Honeywell Turbo Technologies Takes on Challenge to Help Shrink Engines

As the world's leading developer of turbochargers, Honeywell is helping automakers improve fuel efficiency and reduce tailpipe emissions without sacrificing power

 

Confronted with a global recession, sluggish sales, a worldwide credit crisis and volatile fuel prices, the world's automakers are focused on building cars that will both appeal to drivers and make economic sense.

In most cases, that means finding ways to squeeze higher levels of performance from smaller, more efficient engines. As the world's leading developer of turbochargers, Honeywell is playing a critical role as car companies strive to improve fuel efficiency and reduce tailpipe emissions without sacrificing the power that drivers still crave.

"Turbochargers provide an enormous benefit because they enable manufacturers to shrink engine size and weight, while maintaining drivability," said Alex Ismail, president and CEO of Honeywell's Transportation Systems business.

In fact, compared to engines without turbochargers, state-of-the-art turbocharged-engines deliver between 20 and 40 percent improvement in fuel efficiency, and 25 percent improvement in torque and acceleration, Ismail added.

"In Western Europe, where more than 60 percent of vehicles are now turbocharged, drivers get 40 miles per gallon (mpg) on average compared to about 25 mpg in the U.S., where turbo penetration is just 5 percent," he said. "We see excellent opportunities to expand turbo penetration in North America as well as in India, China, Eastern Europe, and other developing regions of the world."

Automakers throughout Europe, Asia, and North America are using turbochargers to gain more power from smaller engines. For example, Turbo Technologies expects to launch its new micro turbo on the extremely small engine that will power the diesel version of the Tata Nano, which is scheduled to roll off the assembly line in 2010. Billed as "the people's car," the Nano will sell for about $2,500 and get more than 50 mpg.

As a key component of the Ford EcoBoost technology, a Honeywell turbocharger will help the V-6 engine on the 2010 Lincoln MKS perform like a large V-8, with 355 horsepower and 350 foot-pounds of torque, while achieving 25 mpg on the highway. Ford plans to equip 90 percent of its North American fleet with EcoBoost engine or transmission technology by the 2013 model year.

While turbo-diesel passenger cars and light trucks are already common in Western Europe and other regions in the world, they're rarely seen in the U.S. Developing a high-performance, competitively priced gasoline turbocharger has been a top priority for Turbo Technologies engineers in recent years.

"Our progress with gasoline technologies and the major contracts we've received from Ford, BMW, and other key customers are proof that our significant research and development investments and hard work are paying off today, and will continue to deliver value for Honeywell and our customers down the road," he added.

For more information, visit Honeywell Turbo Technologies website.