Turbochargers are the key to the massive power current high performance UTVs produce, but like any performance technology, they come with compromises. Will electric turbochargers boost UTV performance higher than ever? Turbo lag causes delayed throttle response as the turbo builds boost. Using larger turbos for more power results in more turbo lag. Formula 1 racing car engines use electric-turbochargers to solve the lag problem, and Mercedes-AMG is bringing the technology to road cars. Eventually, electric turbos could boost UTV performance.

Electric turbos are exhaust driven, like conventional turbos, but an electric motor spins up the compressor before the exhaust drives it, so boost is available instantly, without lag.

The highlight of this innovative turbocharging system is a slim electric motor, measuring about 1.6 in, which is integrated directly on the turbocharger shaft, between the turbine wheel on the exhaust side and the compressor wheel on the fresh air side. This electronically controlled electric motor drives the compressor wheel before accepting the exhaust gas flow. The electrification of the turbocharger significantly improves response from idle speed, as well as across the entire engine speed range. Turbo lag – the delayed response of a conventional turbocharger – is eliminated by the electric motor. The result is that the combustion engine responds even more immediately to accelerator pedal input, and the entire driving character is significantly more dynamic and agile.

In addition, electrification of the turbocharger enables higher torque at low engine speeds, which also enhances agility and optimizes acceleration capability from a standstill. Even when the driver takes their foot off the accelerator orapplies the brakes, the electric turbocharger is able to maintain boost pressure at all times, so that a continuous and direct response is assured. The turbocharger can achieve speeds of up to 170,000 rpm, which enables a very high rate of air flow. It can be operated via a 48-volt on-board electrical system. The turbocharger, electric motor and power electronics are connected to the combustion engine’s cooling circuit to create an optimized temperature environment at all times.

See UTV Action’s shootout between the two fastest turbo UTVs, the Can-Am X3 X rs Turbo RR and the RZR Pro XP turbo here: https://utvactionmag.com/can-am-maverick-x3-turbo-rr-vs-polaris-rzr-pro-xp-ultimate

See more about Mercedes-AMG’s turbo tech here: https://media.mbusa.com/releases/release-9e110a76b364c518148b9c1ade05c158-innovative-solution-for-drive-system-electrification

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