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Antonov to Demonstrate Two-Speed Supercharger Drive System; An Enabler for Downsizing

Antonov 2-speed supercharger drive.

Antonov, an automotive technology company, will demonstrate the world’s first two-speed supercharger drive system to enter series production next week at the Engine Expo exhibition in Stuttgart, Germany.

The Antonov Mechanical Module two-speed drives a Rotrex centrifugal pump supercharger faster at low engine speeds, thereby delivering a higher boost ratio to provide additional low speed engine torque.

As engine speed rises the unit—essentially a tiny automatic gearbox—automatically shifts up to enable the supercharger to continue to operate effectively at higher engine speeds.

The device controls the shift with the use of centrifugal force and axial thrust generated by helical gears under load. Therefore, they can work as autonomous self-adapting modules without the need for hydraulic actuation or electronic control.

The ability of the mechanism to operate as a passive device without the need for additional external control or hydraulics offers low cost, high efficiency and simplicity of application.

The centrifugal pump supercharger is more compact, less complex and less expensive than a positive displacement supercharger, but cannot offer the same torque output at low engine revs.

The Antonov drive system, however, extends the engine torque curve supported by the centrifugal pump supercharger to exceed even the performance of a positive displacement blower. In addition, the torque curve can be tuned so that a smaller displacement engine matches exactly the performance of a much larger naturally aspirated unit.

While the first commercial demonstration application of the system is in two high-performance vehicles—a Mercedes and Ford Mustang—the high-volume potential for the device lies in its ability to enable engine downsizing, opening up the application of superchargers to mainstream vehicles.

Antonov anticipates demand for the drive system will come from carmakers needing to downsize engines in pursuit of better fuel efficiency and reduced CO2 emissions. One trouble with smaller displacement engines is the loss of low-end torque; hence the need to compensate through forced induction to restore the driveability of the vehicle and its engine performance characteristics.

Antonov is initially introducing the device into the US tuner market—exposing the first production units to a tough performance engine environment and, in many instances, aggressive track racing conditions.

Our tactic of selling to the world’s largest market for tuner products is strategically important, particularly while we are in discussion with vehicle manufacturers and tier 1 suppliers interested in high-volume applications. It shows OEMs that we are confident enough to launch the variable drive into the industry’s toughest marketplace to prove this is fully developed and readily available technology. We have experienced strong interest and have already supplied units to OEM clients for assessment and development trials.

—John Moore, chief executive of Antonov

A research and development company, Antonov expects to licence the technology to high-volume clients either directly or through their Tier 1 suppliers. Antonov can manage the initial manufacture and supply of up to 10,000 units annually through its production supply partner Neue ZWL Zahnradwerk.

The current sales plan is for far lower preliminary sales growing to around 4,000 units over the next three years.

Antonov will also have its compact 6-speed automatic transmission system for front wheel drive passenger cars on display in Stuttgart. In January this year, Antonov announced an agreement to develop this transmission with Great Wall Motor Company Limited.

Antonov is also embroiled in litigation against Toyota for the Japanese company’s alleged infringement of Antonov patents in the Prius. (Earlier post.)


Bud Johns

Another company trying to sue Toyota over the Prius....anyway, great idea. Anytime you can downsize the engine without sacrifing performance you have a winner. Less weight, friction, on and on.


sounds cool to me. apparently, the idea of two-speed superchargers was used frequently on prop airplanes, but require very precise, expensive components.

it sounds like it may obviate the VW twincharger concept before it gets a chance to get big. of course, the twincharger will still have an advantage in the 5000+ rpm range, where even a two-speed supercharger starts to run out of steam. but, honestly, who drives w/ their engine at over 5000 rpm for more than a few minutes every year?

does anyone know if the mustang reffered to is the new mustang cobra or just anotonov's test car?


wheel 2 wheel perfomance will be the US distributor. they sell single-speed Rotrex brand superchargers through their online store at

no info about the two-speed version yet.

their current systems are for big power increases that naturally give no information about changes in fuel economy. we can safely assume that for more power, more fuel is needed, as evidenced by the fact that the kits {starting around $3k} come with bigger fuel injectors.

i wrote to them. i'll post any info they send me, if it looks interesting


Hmmmm...seems like a turbocharger is a better bet for increased fuel economy, since it uses waste heat in the exhaust, as opposed to being a mechanically driven parasitic load, which I assume this is. Low end torque can be addressed with various enhancements.


You still have higher exhaust pressure to contend with with a turbo. Centrifugal compressors have no more parasitic loss than turbos do... it's the ancient roots style blowers that are worthless parsitic piles of crap :)

Reguarding the above comment about loss over 5000rpm... how do you know? It entirely depends on how it is setup, and how far the gear change ratio is between the 2 speeds in the SC. It seems like blatant assumption to me.


Different purposes require different engines. For semi-racing applications, when driver always keep RPM high, turbocharger is king. For instant burst of power during every day commute supercharger is best (by the way almost universally root type blower) –my personal preference. For that application Antonov two speed supercharges sounds great. But for average use by average driver force induction engines are less efficient overall, no matter what are the numbers during governmental testing cycles. That is exactly the reason why force induction engines are used only on performance oriented cars. Naturally, this applies only for gasoline engines, for diesel turbocharging is always great.


More patent info about Antonov




Rafael Seidl

Ash -

superchargers are driven by the crankshaft and as such always represent parasitic loads. Centrifugal blowers have better efficiency than other types in a certain operating region. The problem is that gasoline engines running at lamda = 1 for emissions control only need very little airflow at low RPM and at low loads. The ratio between full throttle and idling is about 75 to 1.

