Independent analysts also are upbeat. Last fall, J.D. Power and Associates predicted that as many as 25 percent of light vehicles sold in the United States in 2015 would be turbocharged, up from 8 percent in 2010.
At the time, Mike Omotoso, J.D. Power's senior manager of global powertrains, said turbochargers "will be used by nearly all major carmakers. ... We see turbochargers being adopted across the board."
Turbocharger sales in the United States got a boost when the federal government's corporate average fuel economy targets were raised to 35.5 mpg by the 2016 model year. Adding a turbo can enable a four-cylinder engine to deliver the power of a V-6 while retaining the size, weight and fuel-efficiency advantages of the smaller engine.
Honeywell and BorgWarner are duking it out vehicle by vehicle. Both companies supply Ford Motor Co., for instance, and Ford wants 90 percent of its North American models equipped with turbocharged EcoBoost engines by 2013.
Honeywell supplies turbos for Ford's 3.5-liter engine for front-wheel-drive models such as the Lincoln MKS and MKT. BorgWarner makes turbos for Ford's 1.6- and 2.0-liter engines. Some Ford Explorers, for example, are powered by a 2.0-liter engine with a BorgWarner turbo.