Don’t kid yourself that most car manufacturers exist to produce the highest quality engines they can. They exist to make a profit and will take a decent engine that can be produced en masse and then customise that engine to produce a desirable commodity to a specific market that will sell productively. They take into consideration the geographical location a new model is going to, the competition they’ll find within that market space and then adjust tuning specs accordingly to outperform competitors, meet stricter emission standards, and improve economy in countries where fuel quality is poor. In short, if manufacturer “A” releases a model that outperforms the current number 1 in it’s class, manufacturer “B” can
release a ‘new’ version days later that exceeds the newcomer’s specs. Has that manufacturer spent millions redesigning and remanufacturing their car’s powerplant? No… they’ve just tweaked the tune. Once a manufacturer has their engine design down pat, they simply adjust the tuning or mapping on the ECU from model to model, country to country, and year to year to easily release a ‘new and improved’ version that has better performance and a few extra features than the previous model. Sure, you might see a larger turbo here or an upgraded set of injectors there, but fundamentally the engine is the same. You can be sure however, that these improvements still reside within the engine’s parameters for safety and durability, which are fixed, in order to make them warrantable. Yet the reason why that same engine can be installed into 5 different models but produce a mixed bag of performance characteristics across a range, is all down to tuning.