Anyone who has driven a Hummer H3 has commented on the lack of power. Even with a manual transmission, the acceleration leaves a lot to be desired. In an effort to resolve this concern, European automotive technology company, Antonov, will be showing its innovative 2-speed supercharger drive system at the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show next week in Las Vegas.
After mounting the unit on the power steering pump bracket of the I5, the supercharger is overdriven at 1.36 to 1 from off-idle to about 4200 rpm under hard acceleration, then mechanically steps down to a 1 to 1 ratio at higher RPM's. The higher speed of the supercharger impellor increases power and torque to the rear wheels by an impressive 58 percent at lower engine speeds changing the personality of the H3 dramatically.
Autonov is also researching other applications for its multi-speed mechanical drive systems. The smaller displacement hybrid engines could use some forced incduction as an economical means for more low end power. The Autoliv system can be designed as a 2, 3 or 4 speed unit allowing the supercharger to be tuned to the specific needs and calibrations of the powertrain application.
This really sounds like a cool technonlogy, and one the H3 certainly screams for. Hot rodders have been switching to smaller supercharger pulleys to achieve this affect for years, but at higher RPMs there was always a chance of overspeeding the supercharger and causing heat-related issues with the rotor seals. Wouldn't it be great to set the boost level of your engine based on RPM; even better, if it were switchable from inside the car? In a Mustang GT application, Autonov was able to "hide" the compact supercharger/drive unit under the intake manifold. Reminds me of the NOS bottle hidden inside the heater core box with jets plumbed under the intake manifold of my '68 Camaro. Could this be the newest trend in "secret" perfomance mods?