Turbochargers are rapidly emerging as the choice for automakers that need moderately priced, off-the-shelf technology to meet corporate average fuel economy targets.
By 2015, as many as 25 percent of all light vehicles sold in the United States will be turbocharged, up from 8 percent this year, predicts J.D. Power and Associates.
Turbochargers "will be used by nearly all major carmakers," says Mike Omotoso, J.D. Power's senior manager of global powertrains. "The technology has been around for a long time, and it's relatively cheap compared with hybrids" and electric vehicles.
Ford Motor Co. says it will offer EcoBoost turbocharged engines on 90 percent of its North American models within a couple of years. Other automakers are stepping up, too. J.D. Power predicts General Motors Co., Chrysler Group, Volkswagen AG and BMW AG will rely heavily on turbochargers.
"We see turbochargers being adopted across the board," in big pickups, small cars and everything in between, says Omotoso.