Turbocharged petrol engines

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Turbochargers are commonly used in passenger cars to obtain greater power output from a given engine size. The compact nature of a turbocharger means it is often a more space-efficient solution for increasing power output than increasing engine displacement. As an example, the turbo Porsche 944's acceleration performance was very similar to that of the larger-engine naturally aspirated Porsche 928. Although turbocharging is less responsive than supercharging, turbocharging is generally considered more efficient than supercharging. New techniques such as twin-turbo/biturbo (whether parallel or sequential) setups and twin-scroll turbocharger, in combination with technologies such as variable valve timing and direct fuel injection, have cut down on turbo lag.

History[edit]

The Chevrolet Corvair's turbocharged engine. The turbo, located at top right, feeds pressurized air into the engine through the chrome T-pipe spanning the engine.
  • 1962: General Motors manufactured the first turbocharged production cars with the Turbo Jetfireengine used in the Oldsmobile Jetfire[1] (a modified version of the turbocharger setup was also used in the Chevrolet Corvair Monza Spyder released a month later).[2] A Garrett AiResearch turbocharger with integral wastegate was used.[3][4][5] Power was significantly increased over the naturally aspirated (non-turbo) engine, however reliability of these engines was poor and the production of the engine stopped in 1963[2][6]
  • 1973: The next mass-produced turbocharged car was BMW's 2002 Turbo, introduced at the 1973 Frankfurt motor show and featuring a 2.0 L (120 cu in) four-cylinder engine.[7] Due to excessive turbo lag, safety concerns and the 1973/1974 oil crisis, the 2002 Turbo was discontinued in 1974.[7]
  • 1974: At the height of the oil crisis, Porsche introduced the 911 Turbo, which was the fastest mass-produced car at the time.[8][9] The Porsche 911 has been available with a turbocharged engine for the majority of the years since 1974.[10]
  • 1977: Saab released the Saab 99 model with a turbocharged engine.
  • 1978: Turbocharging returned to American-produced engines, in the form of the Buick Regal V6.[11]

Since 1978, many manufacturers have produced turbocharged cars.

Notably in the mid-2000s, BMW which long used small-displacement high-rev naturally aspirated engines, introduced its first turbocharged gasoline engine, the BMW N54.

Multiple turbochargers[edit]

Twin-turbo[edit]

Main article: Twin-turbo
A pair of turbochargers mounted to an Inline 6 engine (2JZ-GTE from a MkIV Toyota Supra) in a dragster.

Parallel[edit]

Some engines, such as V-type engines, utilize two identically sized, each fed by a separate set of exhaust streams from the engine. Having two smaller turbos produce the same aggregate amount of boost as a larger single turbo allows them to reach their optimal rpm, more quickly, thus improving boost delivery.[12] Such an arrangement of turbos is typically referred to as a parallel twin-turbo system. The first production automobile with parallel twin turbochargers was the Maserati Biturbo of the early 1980s.[13]

Sequential[edit]

Another twin-turbo arrangement is "sequential", where one turbo is active across the entire rev range of the engine and the other activates at higher rpm.[12][14] Below this rpm, both exhaust and air inlet of the secondary turbo are closed. Being individually smaller they have reduced lag[14] and having the second turbo operating at a higher rpm range allows it to get to full rotational speed before it is required. Such combinations are referred to as a sequential twin-turbo. Cars using sequential twin-turbos include the Porsche 959, Mazda RX-7, Toyota Supra and Subaru Legacy.[15] Sequential twin-turbos are usually much more complicated than a single or parallel twin-turbo systems because they require three sets of intake and waste gate pipes and valves to control the direction of the exhaust gases.

Triple-turbo[edit]

The head of BMW's M division has stated that the next BMW M3 will be powered by a triple-turbo six cylinder engine.[16]

Quad-turbo[edit]

The Bugatti Veyron uses a quad-turbo W16 engine. The Bugatti EB110 from 1991 uses a quad-turbo V12.

Motorsport[edit]

1970 Toyota 7, twin turbocharged racing car

Beginnings[edit]

The Offenhauser turbocharged engine was one of the early uses of turbocharging in motorsport, when it competed at the Indianapolis 500 in 1966, with victories coming in 1968 using a Garrett AiResearch turbocharger.[17][18] The Offenhauser turbo peaked at over 1,000 hp (750 kW) in 1973, which led USAC to limit boost pressure. In their turn, Porsche dominated the Can-Am series with a 1,100 hp (820 kW) 917/30. Turbocharged cars dominated the 24 Hours of Le Mans between 1976 and 1988, and then from 2000 to 2007.

