Antonov Automotive Technologies’ 2-speed supercharger drive system has recently made the transition from technical concept to initial low volume manufacture and is currently being demonstrated to prospective customers in a Chevrolet Lacetti, Ford Mustang and Hummer H3.
Since announcing its latest Hummer H3 demonstrator last year, Antonov has obtained measurements for the vehicle’s 0-100kph time, which has been virtually halved from 13.6 to 7.3 seconds compared with the base vehicle.
On/off road performance, which is an important characteristic for this class of vehicle, shows an impressive reduction in the time required for a hill climb, which has been reduced from 15 to 10 seconds.
The difference in the Hummer’s terminal speed at the hill summit has increased from 52 to 82 kph when comparing the base vehicle with the 2-speed supercharger.
‘There is a dramatic improvement in the driveability of the Hummer when equipped with a 2-speed supercharger with little effect on fuel economy,’ said Antonov chief executive John Moore. ‘This results from the significantly improved low speed engine torque, which we have similarly demonstrated in our Chevrolet Lacetti and Ford Mustang demonstrators.’
The commercial potential of an Antonov step-up drive applied to a centrifugal pump supercharger lies in its ability to increase the power and torque of an engine at low engine revs.
The application of a 2-speed drive – which is based on the Antonov Mechanical Module (AMM) – enables a supercharger to be better matched to the engine. By driving the pump faster at low engine speeds, a higher boost ratio can be obtained to provide additional low speed engine torque. As engine speed rises the unit automatically changes up to enable the supercharger to continue to operate effectively at higher engine speeds.
The mechanism operates as a passive mechanical device without the need for electronic control systems or hydraulic actuators.
Antonov anticipates demand for its supercharger drive system will come from carmakers needing to downsize engines in pursuit of better fuel efficiency and reduced CO2 emissions. Smaller displacement engines have less torque at low engine speeds, which adversely affects the driveability of the vehicle and its engine performance characteristics. Hence the need to compensate with forced induction systems.
The benefit of the Antonov 2-speed supercharger is that the torque curve of a small displacement engine can be tuned so that it matches the performance of a much larger naturally aspirated unit. This is equally applicable to diesel and gasoline engines.