Renault has announced the latest fruit of its engine downsizing strategy, and it sounds mighty impressive. The Energy dCi 160 Twin Turbo is the first 1.6 litre diesel powerplant to benefit from twin-turbocharging, putting out 160 hp and 380 Nm of torque. That sort of performance is comfortable in the 2.0 litre region, and there’s fuel consumption and CO2 emissions savings of 25% to boot.

The use of two turbos ensures a blend of low-end torque and high power at higher revs. The first is a very low inertia turbo which provides high low-end torque for crisp pull-away and mid-range acceleration – 90% of peak torque is available from just 1,500 rpm. The second turbo takes over at the higher-end for higher max power (100 hp per litre) at faster engine speeds to ensure smooth, linear acceleration right till the end.

As we all know, Renault powers the champions in Formula 1, and the French company says that there are various links between the dCi 160 Twin Turbo and the 1.6-litre Renault Energy F1 Power Unit in Sebastian Vettel’s Red Bull, especially in cooling and friction reduction aspects.


The engine’s transverse water flow system permits faster and more efficient cooling of the combustion chamber, while U-Flex piston rings adapt to form changes in the cylinder walls resulting from fluctuations in temperature and pressure. This yields the optimum compromise between efficiency and friction. Friction is further reduced by DLC (Diamond Like Carbon) super-finishing of the cam followers.

The fuel injection system of the Energy dCi 160 Twin Turbo operates at a pressure of 1,800 bar to function with the twin turbocharger. It complies with Euro 6b emissions legislation and incorporates a NOx Trap and particulate filter regeneration system.

By dint of its efficiency, the new motor is comfortably capable of powering larger vehicles, according to Renault, and will be available for the French brand’s forthcoming D- and E-segment models. No chances of something like this appearing here though, not with Euro 2 fuel standards.