May 6, 2006 Antonov will demonstrate an innovative two speed supercharger at the Engine Expo in Stuttgart (Germany) next week and at Zandvoort race circuit in the Netherlands the following week using a Mercedes and Ford Mustang fitted with the high performance add-on. The Mustang will then be shipped to North America to feature in the Hot Rod Power Tour.
The two speed drive enables a Rotrex centrifugal pump supercharger to be better matched to any engine. By driving the supercharger faster at low engine speeds, 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 ability of the mechanism to operate as a passive device without the need for additional external control or hydraulics offers low cost, high efficiency and simplicity of application. The compact Antonov drive system - essentially a tiny automatic gearbox - extends the engine torque curve delivered by a centrifugal pump supercharger. This type of supercharger is in itself more compact, less complex and less expensive than a positive displacement supercharger, but in comparison cannot offer the same torque output at low engine revs. The addition of an Antonov drive system, however, extends the engine torque curve available to exceed even the performance of a positive displacement blower. In addition, the torque curve can be tuned so that a smaller displacement engine matches exactly the performance of a much larger naturally aspirated unit.
Antonov anticipates demand for the drive system will come from carmakers needing to downsize engines in pursuit of better fuel efficiency and reduced CO2 emissions. The trouble with smaller displacement engines is the loss of low end torque; hence the need to compensate through forced induction to restore the driveability of the vehicle and its engine performance characteristics. Many industry pundits consider the trend to smaller engines unavoidable in pursuit of improved powertrain efficiency and the ultimate market potential therefore could be as high as 100 million engines annually reflecting global vehicle production forecasts over the next 10 to 20 years.
A pure research and development company, Antonov expects to licence the technology to high volume clients either directly or through their Tier 1 suppliers. Antonov can manage the initial manufacture and supply of up to 10,000 units annually through its production supply partner Neue ZWL Zahnradwerk. However the plan is for much lower preliminary sales growing to around 4,000 units over the next three years. Located near Leipzig, Neue ZWL, has a history of 100 years in the manufacture of transmissions and gearbox components.
Antonov is a technology exploitation company originally created to develop the inventions of its founder, Roumen Antonov. It holds a broad intellectual property portfolio in mechanical power transmission. Though focused principally on technology for the automotive industry, due to the potential for high product volumes applications in other sectors are also being explored.