If Eaton has its way, we could see OEMs in India adopting supercharging on their future engines. Overdrive reports that Eaton is developing a small supercharger for the Indian market that will enable carmakers to offer smaller supercharged engines that will be high on power and fuel economy.
If you analyze the current trend in India, most engines are either naturally aspirated or turbocharged. While turbocharging provides significant performance boost and fuel economy benefits, it creates a horrendous turbo lag which compromises acceleration. Supercharging, on the other hand, provides similar benefits as turbocharging but without compromising acceleration.
Superchargers perform the same duties as turbochargers but with a twist. Where turbochargers are powered by exhaust gases, superchargers are powered mechanically by belt- or chain-drive from the engine's crankshaft. As a result, superchargers by-pass turbo lag phenomenon because the power to compress air is fed from the crankshaft and not from exhaust gases.
Eaton is targeting engines between 1.1-1.5 litre capacity for this new supercharger. The component maker has started trials with a few automakers that cannot be named. This could mean that automakers will be able to fit smaller, more powerful engines in bigger cars thus saving on cost without compromising on performance. Additionally, Eaton is also targeting CNG powered cars because superchargers are a perfect solution to counter the drop in power in CNG cars.
There are hardly any mainstream cars in India that employ supercharging. The Micra that is manufactured at Nissan’s Oragadam plant uses a supercharger on the 1.2L engine. However this model is only exported to Europe and the supercharger unit is also not manufactured in India.
If the new supercharger is successful in the testing phase, Eaton plans to manufacture it at either its Nashik or Ahmednagar facilities.