Micky and The Motorcars Live at Billy Bob’s Texas – “Bloodshot” Copyright 2009 Smith Music Group.
The first time I ever heard of twin charging (using both a turbocharger and a supercharger on the same motor) was probably back in year 2000. At that time I was very interested in performance for the Toyota Celica and naturally I also read a lot about its sister cars (that shared some of the same engines) such as the Camry and the MR2.
One of the most interesting aftermarket parts I ran across at the time was the HKS turbo kit for the 4AGZE powered 1st generation mr2. The 4agze (for those that are not familiar with Toyota engines) is a peppy 170 horsepower 1.6 liter engine powered by the Toyota SC-12 roots type supercharger. On this car Toyota used an electromagnetically clutched supercharger that could be disabled during low power requirements such as cruising, and engaged when the user demands it.
One of the most important parts of the HKS kit is the bypass valve. This valve was used to direct air from the supercharger to the engine at lower rpm/flow points. Once the rpm’s rise, and the engine starts to demand more air, and the turbocharger is fully spooled, the valve switches over gradually till the turbocharger alone is feeding the engine while the supercharger is completely bypassed. The twin-charged MR2’s were rumored to break the 300hp mark in some cases, depending on the final boost level and the supporting modifications, and this level of power for a 1.6 litre motor at the time was quiet astounding.
The theory behind this kind of system is to use a small positive displacement (roots style) supercharger. Supercharger performance efficiency is typically at its highest at lower engine and supercharger rpm’s (for example from idle to 4000 rpm’s). Above 4000 rpm’s the supercharger’s performance and efficiency starts to drop, the horsepower required to drive it starts to rise exponentially, and the air temperature coming out of the supercharger starts to rise dramatically limiting performance.
On the other hand, using a generously sized turbocharger will allow us to feed the engine efficiently with cooler air (than that from an overworked supercharger) and maintain high rpm performance. The problem with using a larger turbocharger is that a generously sized turbocharger typically doesn’t spool before 3000 to 4000 rpm’s giving us a limited power band and thus providing no performance boost at lower rpm’s.
The idea of twin charging is to use both a supercharger and a turbocharger to have each charger do what it does best, have the supercharger boost the motor for low end torque, and as it runs out of steam, the turbocharger comes online to carry us through to redline.
There are three aspects to these types of systems that make them prohibitive to most tuners:
1. Cost and complexity: Having a complete supercharger system as well as a complete turbocharger system on the same vehicle is a lot of money to spend and a lot of parts to deal with and diagnose in case something does go wrong.…