OPINION | Why an overboost function is not really needed in performance cars in SA

<i>Image: Quickpic</i>
<i>Image: Quickpic</i>

Just about every performance car these days comes out of the factory with turbocharging as a go-faster method.

For some though factory power isn't quite enough and to satisfy the driver's urge for more speed, the overboost function was brought into play.

Boost, boost and more boost

The overboost functionality is found in a select number of turbocharged performance cars where an immediate increase in power  for around 10-seconds is gained.

WATCH | Why the 'stu tu tu' noise from your turbo might sound cool but isn't good for your engine

Even more, the air is forced into the cylinders while the engine management system calibrates these settings and allows for the increase in power for the given time.

Do you think the Overboost function is needed in modern performance cars? Email us

Several cars use this function. Perhaps the most notable of the bunch is the Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport. It makes around 194kW stock but when overboost is activated, power can be upped to around 213kW - enough to bother its bigger brother and some six-cylinders.

The recently launched Hyundai I30 N, Ford Fiesta ST, and the SA-bound Porsche Taycan also has this feature.

So why have this feature?

Besides wanting to beat someone in a drag race or needing a bit more power when exiting a chicane, that is pretty much the only viable places to use it.

2020 hyundai i30 N

                                                                        Image: Quickpic

Because the GTI's and the like of this world is getting faster and faster with each generation, it defeats the purpose of having such a feature when it is being used as a daily drive.

With that said, the vehicles that have the feature are track-ready cars and not used to sitting in deadpan traffic on a highway. Also, people who can afford these cars must have other daily runabouts.

South Africa already has a very high road fatality rate, and the word 'overboost' is not something transport, and road safety ministers, will like too much. You have to be driving very fast to engage it.

Everything considered, it turns out to be more of a con than anything else. You could end up paying for a feature you might never use.

Disclaimer: Wheels24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of contributors/columnists published on Wheels24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24 or Wheels24. 

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