Mercedes-AMG Electrifies Turbo-Charged Powertrains

Mercedes-AMG is using Formula One hybrid racing technology in its forthcoming engines applying integrating electric motors into it exhaust gas turbochargers.

The performance shop claims this resolves the conflicting goals between a small, fast-reacting turbocharger, which achieves relatively low peak performance, and a large turbocharger with a high peak performance but one which can suffer from turbo lag. Currently, solutions such as PSA’s twin-scroll chargers have sought to alleviate this problem.

Now AMG claims an electrified solution using a slim electric motor, measuring about 1½ inches, which is attached directly on the charger shaft between the turbine wheel on the exhaust side and the compressor wheel on the fresh air side. This electronically controlled electric motor drives the compressor wheel before this accepts the exhaust gas flow claiming to significantly improves immediate response from idle speed and up through the engine range.

The turbocharger achieves speeds of up to 170,000 rpm, which enables a very high rate of air flow. It can be operated via a 48-volt on-board electrical system. The turbocharger, electric motor and power electronics are connected to the combustion engine’s cooling circuit to create an optimum temperature environment at all times.

Tobias Moers, chairman of the board of management of Mercedes-AMG, said: “With this move we are strategically supplementing our modular technology and tailoring it to our performance requirements. In a first step this includes the electrified turbocharger – an example of the transfer of Formula 1 technology to the road, something with which we will take turbocharged combustion engines to a previously unattainable level of agility.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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