A European automotive technology company, Antonov, has decided to debut its unique 2-speed supercharger drive system at the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show. Antonov’s U.S. distributor Wheel to Wheel Powertain will be presenting the new technology with two different vehicles. They will be using the Ford Mustang GT at the show proving grounds where they will demonstrate the system’s performance enhancing characteristics. They will also be displaying a Hummer H3 that has been integrated with the patented technology.
The Wheel to Wheel performance product devolpment manager, Brad Shantry, said, “We have yet to put the Hummer on our chassis dynamometer, but given our experience with the Mustang, we anticipate the 2-speed supercharger drive system will similarly give a massive boost to power and torque up to the mid range engine speed.”
“The enhanced engine performance and increased power and torque will be particularly useful on a medium size 4-wheel drive sport utility vehicle. I think the system would also benefit other SUVs, because of their often less than favourable power to weight ratios. Also the ability of the Antonov shift mechanism to operate as a self-contained passive device, without the need for additional external controls, offers the benefit of high mechanical efficiency.”
Antonov has decided to use Gautam Pathak, the SCCA national road racing licence holder, to test the rear wheel drive car. Automotive journalists and road test editors will be riding with Pathak has he tests the vehicle. Pathak, who is the director of product devolpment with the exhaust specialist company Corsa, has many years of driving experience that he learned at many different test tracks.
He has also been able to improve his skills as a vehicle dynamics engineer with Ford and Visteon. “The Antonov Mustang is a must see for power enthusiasts because it is the first example of this interesting new performance technology,” said Pathak. “It reduces the elapsed time and the extra acceleration increases the standing quarter mile terminal speed from 101mph to 112mph.”
The 2-speed supercharger drive system has been installed to share the power steering bracket of the I5 engine that is in the Hummer. When it came to the Mustang we discovered that Wheel to Wheel Powertrain was able to install the 2-speed drive and the Rotrex supercharger underneath the intake manifold. They did this so that the system would be able to eaaily fit into the valley of the V8 engine. The cold air induction system was custom manufactured by Wheel to Wheel as well and is able to feature an aluminum intake manifold with five internally mounted liquid-to-air intercoolers.
Antonov chief executive John Moore, said that, “The performance boost in the Mustang at low engine revs is significant and the way it’s been calibrated for this high performance application is appropriate and easily felt by the driver. The Antonov drive system literally does feel like another gearbox. It just happens to be located where you least expect it; as part of the front end engine breathing system. We are confident of a similar performance boost for the Hummer.”
“In the Mustang, Antonov’s planetary gearset automatically engages a 1.36-to-1 step-up ratio in the first half of the engine rev band during hard acceleration,” said Shantry. “The higher speed of the supercharger impellor increases power and torque to the rear wheels by an impressive 58 per cent at engine speeds up to 4,200rpm. We have the same step-up ratio in the Hummer and anticipate a similar percentage increase in performance.”
Antonov’s goal in building this 2-speed is to make powertrain applications more compact and effective. According to the series production, which is geared to the U.S. tuner market, they are being able to meet that goal and are proving how effective it really is. “The experience we’re gaining from these high performance installations is proving invaluable,” said Moore.
“It’s a tough market and our drive system needs to be pretty robust to survive. For the US tuner market the 2-speed supercharger drive simply does a phenomenal job of boosting vehicle performance, but there are additional mainstream powertrain applications we’re actively pursuing, where the primary aim is to calibrate the system to enhance efficiency and reduce carbon emissions.”
Eager to do more, Antonov is making plans for the compace 2-speed supercharger drive system to replace the larger positive displacement compressors in a high volume production engine. Their main goal for this is to create extremely tight packaging and to closely match the supercharger to the correct engine. They also beleive that they can improve the ability of a vehicle’s alternator and air conditioning while the vehicle is idling by applying the powertrain into fron end accessory drives.
The desire among vehicle owners to purchase fuel cell and hybrid electric vehicles sets the need for more forced induction systems and centrifugal superchargers. Consumers are also more interested in useing the 2-speed drives in in concurrence with alternating current electric motors, which for them means a lower cost alternative to permanent magnet motors in electric vehicles.
The Antonov Mechanical Module (AMM) allows for a small stand alone, self controlling multi-speed drive system that can be created for 2, 3 and 4-speed applications. While it is being designed you will be able to adjust the shift points to the engine speed that you prefer. It is completely self-changing with no electronic, hydraulic or pneumatic control systems.
The newest Rotrex C30 and C38 superchargers are able to be integrated with the drive system allowing the vehicle to suffer minimal gear losses with no power depletion. This is a very good thing because it will improve high transmission efficiency, compact size, and moderate cost.
“These US applications are strategically important for the company as they address one of the world’s largest markets for tuner products,” said Moore. “It enables Antonov’s drive system to be released into the marketplace as a proven technology and underpins our discussions with carmakers interested in high volume global applications for addressing more fundamental carbon emission issues.”
Antonov is preparing for European motoring journalists to appraise the unit beside a Mercedes. Already in the UK the Chevrolet Lacetti demonstration vehicle has been equipped with a fully-integrated series production unit. It was installed by Antonov and their manufacturing partner Neue ZWL Zahnradwerk Leipzig GmbH.