Outstanding Debut: Continental Makes Successful Entry into New Market Segment with Turbocharger for Ford
REGENSBURG, Germany, July 26, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — With the new turbocharger for gasoline engines, Continental has successfully expanded its product portfolio – as proven by the extremely positive response to the award-winning 1.0-liter EcoBoost gasoline engine from Ford. In its first full month of sales, this highly efficient three-cylinder engine – which has been available in the Ford Focus since April – was ordered by almost a quarter of Ford Focus buyers in Europe, with this figure even reaching almost 30% in Germany and Great Britain. And the engine received the highest accolade at this year’s International Engine of the Year Awards. The jury comprising 76 motoring journalists from 35 countries voted the new Ford engine “International Engine of the Year 2012,” awarding it the highest ever score in this prestigious competition’s 13-year history. The experts also awarded this innovative three-cylinder engine first prize in the categories “Best New Engine” and “Best Engine Under 1.0 Liter.” This competition rewards the level of innovation in new engine developments and technology as well as aspects such as drivability, performance, economy and smooth running characteristics.
“We would like to congratulate Ford on this impressive achievement and we are of course delighted that our turbocharger with its completely new design has made such an important contribution,” said Udo Schwerdel, Head of Continental’s turbocharger product line. “Thanks to this highly cooperative and successful collaboration with Ford, we have designed a turbocharger that meets the technical challenges posed by small, downsized engines.” For the Ford Focus, the innovative 1-liter engine is available with two different power outputs (74 kW and 92 kW). From the fall onward, it will also be available in the new Ford B-MAX MPV. This year will also see its introduction in the Ford C-MAX/Grand C-MAX range.
The new turbocharger from Continental is characterized by its outstanding thermodynamics and the resulting high level of efficiency, both with regard to the turbines and compressors. “The optimized thermodynamics along with the minimization of moving masses and the resulting reduction in mass moment of inertia give our turbocharger superb response characteristics,” said Udo Schwerdel. In the exhaust flow, the turbocharger turbine rotates at speeds of up to 240,000 revolutions per minute – or 4,000 revolutions per second. A wastegate valve prevents the charge pressure from increasing excessively at high engine outputs, while a compressor-side diverter valve ensures that the already compressed air does not blow back into the compressor housing when the valve closes.
Dawn of a new generation of turbochargers
While conventional turbochargers sometimes need to be assembled manually in multiple stages, the main components of the new turbocharger from Continental are designed in such a way that they can be assembled fully automatically on one axis. This not only ensures high quality and robustness, but also delivers cost benefits. The new turbochargers are manufactured by Schaeffler, Continental’s partner in this venture, at its site in Lahr, which has capacity for up to two million units a year.
In response to the increasing global demand for small, downsized engines with significantly reduced consumption and emissions, Continental is focusing initially on the development of a small turbocharger. But the concept is so scalable and flexible that it can be easily adapted to other engine sizes and outputs, thereby forming the basis for a whole new generation of innovative turbochargers “made by Continental”.
With sales of EUR30.5 billion in 2011, 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 167,000 employees in 46 countries.
The Automotive Group with its three divisions Chassis & Safety (sales of approximately EUR6.5 billion in 2011, 33,000 employees), Powertrain (sales of approximately EUR5.8 billion in 2011, 31,000 employees) and Interior (sales of approximately EUR6.1 billion in 2011, 32,000 employees) achieved sales of approximately EUR18.4 billion in 2011. The Automotive Group is present in more than 170 locations worldwide. As a partner to the automotive and commercial vehicle industry, it develops and produces innovative products and systems for a modern automotive future in which cars provide individual mobility and driving pleasure consistent with driving safety, environmental responsibility and cost-efficiency.
The Chassis & Safety division develops and produces electronic and hydraulic brake and chassis control systems, sensors, driver assistance systems, air bag electronics and sensors, washer systems and electronic air suspension systems. Its core competence is the integration of active and passive driving safety into ContiGuard®. The Powertrain division integrates innovative and efficient system solutions for vehicle powertrains. The comprehensive range of products includes gasoline and diesel injection systems, engine management and transmission control, including sensors and actuators, as well as fuel supply systems and components and systems for hybrid and electric drives. Information management is at the very heart of the Interior division, which provides a range of products that includes instrument clusters and multifunctional displays, control units, electronic car-entry systems, tire-monitoring systems, radios, multimedia and navigation systems, climate control systems, telematics solutions and cockpits.