Owning my first turbocharged car
With my Audi A3 being my first own turbocharged car, having modified it a bit, has given me an amazing experience, even for 1000€.
Turbocharged cars are more common than ever, so basically a paradise for turbo-lovers right? Well, not really. In modern cars, manufacturers dont want you to feel turbo lag or hear the sound of the spinning turbines. For most, normal people i get that, maybe. But for car enthusiasts thats just plain boring, so lets start with my story, what i did and why:
So, as my first car, i had a Mazda MX-5 NB, which was, although only equipped with the 1.6 Litre B6 engine, heavily modified. It was Heaps of fun, until the german Police got in, to put it lightly.
The question then was: "what would be my second car?" I have considered a MK4 Golf as an option even before getting the Mazda, but the insurance was too expensive, as i would have to be paying 3000€ per year. A Year later though, it was a real Option, so i chose an early Audi a3 8L with the infamous 1.8T Engine. These Motors are known to easily make a lot of power on a budget. The car was rough, it had (and still has) a lot of rust and a few issues which i still have to fix. But for 1k it is a lot of fun if you do a few simple mods.
In stock form, the Engine feels relatively booring, not much punch and with only 0,5 Bar of boost there is no real "turbo-sensation" so i chose to up the boost. And on the early models, that is quite easy with a different diverter valve, also called N75 on these cars. That brought the pressure up to 1.1 Bar.
This now is my first proper turbo experience under my own feet and i have to quiestion some manufacturers... why dont we want turbo lag or turbo noise? Those are the best things about turbocharged cars, stepping on the gas and slowly feeling the surge of power build, even with the lowly 180 or so Horsepower of that a3 you have an experience, way more fun, than in a MK7 Golf GTi, even if that car is maybe a bit faster. Also, the noise is just awesome, hearing the air rushing through the intake and even when driving normally i cant stop listening to the turbo spooling up and building boost.
So, even if the cars get faster whith smaller turbos and highe boost pressures, i still prefer a bit of "Foreplay" when the power builds. Dont get me wrong, naturally aspirated cars can be awesome too, but comparing the two in a close-to-stock form is a night and day difference, and i know which one i would prefer to take any time. At least, when it comes to fun factor.