Independent test results confirm Torotrak V-Charge variable drive mechanical supercharger enables next generation engine downsizing and right sizing

1.0-litre GTDI engine equipped with a V-Charge system matches the performance of a 1.5-litre unit, with driveability improved; demonstrator vehicle to commence programme of visits for test drives to pan-European vehicle manufacturers and Tier One suppliers, following debut at 2016 Aachen Colloquium.

10th October 2016 . Independent on-engine test results have verified the simulation predictions that a V-Charge variable drive mechanical supercharger enables more ambitious levels of engine downsizing. Compared to a current 1.5L GTDI engine producing an impressive 240 Nm torque – a 1.0L GTDI engine of the same EcoBoost family outperformed the 1.5L version when fitted with a V-Charge unit.

The tests were carried out by the University of Bath Powertrain and Vehicle Research Centre (PVRC), using a Ford 1.0L EcoBoost engine, in a part-government funded programme. The 1.0L engine with V-Charge delivered 250 Nm torque, corresponding to a BMEP (Brake Mean Effective Pressure) of 31 bar. Transient performance was also significantly improved compared to the original 1.0L GTDI engine, which in production form is fitted with a single fixed geometry turbocharger. The superior transient response of the V-Charge equipped engine, particularly at lower engine speeds, results in significantly improved driveability even compared to the 1.5L unit.

A Ford Focus powered by a 1.0L EcoBoost engine fitted with the V-Charge system will be participating in the ‘ride and drive’ programme at the Aachen Colloquium Automobile and Engine Technology congress, which takes place in Germany from 10th– 12thOctober. The event is the largest of its kind in Europe and this year more than 65 companies will be exhibiting to approaching 2,000 participants.

Following the Aachen Colloquium, the V-Charge demonstrator vehicle will begin a series of test drives with global vehicle manufacturers and Tier One automotive suppliers in Germany, France, Belgium and the UK. If you are interested in driving the vehicle please get in touch with the business development team.

“Next generation downsizing and downspeeding remain the industry’s best near-term solutions for reducing carbon emissions,” explained Torotrak Group’s Business Development Manager, Richard Dunne. “This requires two-stage pressure charging with the second-stage turbo sized to give maximum power, leaving a big challenge for the first-stage unit to ensure good driveability and transient response. It also requires the first-stage unit to continue operating higher up the engine speed range, before handing over to the large turbo. The results from the University of Bath testing demonstrate that V-Charge does this more effectively than other current boosting solutions.”

Torotrak believes that both 48V electrical systems and positive displacement Roots type superchargers will struggle to meet the demands of future ‘second generation’ downsized engines. V-Charge has been designed to deliver continuous air power capability of up to 17kW achieving the first-stage boosting requirements on even the most aggressively downsized engines.

V-Charge uses a traditional centrifugal compressor, instead of a positive displacement Roots type blower, reducing power consumption, improving efficiency and requiring less package space. Packaging is also simplified by the quiet operation of V-Charge, eliminating the need for soundproofing. Test results for NVH show the sound pressure level of a V-Charge installation is up to 98.5% lower than a Roots compressor system.

Because V-Charge is driven by a Torotrak continuously variable transmission (CVT) with a wide ratio spread of 10:1, the compressor speed can be set independently of engine speed to deliver the right amount of air flow for every condition, without the need for a wasteful bypass. The CVT can change from minimum to maximum ratio in less than 400ms, and the actuation power during this rapid ratio change is less than 20W.

Although tested on a gasoline application V-Charge could, according to Dunne, achieve similar gains on a downsized diesel engine and bring additional emissions benefits: “The availability of air on demand will allow air-fuel ratios to be more fully optimised to minimise NOx and particulate output, especially during transient events,” he concluded.

About Torotrak

Torotrak (LSE: TRK) is an innovator and supplier of low carbon vehicle technologies, focussing on mechanical solutions that increase efficiency and reduce CO2emissions in vehicles. These include the V-Charge variable-drive supercharger, a range of Torotrak gearless traction drive transmissions, and the Flybrid energy recovery system, which uses a mechanically-driven flywheel to capture kinetic energy during braking and efficiently return it to the wheels. The company’s engineering team works with proven, global tier one technology partners to provide a validated route from prototypes to production. Customers include major vehicle manufacturers and their suppliers in the light duty, heavy duty and off-highway sectors as well as leading motorsport teams.


Media Contact
Paul Chadderton at Market Engineering                   
+44 (0)1295 277050

Torotrak Group Contact
Sophie Wragg, Marketing Associate
+44 (0) 1327 855190

Contact for Driving the V-Charge Demonstrator Vehicle
Richard Dunne, Business Development Manager
+44 (0) 1327 855190

Images can be downloaded from our   newsroom  without registration.  
Alternatively, please contact


About Us

Market Engineering is Europe’s leading specialist marketing communications agency for the automotive technology sector. Founded in 1990 we have a track record of driving client reputation, sales growth and brand value that spans more than twenty years. Our team of qualified engineers and experienced communication professionals provide a unique level of technical accuracy, market understanding and sector-specific expertise that is unmatched by less focused agencies. Additionally, our approach is always strategic and marketing driven. Basing all our public relations and marketing communications activities on this essential foundation allows us to develop compelling and contagious messages and then accurately, powerfully and cost-effectively communicate them. Our clients comprise many highly respected global organisations including: Vehicle manufacturersTier-1 and 2 automotive suppliersAftermarket component and service providersMotorsport teams, manufacturers and suppliersEngineering consultanciesProviders of specialist automotive products and services including logistics and recruitmentWe are proud to say that many clients have been with Market Engineering for more than a decade, a strong testament to the quality of our work and our commitment to continuous improvement.