Issue: Dec 2009


BorgWarner Turbochargers Boost Performance of Natural Gas Engines from Opel and VW



BorgWarner Turbo Technology Makes CNG-Powered Vehicles Fun to Drive

by Jon Knox

BorgWarner supplies turbochargers for the Opel 1.6-liter compressed natural gas (CNG) engine as well as the VW 1.4-liter TSI EcoFuel engine, the world\'s first direct-injection turbocharged engine modified for CNG operation. Both engines achieve 150 horsepower with significant fuel economy and lower emissions.

"Worldwide, nearly eight million vehicles on the road are equipped with CNG engines. Offering the combined advantages of clean combustion with low fuel costs, global demand is expected to grow steadily over the next five years," said Roger Wood, President and General Manager, BorgWarner Turbo & Emissions Systems. "BorgWarner\'s leading turbocharging technology makes CNG-powered vehicles exciting to drive. These engines allow drivers to enjoy both fuel economy and performance."

CNG engines offer many advantages, such as producing about 70 percent less nitrous oxide (NOx) than diesel engines and about 25 percent less carbon dioxide (CO2) than gasoline engines. In addition, CNG engine emissions contain virtually no soot particles. Depending on current retail fuel prices, CNG engines can save up to 50% on fuel costs compared with a gasoline engine with the same power.*

However, previous CNG engines were slow to accelerate. Specially designed BorgWarner turbochargers boost performance for CNG engines, particularly in the lower engine speed range and at high loads, which now gives CNG engines the added advantage of performance to please today\'s drivers.

The Opel Zafira ecoFlex Turbo uses 5.1 kg of natural gas per 62 miles (100 km) and emits only 144 g/km of CO2. This approximately equates to 31.2 MPG measured on a gasoline equivalency basis. With a maximum torque of 210 Nm available from 2,300 to 5,000 rpm, the engine delivers powerful performance, accelerating from 0 to 62 mph (100km/hr) in 11.5 seconds. To lower weight and guarantee fast response, BorgWarner worked with Opel to optimize the water-cooled turbocharger by integrating the turbocharger housing in the cast outlet manifold, refining flow geometry and improving materials for longer service life.

The VW Passat TSI EcoFuel uses 4.5 kg of natural gas over a distance of 62 miles (100 km) and emits only 119 g/km of CO2. This approximately equates to 35.4 MPG measured on a gasoline equivalency basis. With a maximum speed of 130 mph (210 km/hr), the CNG-powered Passat accelerates from 0 to 62 mph (100km/hr) in 9.7 seconds. To ensure higher boost pressure ratios for natural gas operation, BorgWarner equipped the turbocharger for VW with a smaller compressor and components specially designed to optimize air delivery and boost pressure for a CNG engine. The turbocharger enables the CNG engine to develop and maintain a torque of 220 Nm, up to an engine speed of 4,800 rpm.

BorgWarner Turbo & Emissions Systems is a leading global producer of turbochargers, exhaust gas recirculation valves and other engine air management systems for passenger cars, light trucks and commercial vehicles. These systems are designed to improve fuel economy, reduce emissions and enhance vehicle performance.

Auburn Hills, Michigan-based BorgWarner Inc. (NYSE:BWA) is a product leader in highly engineered components and systems for vehicle powertrain applications worldwide. The FORTUNE 500 company operates manufacturing and technical facilities in 60 locations in 18 countries. Customers include VW/Audi, Ford, Toyota, Renault/Nissan, General Motors, Hyundai/Kia, Daimler, Chrysler, Fiat, BMW, Honda, John Deere, PSA, and MAN. The Internet address for BorgWarner is: http://www.borgwarner.com/.

TSI, Twincharger and EcoFuel are registered trademarks of Volkswagen AG or other companies of the Volkswagen Group in Germany and other countries. ecoFlex is a registered trademark of the Opel company.

* Based on CNG and gasoline cost comparisons in Germany.

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