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New VW engine packs a One-Two Punch

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Link: http://www.autoweek.com/news.cms?newsId=103048

New VW engine packs a One-Two Punch; 2006 Golf gets SuperTurbo system

Posted Date: 8/23/05

Volkswagen will reach into the past for a combined supercharger-turbocharger system to boost power and fuel economy in its small gasoline engines.

The system, dubbed SuperTurbo Compounding by supercharger supplier Eaton, eliminates turbo lag while boosting overall power and fuel economy by 15 to 20 percent. Eaton, the apparent supplier of the supercharger for the engine, says a car fitted with the system will likely be shown at the upcoming Frankfurt show.

Engineers have combined superchargers and turbochargers in the past, most notably in World War II-era aircraft to avoid engine power losses at higher altitudes. Automotive applications have been limited, but include an Abarth-developed system used on the 1985 Lancia Delta S4 rally car.

Today’s computers make the complex induction system seamless in the new application, which uses a mechanical supercharger operating at low engine speeds to increase low-end torque, and a turbocharger engaging at middling revs to provide added muscle up high. Once the turbo reaches sufficient speed to provide boost, a clutch disengages the supercharger and an induction valve closes, bypassing the supercharger.

VW’s plans call for widespread use of the system, starting with a 1.4-liter direct-injection engine that is expected to debut in the 2006 Golf before heading into other VW models.

Two different versions of the 1.4-liter engine are planned. In standard guise the four-valve-per-cylinder unit kicks out 140 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque, with a more performance-oriented variant producing 170 hp and 199 lb-ft. By comparison, VW’s existing 2.0-liter four-cylinder delivers 150 hp and 148 lb-ft.

Also under way at VW are more powerful 1.6-liter and 2.0-liter versions of the supercharged/turbocharged engine with a rumored 195 hp and 240 hp, respectively.

Eaton officials said the system will initially appear on cars in Europe where it is expected to compete with turbodiesel engines. The system also could be fitted to diesels, but its future in the North American market could depend on fuel prices and demands for bigger engines.

“In the U.S., displacement is still king,” said one Eaton exec.

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Woo! Surbocharging!
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Twincharging cars has always intrigued me.
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