The Taming of the Turbo

© Toyota Motor Sales USA© Toyota Motor Sales USA
Lexus GS300 RWD
Starting MSRP: $46,310
Specific output is the amount of power an engine makes per liter of displacement. It’s a way to quantify the efficiency of an engine from a power generation standpoint. The Lexus GS is a great method of illustrating this concept while also showing how adding a small turbo engine to an entry-level vehicle may make it the standout. The GS300’s 2.0-liter turbo four produces 241 horsepower, or a specific output of 120.5 ponies per liter. The up-market GS350 is powered by a 311-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 engine, which calculates to an 88-horsepower per liter specific output. Of course, the type of car in question will impact the importance of these numbers . . . here in a luxury car it may not carry as much weight as in a sports car . . . on the other hand, 311 is always more than 241.

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