There’s a New Turbo in Town: Continental Automotive Primed to Enter North American Turbocharger Market
AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Jan. 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — It’s “time to torque,” according to Continental, a leading supplier to the global automotive industry. After years of innovative engineering, together with European customer acceptance, the company is equipped to add the turbocharger to its North American product lineup.
Free from the constraints of legacy designs or existing production facilities, Continental’s team in Grunstadt and Regensburg, Germany began development on an improved turbocharger for gasoline engines in 2006. In October of 2011, Continental announced it would be supplying Ford with its turbochargers for the carmaker’s new engine platform in Europe. And now, Continental is promoting the robust, cutting-edge turbocharger technology in North America.
“The North American turbocharger market is a tremendous growth opportunity for our company,” said Kregg Wiggins, senior vice president, Powertrain Division, NAFTA at Continental. “Continental’s turbocharger represents a significant development for the smaller engine trend. Its robust design makes it highly reliable and able to handle extreme operating conditions.”
Continental’s new turbocharger technology combines excellent engine response and driving pleasure, with reduced fuel consumption and less CO2 emissions. Also, the primary components of the turbocharger are designed for fully automated assembly along the same axis, unlike conventional turbochargers, which require assembly in multiple stages, partly by hand. Fully-automated assembly both enhances quality and total costs.
Furthermore, Continental optimized the new turbocharger’s thermodynamics to support the overall engine performance and efficiency requirements by applying advanced wheel designs for both the compressor and the turbine.
“Thanks to its fully automated assembly, enhanced thermodynamic efficiency and completely new design, our turbocharger provides a tailor-made solution for environmentally friendly driving,” explained August Hofbauer, director, application engineering and sales, turbo systems, NA. “Continental’s cutting-edge turbocharger technology will make it possible for modern internal combustion engines to remain competitive with alternative engines over the long term with respect to efficiency, sustainability, scalability, performance and affordability.”
The successful collaboration with Ford on its new engine platform, announced in October 2011, has resulted in a turbocharger design that meets the particular technical challenges posed by small, downsized engines. The three-cylinder, direct injection gasoline engines will generate 74 and 88 kilowatts from a displacement of just one liter. The turbochargers, slated for installation initially in the European versions of the 2012 Ford Focus and future models including the Ford C-Max and B-Max, will be manufactured by Schaeffler, Continental’s partner in this venture, at its production plant in Lahr, Germany. The site will have the capacity for up to two million turbochargers a year.
Continental focused initially on developing a small turbocharger based on market demand for small, downsized turbocharged gasoline engines that could sustainably reduce fuel consumption. However, Continental’s turbocharger design is both scalable and flexible, and can easily be adapted to larger gasoline or diesel engines.
In North America, Continental sees its turbocharger technology as a key element in assisting automakers meet future CAFE requirements while preserving the performance that North American drivers demand from their vehicles. Hofbauer notes that gasoline turbo engine production in North America will exceed two million units by 2017, which is a significant growth from the 500,000 engines forecasted for 2012. With that said, Hofbauer’s team is busy introducing Continental turbocharger technology to the major automakers in Detroit.
With sales of euro 26 billion in 2010, Continental is among the leading automotive suppliers worldwide. As a supplier of brake systems, systems and components for powertrains and chassis, instrumentation, infotainment solutions, vehicle electronics, tires and technical elastomers, Continental contributes to enhanced driving safety and global climate protection. Continental is also an expert partner in networked automobile communication. Continental currently has approximately 164,000 employees in 45 countries.
SOURCE Continental Automotive