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Click above for more shots of the GM LSA V8 and its Eaton supercharger

The ongoing debate between the supercharger camp and the turbo boys isn't likely to die along with large, fuel-thirsty performance engines. In fact, Eaton believes that the market for both power-boosters will continue to grow at an extremely fast pace along with the rising price of gas. Because manufacturers are looking to downsize their engines, power-adders like the supercharger are becoming increasingly necessary in order to deliver the kind of performance new car buyers have come to expect along with the low fuel consumption that is becoming increasingly necessary.

Unlike the high RPM power generally associated with heavily-boost turbocharged engines, superchargers produce added power at all engine speeds. The downside is that engine power is used to drive the compressor, which reduces the available power gains somewhat. In order to make up some of that lost power, Eaton is developing variable-speed superchargers, which will allow for good power from idle through redline with a reduced strain on the engine. For our part, we fully support the use of both turbochargers and superchargers on any and all new cars. Solely in the name of fuel economy, of course.


[Source: Automotive News - sub. req'd]


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  • 61 Comments
      s13hybrid
      • 6 Years Ago
      Exciting new times. This fuel problem is really making things change for the better in my opinion. To bad I am a poor student that wont be able to purchase these new cool cars, let alone save any money because of gas prices. I can't wait to graduate!
        • 6 Years Ago
        @s13hybrid
        The 1.6L Tritec was just a small-block version of the Neon engine. Same engine, but with less space between the bore centers and thus a smaller block.

        The engineering was entirely performed by Chrysler; BMW just provided funding.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @s13hybrid
        I might get killed by engineering gurus... but how the hell is SC more fuel efficent than a turbo???

        I had a 2004 Mini Cooper S, obviously a small SC'd 1.6L motor & I wouldn't call it a "great" on gas (considering the car's weight & overall size, etc).

        I'm all for keeping performance but I have never owned a SC or TC car that I'd call a mileage champ.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @s13hybrid
        Yes I know it wasn't an actual neon engine. {I should have put Neon* type engine)
        timing belt, reverse firing (two spark plugs), iron block, more chrysler than bmw.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @s13hybrid
        jgp: BMW did more than fund it & trust Chrysler to produce the motor. I had a friend who worked for Tritech, lived in Oxford, England & worked/ consulted with mostly BMW staff on the SC part of the engine especially.

        Chrysler's SOHC & especially the DOHC was not a well designed/ engineered small motor... reflecting poorly on the neon's overall quality ratings/ consumer confidence.

        I doubt BMW would just put blind faith & a production budget behind the Chrysler team. Sorry!
        • 6 Years Ago
        @s13hybrid
        MikwW: The Mini engine was NOT the neon motor... the neon motors were the 2.0, 2.4L turbo (SRT-4) & a 1.8L for the BUX (european) Neons.

        The 1.6L was a Chrysler BMW joint venture. The Chrysler PT used the non SC version... Mini's SC engine had things they did NOT share with DCX.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @s13hybrid
        Well, a variant on the NA engine WAS used in the EU Neons. But regarding gas mileage with the SC version of the MINI engine, it wasn't built with gas specifically in mind. Also, keep in mind that this article is more about adding a supercharger vs. more cylinders. Which can be a very good thing.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @s13hybrid
        The Neon engine sucked.
        Single camshaft, no VVT (by definition), no VCT, Hell only two ignition coils.

        The turbo, VVT (intake), direct injection engine is way better.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @s13hybrid
        I'm with ya, buddy.
      • 6 Years Ago
      well not sure if this will help with gas prices , since your oing to have to put higher octane gas in the car
      • 6 Years Ago
      Whatever happened to the supercharged engine in the 1st gen MR2? IIRC it had a magnetic clutch coupling so that it could be disengaged when not needed to reduce losses. Did this technology not pan out, was it too expensive, or was it just thrown aside for turbochargers?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Mercedes uses clutched superchargers at times. I think they are out of vogue now. I'm not sure why, seems like it would improve efficiency.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Clutched superchargers are not necessary when you position the supercharger after the throttle.

        VW's twin charger is before the throttle.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I too agree that I purchased a turbocharged car (Subaru) for fuel economy reasons......pfft...yeah right!
      • 6 Years Ago
      For car companies a supercharger offers the advantage of not being as easy to modify for significant power increases. Yes there are pulley swaps and ECU tuning but most superchargers are sized to be pretty well out of flow on the stock engine and not offer much else. With a turbo they are also sized to be pretty close to the limit in stock form but with a simple bleeder valve boost controller you can really overspin them and break stuff without ever undoing a bolt. My personal preference is for large single turbo V8s but a twin screw supercharger can really be a lot of fun as well.
        • 6 Years Ago
        You can't really compare what a Mustang aftermarket is like to a European car company. If Ford makes a Mustang that isn't easily upgradeable then that will be a clear sign that the Stang is dead. Look at the Mini Cooper, if you want an extra 10hp you better give JCW a call for a whole new blower. There are differences in how the U.S. treats mods vs. the rest of the World because straight line speed is King here.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Tell that to guys who modded their 03-04 Cobras. Turn up the boost by 4-5lbs and that weedy stock S/C takes you from about 400 hp to nearly 600hp (~40% increase over stock)
      • 6 Years Ago
      I have an 88 Saab Turbo 5-speed. I am driving it for economy and getting 30-31 mpg in everyday driving. On the last tank, I spooled up the turbo only once to pass a slow poke in a short passing zone. The turbo is quite wonderful--power when you need it and economy when you don't.
      • 6 Years Ago
      A turbo will usually have a much peakier torque curve (as will the centrifugal supercharger); ie: Saab 900 Turbo.
      Superchargers will have a flatter torque curve.

      Turbos are typically better for high hp. SCs are better for torque + 0-60.

      Turbo lag can also be mitigated by ceramic ball bearings, lighter internal parts, twin scrolls, variable geometry parts, or multiple small turbos in series or parallel.

      Superchargers can partially fail & your car can still get home in "limp mode"; if a turbo fails, your car is generally stationary at that point.
      s13hybrid
      • 6 Years Ago
      Supercharger = Belt driven

      Turbo = exhaust driven
      • 6 Years Ago
      Centrifugal superchargers , all the disadvantages of a turbocharger, none of the advantages.

      A Mustang Magazine did a test a while back, three different superchargers and a turbo setup. The turbo setup made more power and torque than any of the supercharger setups.

      http://www.musclemustangfastfords.com/tech/mmfp_0501_ford_modular_motor_forced_induction/index.html

      Turbo > Supercharger
      • 6 Years Ago
      most all will require premium fuel NOT reg grade so there is $.20/$.40 more a gallon so do the math and you will pay a premium for the forced induction in the price of the car. this will be how the american car companies will be able to charge $30K/$40K for a four cylinder car.
      • 6 Years Ago
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AuJEXp-EKso

      here's an example on an Nisaan Silvia S15
      Carlos
      • 6 Years Ago
      Turbocharger>Supercharger nuff said.
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