model selection and see what the kW range is over the model and make your pick from there.
If you are looking for performance, we have a great range of new and pre-owned performance vehicles at Tristram European right now. And a team of vehicle specialists who can explain to you in very simple terms what the performance of each of these vehicles will be.

Tristram European, Corner Wairau and Hillside Roads, Glenfield, North Shore
09 441 0090

by Channel Editorial