NA 101

An introduction to the appreciation of naturally aspirated engineS

4y ago

So, this is my tribe. And more importantly, your tribe too.

Why? Because I’m going to spend a good amount of my time at DRIVETRIBE HQ herding cats (i.e. pointing Jethro and Henry in the direction of the greatest cars, the most interesting people, and the best, most eclectic motoring stories from around the world) so this tribe is less about me and more about a passion.

A passion I hope many of you share. A passion for naturally aspirated engines. An appreciation of the controlled explosions that make cars go (ideally quite fast) without turbos and superchargers censoring sound, restricting rev limits or dulling throttle response.

Think of me as the person who created a new thread in a forum, rather than a gatekeeper to all the content. This tribe, and DRIVETRIBE itself, is all about sharing, about introducing other enthusiasts to the automotive stuff we all care so deeply about. Nurture NA then. Treat it with respect. Upload relevant content. I want noise and 9000rpm rev limits please!

Anyway, following hot on the heels of this post is a video to get us all started, and soon there will be something rather nice Jethro has driven in the south of France. I’ve got plans afoot to cover some of the greatest NA-engined cars in history too, and for the next six months or so our NA tribe has got a decent ambassador for its cause: more soon. Rest assured we’ll be making full use of it to bring you some great stories, features and videos.

Don’t get me wrong either, there’s a time and a place for a turbo. I’ve nothing against forced-induction motors, I don’t want for a lack of torque. From the F40 to Veyron, via the likes of the GT2 RS, some of the all-time greats wouldn’t be what they are without a little helping hand. And for diesels (the first and last time we’ll touch on them I hope), anything not particularly sporty, or hot hatches, these days you can’t do without a turbo or two. I mean, the last couple of NA Civic Type Rs were left for dead by Golf GTIs. Heck, even Golf TDIs too (sorry, last mention of diesels I promise).

There are some great turbo engines too, and the Ferrari 488GTB’s is the best of the bunch. But for me, none of them can compete with the response, the noise, the tingle up your spine as you rev an NA engine to its limit. Whether it’s the anticipation while you wait for the lights in the upper reaches of an E92 M3’s rev counter to extinguish as its V8 warms through, or the first time you wring a properly high-revving engine all the way out and hang on and hang on and hang on until you’re at 9000rpm (991 GT3, I'm thinking, dreamily, of you). I want this, not all the torque in the world from 2000rpm.

That’s what NA is about then. Such engines are a dying breed. Let’s use this to celebrate them, from the past, the present, and if we’re lucky enough, a few from the future too.

Oh, and kudos if you can identify the car above. And outline the history of its engine…

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Comments (3)

  • I'm excited to follow this tribe, I can't wait to see the incredible things posted here. Just one note though, don't hate so much on diesels. Audi was dominant in LeMans for nearly a decade with the use of their incredible diesels

      4 years ago
  • Maybe you could do a collab with @JasonFenske to explain naturally aspirated vs turbo vs superchargers? And V8 vs V10? Or maybe I'm just in the wrong tribe...

      4 years ago
  • Great example of a NA engine, the Carrera GT concept!

      4 years ago