Formula 1[edit]

1984 Ferrari 126C4/M2 at Goodwood Festival of Speed 2009. 1.5 litre turbocharged V6, 850bhp

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In Formula One, in the so-called "Turbo Era" of 1977 until 1988, Renault, Honda, BMW, and Ferrari produced engines with a capacity of 1,500 cc (92 cu in) able to generate 1,000 to 1,500 horsepower (750 to 1,120 kW). Renault was the first manufacturer to apply turbo technology in F1.[19] Turbocharged engines dominated and ended the Cosworth DFV era in the mid-1980s. In 1987, FIA decided to limit the maximum boost before the technology was banned for 1989. Rule changes for the 2014 season marked a return of turbocharged engines to the sport, from the previous normally aspirated 2.4 litre V8 engines to turbocharged 1.6 litre V6 engines.[20]

Rally[edit]

During the Group B era of the 1980s, turbocharged engines producing up to 600 hp (450 kW) dominated the World Rally Championship.[21]

For the 2012 season, WRC rally cars use a 1.6 litre turbocharged engine with a 34 mm restrictor.[22]

Motorcycles[edit]

In 1978 Kawasaki offered the Z1R-TC, a stock ZR1 fitted with an American Turbo Pak compressor to give it turbo power.[23] The first production turbocharged motorcycle was Honda's 1982 CX500T.[24] It has a maximum engine speed of 9,000 rpm.

One of the last production turbocharged motorcycles was the 1983-1985 Kawasaki GPZ750 Turbo.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The history of turbocharging". En.turbolader.net. 1959-10-27. Retrieved 2012-04-13. 
  2. ^ a b "Video: Oldsmobile Jetfire, America’s First Production Turbo V8". StreetLegalTV. 2011-01-28. Retrieved 2012-04-13. 
  3. ^ "Garrett history". Dwperformance.com. Retrieved 2010-08-02. 
  4. ^ "Honeywell Heritage: A Hallmark Throughout Turbo History " Booster Online". Honeywellbooster.com. Retrieved 2010-02-14. 
  5. ^ Kraus, J. "A Look Back: Genesis of the Automotive Turbocharger". Auto Universum. Retrieved 2010-08-02. 
  6. ^ by the Auto Editors of Consumer Guide (2007-10-04). "HowStuffWorks "Decline of the 1962-1963 Oldsmobile F-85 Jetfire"". Auto.howstuffworks.com. Retrieved 2012-04-13. 
  7. ^ a b "1973 - 1974 BMW 2002 Turbo - Images, Specifications and Information". Ultimatecarpage.com. Retrieved 2012-04-13. 
  8. ^ "History - Four decades of the 911 Turbo". MotorPrime. 2011-10-23. Retrieved 2012-04-13. 
  9. ^ "PORSCHE 911 Turbo (930) (1974 - 1977)". Autoevolution.com. Retrieved 2012-04-13. 
  10. ^ "Excellence :: Buyers Guide : 911 Turbo". Excellence-mag.com. Retrieved 2012-04-13. 
  11. ^ "Buick History". G-body.org. Retrieved 2012-04-13. 
  12. ^ a b "Turbocharging". AutoZine Technical School. 
  13. ^ Wan, Mark. "Maserati Biturbo, Ghibli II, Shamal". AutoZine. Retrieved 2013-03-03. 
  14. ^ a b "The Benefits and Drawbacks of Twin Turbos". CarsDirect. 2011-06-11. Retrieved 2013-03-03. 
  15. ^ "Forced Induction". AutoZine Technical School. Retrieved 2013-03-03. 
  16. ^ "New M3 leads M Car boom | News". Auto Express. Retrieved 2012-04-14. 
  17. ^ Adams, Keith (2010-07). "Turbos in motor sport". Classic & Performance Cars. Retrieved 2013-03-03. 
  18. ^ Offy Racing Engines
  19. ^ "Renault 30th F1 anniversary/ Talks about the RS01". Formula1.com. Retrieved 2008-11-04. 
  20. ^ Formula 1® - The Official F1® Website
  21. ^ AutoSpeed - The Early Days of Turbo - Part Two
  22. ^ World Rally Championship - About WRC - The Cars
  23. ^ Smith, Robert (January–February 2013). "1978 Kawasaki Z1R-TC: Turbo Power". Motorcycle Classics 8 (3). Retrieved 7 February 2013. 
  24. ^ Honda CX500 Turbo Motorcycle - Object Wiki

External links[edit]