Renault 1.3 TCe engine | New generation turbo-petrol engine explained
The current era can be christened as the turbo-revolution in the automotive industry. With stricter emission norms and growing environmental awareness among the masses, older generation diesel and naturally aspirated petrol engines are being shown the door and turbo-petrol powerplants are taking over. Hyundai Motor Group’s T-GDI engines have already been adopted across the Hyundai and Kia range while Skoda-VW’s new generation TSI engines are slated for debut in the coming months. Naturally, Renault India too is riding the wave and the French carmaker’s TCe turbo-charged petrol-engine is slated for India launch with the 2020 Nissan Kicks.
TCe (turbo control efficiency) engines have existed for almost a decade and the 90hp 1-litre TCe was the first ever three-cylinder turbo-petrol engine developed by Renault. In 2018, Renault introduced the 1.3 TCe, a four-pot turbo-petrol engine co-developed by the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance along with Daimler. With proven capabilities in performance and efficiency, this new engine has been widely used by the Alliance across their range since its debut. Mercedes-Benz too, ditched their old M 260 1.6-litre petrol engine for this new turbo’d engine, called the M 282 in Mercedes’ speak. It first debuted in the A-Class Limousine and is now also offered with the 2020 GLA.
This TCe family was developed using Renault’s technological expertise in F1. It took four years for development and during that span, the engine was subjected to 40,000 hours in simulation and 3 lakh km of extreme weather testing. It also incorporates innovations developed by the Alliance, including Mirror Bore Coating, a cylinder coating technology used in the Nissan GT-R to improve energy efficiency by reducing frictions and optimising heat conduction. Moreover, it features direct-injection, higher fuel pressure (250 bar) and a fresh combustion chamber design to optimise air-fuel mixture. And lastly, there’s dual variable valve timing too, a system controlling intake and exhaust valves to deliver consistent torque across the rev-range.
Internationally, the 1.3 TCe is offered in five states of tune – 115hp, 130hp, 140hp, 150hp and 160hp. Peak torque ranges between 190Nm and 270Nm. In the 2020 Kicks though, Nissan India has tweaked the engine to deliver 156hp and 254Nm of torque and the updated Renault Duster and Captur are expected to get a similar state of tune as well. A downsized version, the three-cylinder TCe 100, showcased at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show and launched with the Renault Clio internationally, is expected to debut with the Triber in the months to follow. This engine retains the technology of the 1.3 TCe with further improvements in efficiency and refinement.
So clearly, the turbo-revolution is a win-win situation, thanks to the effort made by carmakers across the globe in striking a fine balance between performance and adherence to emission norms. And it doesn’t go without mentioning that this is great news for enthusiasts as well. More turbo-petrol cars in the market will mean more fun for a wider audience, too!