• Aug 23rd 2005 at 8:30PM
  • 23

Call it a double-whammy, but VW calls it a SuperTurbo. Actually it is 'SuperTurbo Compounding' by Eaton, the likely supplier of the system. Essentially, you have a turbocharged engine that is also fitted with a supercharger. The complexities of handling this type of forced induction have limited its automotive application. The supercharger provides instantaneous power. Once the turbo is providing boost, the supercharger's clutch is disengaged and it is closed off from the induction system, allowing the turbo to take over completely. The result is a power plant that has none of the usual performance compromises found in typical forced-induction scenarios. The numbers are quite impressive. VW will initially offer the system in its European line up. The first engine will be a 1.4-liter four cylinder that will produce 140 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque, with a performance version producing 170 hp and 199 lb-ft. That is crazy power out of such a small displacement engine. Fuel economy is another benefit to this approach. VW plans to offer this power plant up against turbodiesel engines, which could also benefit from this system. VW is also working on 1.6 and 2.0-liter versions of the SuperTurbo, which would produce 195 hp and 240 hp respectively. While all this power sounds great, we wonder how reliable the entire system will be. VW four-cylinders are normally very robust. We worry about the electro-mechanical reliability of the system. What happens when the supercharger's clutch fails to disengage or engage? Obviously there are a lot of interdependencies involved. We're hoping that Eaton and VW have developed enough 'interlocks' to prevent one failure from jeopardizing the entire system.



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  • 23 Comments
      • 10 Years Ago
      BUT VW DIDNT INVENT IT !!!11!11 THEY ARE RIPPING OFF UDER PEEPSZ YO!! chill out doglets, if it works its cool. who cares bout neting else?
      • 10 Years Ago
      Maybe VW should stop making cars and concentrate on cool engines, after all it is the same company that brought us the air-cooled 4 cylinder ancestor to all things Porsche, the W8 and W12 now W16 quad-turbo, V10 Turbodiesel, and finally the kick-ass 4.2 V8 TDI. Or maybe they could sell some of these beefcake motors to small companies to do cool stuff with.
      • 10 Years Ago
      BUT VW DIDNT INVENT IT !!!11!11 THEY ARE RIPPING OFF UDER PEEPSZ YO!! chill out doglets, if it works its cool. who cares bout neting else?
      • 10 Years Ago
      Why all the Anti VW comments and Sentimentalism? Many companies have tried this layout for years and diesel trains currently use the setup, even Daihatsu has experimented with it in their 2 stroke diesels,but this is THE FIRST TIME a company has decided to PUT it IN PRODUCTION and more precisely, ON A LARGE SCALE. Lets all embrace the technology and stop complaing about reliability before we even see the product. Of course there would be glitches, but with time it would be perfected.
      • 10 Years Ago
      *IF* their claim about the fuel economy not suffering is true, it might be worth a look. Frankly, I don't really care about horsepower/liter. All too often, getting 300 HP out of a 2.2 liter engine means it uses fuel like a big V8. I think a far better metric would be HP * MPG. Shutting off the blower at high RPMs is going to definitely help. I used to have a supercharged 3800. With the mods, I got 275 net. The engine was actually make 350, but I was spending nearly 80 HP to turn the blower. Oh, and the RD-3350 used in the B-29 had this in 1943.
      • 10 Years Ago
      YEaaah, saab sonnnet. i was born too late.... Don't they still use v-4 for other things like bikes and boats?
      • 10 Years Ago
      dual sequential turbochargers anyone?
      • 10 Years Ago
      #10 My thoughts exactly!
      • 10 Years Ago
      'Oh, and Lancia and VW aren't the only companies to use narrow-angle engines, either. Lancia's V4 was 20 degrees. VW's VR6 is 15 degrees. Yamaha builds a narrow-angle V8 at 60 degrees. IT's like saying, "Lamborghini ripped off Ferrari by using a V-12!" ' #21-Point made, but what I was really driving at is the fact that this isn't new, but rather a rehashed approach. When some folks read this Supercharged/Turbocharged business (let me emphasis 'some'), they immediately would think "Those crafty Germans, leave it to them to figure it out before the Americans/Japanese/Koreans/Etc. -- They must really, really know what they're doing over there in Deutschland compared to everyone else!" -- and I say this b/c I know there are a number of folks out there who feel this way and are zealots about it (they live in my neighborhood!). What I was saying was, "Look, it's great and all, but a little Italian company did it years ago -- nothing really new here". To further emphasis that, I mentioned the narrow V engines that Lancia used. I know folks personally -- and they really get on my nerves sometimes -- that say "Only VW/Audi can come up with a narrow V tech-driven, engine like the VR6 and make it run SO smooth, refined, blah, blah, blah" -- These are the same folks who think that unless it was engineered or crafted in Russelheim, Inglstadt, Wolfsburg, Bavaria or Zuffenhausen, it doens't deserve to be looked at. So I say, not to take anything away from the Germans, but again, Lancia did it back in the 1960s. Some folks get all excited and overly vocal about things that have been around for some time -- I guess that's the real point.
      • 10 Years Ago
      psst psst.... Nissan has been there and done that try this link http://autospeed.drive.com.au/cms/A_2216/article.html or do a Google for Nissan March Super Turbo
      • 10 Years Ago
      Not sure VW needs to be increasing complexity when it is trying to clean up quality.
      • 10 Years Ago
      #22: Ford also made a V4 for its German variants (Taunus 22m). Saab purchased these V4 units for use in the 1967-1974 Sonett, 1967-1979 95 Wagon and 1967-1980 Saab 96 sedan. Today, the very same V4 is still used in commercial applications such as tractors and industrial air compressors.
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