Posted Thursday, September 1, 2022
Turbocharging as a source of increasing power and efficiency has been known almost from the very moment the internal combustion engine appeared. But, having previously been an attribute of exclusively racing or GT cars, it has recently gone to the masses. Now it’s already in the rules, when some multi-liter atmosphere, becoming history, gives way to a smaller unit equipped with a turbine. Even the Ford Mustang – an American icon – received a turbo-four with a volume of just over two liters.
And while others dispute which motor is the winner in the Turbocharged vs. Supercharged battle, we’ll consider the rarest these days – the twin-charged engine. Let’s find out whether it is the best of both worlds, how it works, and what are its pros and cons.
In 2006, an upgraded engine with a dual air injection system – a turbine and a mechanical supercharger – saw the light of day. This was reflected in the designations – the Turbocharged was replaced by Twincharged (double boost) and received a TSI abbreviation – Twincharged Stratified Injection.
Since 2008, the line has included motors without an additional injection circuit, equipped only with a turbine. In this regard, another designations change was required – the TSI abbreviation, which has already become familiar, remained on the nameplates, but its decoding now looks like Turbo Stratified Injection.
Accordingly, today the TSI engine is a power unit with a turbocharging system and positive fuel injection, with or without an additional air injection circuit. The differences between TSI and TFSI are preserved only on the nameplates. In fact, these are the same engines, but for more conservative Audi cars, they also retained the traditional designation.
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Multiple companies produce twincharger kits for cars like the Ford Mustang, Subaru Impreza WRX, Toyota MR2, and Mini Cooper S. Volvo produces a twincharged inline-four engine. There are also stock models with twin-turbo, such as:
The main feature of most power units from this line is a double air injection system. It has a standard turbocharger, driven by the flow of exhaust gases, and a mechanical supercharger, belt-driven from the crankshaft.
The dual air injection system operates in several modes (depending on the engine speed):
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A direct fuel injection system (Stratified Injection in the manufacturer’s designation) is implemented for TSI Skoda, Volkswagen, Seat, and TFSI Audi engines. In fact, it is an analog of the GDI system (Gasoline Direct Injection), first used on a car by the Japanese manufacturer Mitsubishi.
The main advantage of the most progressive system for gasoline engines is a significant reduction in fuel consumption (up to 15%) with a decrease in the concentration of hazardous substances in the exhaust.
TSI engines have received awards as the best engine for seven years. This comes with many benefits:
At the same time, both car owners and the Indy Auto Man service center specialists talk about the characteristic shortcomings of power units. These include:
The main problems of the first series TSI engines are associated with the timing chain. They are caused by the low reliability of the tensioner and the stretching and wear of the chain itself. As a result, if you do not notice the signs of a malfunction in time the chain jumps the teeth, and the valves stick into the pistons. You will need to replace the cylinder head, and such a repair of the TSI engine is comparable in cost to buying and installing a new unit.
If you are going to buy a used car, a twin charged engine may be not the best option because of its complexity and increased weight. It also requires numerous components to feed both supercharger and turbocharger with oil, water, and air. It’s potential is limited.
Stand-alone superchargers can produce more power, while turbochargers typically have the lowest cost, weight, and complexity. Of course, such cars also have their pros and cons and may have a turbo lag. However, the benefits of a turbocharger are too great to ignore: they are more affordable, relatively simple, and widely available in:
They offer an excellent balance of response, performance, and efficiency.
If you are looking for a specific engine type or have doubts about whether to choose turbocharging, supercharging, or a twincharging, visit Indy Auto Man in Indianapolis to get answers from our most qualified sales assistants.