New Audi TT Clubsport Electric Turbo

New Audi TT Clubsport Electric Turbo

The guys at Audi are at it again… pushing the limits of technology to enable a more efficient vehicle by creating an electric turbo. Why might you ask, is this important in the Automotive field? Well, it is a milestone and evolution of Turbo technology. Current production turbos are powered  by the exhaust of an engine, more or less a free spinning wheel in the path of the intake and exhaust (two fans). Exhaust powers the intake fan to force air into the intake and creates boost to the engine (air pressure) which in turn creates more horsepower.

This next step eliminates most of the problems with mechanical turbo’s.

  1. Reduction in heat as the exhaust is not connected to the Turbo.
  2. Instant On this electric turbo has zero turbo lag. A mechanical turbo needs engine RPM to “spool” the turbo up. Modern turbo engines are much better than turbos from the 1970s and most modern turbos feel like normal aspirated engines but they have their limits of their effective range.
  3. A standard turbo needs to operate in a low or high range typically. The Electric turbo can operate in a wider band and it won’t run out of steam at a higher RPM.

Key Points from Wörthersee show

  • Audi TT preproduction (2016) with a non-production engine
  • 600 hp and 650 Nm (479.4 lb-ft), 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in 3.6 seconds
  • Development chief Prof. Dr. Hackenberg: “Technology close to production readiness”

How will this affect the trucking industry? Time will tell, but I am guessing it could have a big impact on fuel economy as taking the turbo out of the exhaust stream should make an engine more efficient. So this potentially means that wine and cheese you had today might cost a little less…

Electric biturbo

The TDI engine gets its power from the boost pressure developed by the turbocharger, which is dependent on the energy of the exhaust. The electric biturbo breaks this dependency. Its supplemental electric compressor enables a rapid buildup of boost pressure and high torque even at low engine speeds. 25 years after the invention of the TDI, Audi is now taking the next big step and making the diesel engine even more emotional and sporty

With the electric biturbo, Audi is taking another major step forward in its TDI engines. In this forward-looking technology an additional compressor assists the turbocharger in the lower rev range.
Almost a quarter of a century ago, Audi delivered a major boost to diesel engine development worldwide. 1989 saw the debut in the Audi 100 of the first direct injection compression ignition engine with turbocharging and electronic control, since when the TDI has enjoyed an impressive and ongoing success story.

New Audi TT Clubsport Electric TurboData and images courtesy of Audi AG

*Updated: with the recent news of VW cheating on emissions testing and rules, this type of technology becomes even more interesting and important for diesel’s future in the world.

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