Some have suggested using a combination of fixed planetary gears (15:1) and a small CVT to ensure the charger can always operate at high efficiency, but such a system would be bulky and expensive. The Antonov design represents a cheaper if imperfect alternative.

Roots blowers are often used because they increase pressure without also increasing density (i.e. air mass). This avoids excessive heating of the charge, so you can get by without an intercooler. This is cheap only if your fuel is (relatively) cheap, as in race car operation. However, VW has recently combined a small detachable roots compressor with a fairly large turbocharger for high dynamics and low fuel consumption accross the entire engine map.

Note that it might be possible to combine a couple of suitably sized Antonov compressors in series with efficient intercoolers to feed highly compressed charge to an Oy two-stroke engine. That design has the piston expel burnt gas during the upstroke; the inlet valve is opened just before TDC, the fresh charge rapidly mixed with directly injected fuel and ignited immediately after the inlet valve closes.


A small CVT? Try here:


A turbo/supercharged design is a also an expensive solution too when you think it has a supercharger, drive clutch, control valves, a turbo, dump valves, associated intercooling and it still doesn't allow stop/start or any form of regen...

Don't forget that when comparing turbo and supercharger parasitic loads that turbine work in a turbo isn't for free: pre-turbine pressure, especially with a small sized for high response turbine match, can rise as high as 3bar (abs. That's a lot of pumping work to be performed there...

So turbos aren't free of parasitic loadings either.




If this could go mainstream and make a 1.0L or smaller engine perform like a 1.6 or larger it would be a great thing.

Rafael Seidl

Ruaraidh -

in a turbocharged four-stroke engine, the increased back pressure from the turbine is overcompensated by the increased pressure from the compressor. The scavenging loss typical of an NA engine becomes a scavenging gain, improving fuel efficiency by 10-15% at high load.

The problem, especially with gasoline engines that operate at an equivalence ratio of lambda=1 to meet emissions, is that the turbo is only effective above 2500-3500 RPM depending on layout and torque load. At low RPM, maximum available torque is poor (turbo hole).

New strategies such as stratified fuel injection could overcome this but NOx aftertreatment becomes expensive unless HCCI combustion is used (not viable yet).

VW has plugged the turbo hole with a supercharger that is disengaged as the turbo takes over in the middle RPM range.

Audi has studied plugging the turbo hole with a mild hybrid based on ultracap storage.


You're not right there chap I'm afraid.

The balance between turbine back pressure and compressor boost (up to 1bar typ) is only positive at very low speeds. After that point the turbine back pressure (which can be up to 3bar) becomes a parasitic load just as a supercharger does. The only difference is that it does not need to pass through the cranktrain and directly affects the engine as pumping losses. The result is the same though.

I'm not sure why you equate engines operating at near stoich makes turbocharging less effective? Operating nearer stoich increases EGT which increases turbne work which improves boost at low speed not derogates it. I can think of no modern European turbo GDI or otherwise that doesn't spool until 2.5-3.5krpm. They would not sell. Most turbos spool sub 2k in Europe these days. I think you're referring to turbine matches more normal in Japanese high revving turbos petrol engines.

Running cleanly does not affect turbo response, you need to check your facts here.

No again I'm afraid, stratified combustion can help boost but it doesn't need to feature lean exhuast lamda and thus necessitate lean aftertreatment. The main boost spool up advantages come from injecting stratified lean and burning that. You then post inject on the exhaust stroke to add energy to the exhaust gases and raise the overall lambda of the burnt gases back to 1. Result improved spool up and a no need for lean emissions aftertreatment.

The VW Golf twincharger is there to reduce the hole that results from running a turbo match that gives a 1,4 engine the output of a 2.0l not from a hole resulting from the reasons you give. This is downsizing and a very complex way to do it.

There are other ways as you suggest eg mild hybrid but you can also use a SuperGen as I posted above. This gives stop/start/mild hybrid assist as well as fully variable boosting.

Mike Peter

hi my name Is Mike Peter and i am intereted In knwing hoe much this things cost.pls get back to me.


Antonov Unveils First Two Speed Supercharger
Text & Photos courtesy Antonov plc
Worlds first enters series production
The world’s first two speed supercharger drive system to enter series production will be demonstrated by Antonov, the automotive technology company, at the Engine Expo exhibition at Stuttgart in Germany next week. The following week, the racing driver Peter Kox will demonstrate the technology at the Zandvoort race circuit in the Netherlands.

And see the results:


Antonov has given on the 16th and 17th may 2006 a demonstration with a Ford Mustang and a Chevrolet 1.8 ltr. Both cars where build with a combined Rotrex/Antonov AMM 2-speed step up supercharger.

On the URL above all movies who are made at race circuit Zandvoort (The Netherlands) concerning the driving performance off both cars.

Then folder “foto & film Galerie”
Then folder “AVA 2006”

And more:
http://www.antonovforum.com (discussions about the Antonov technology)
http://members.lycos.nl/magpie69/Antonovpatents.htm (About all the Antanov patents and historie of the Antonov company and much more information).


Some reactions.
What the press writes of the demonstration days:

Demonstration of Antonov’s first commercial product: the geared supercharger
Yesterday we had the opportunity to be some of the first to experience Antonov’s two speed supercharger at Holland’s Zandvoort race circuit. A number of vehicles were present and whilst the Ford Mustang was the most thrilling the Chevrolet Lacetti (a rebadged Daewoo) was certainly the most impressive.

The Chevrolet has a 1.8 litre engine (just like my Golf 1.8). However, the torque and power felt
very different, in fact much like that of a 2.3 litre. For example, the car was able to break traction when going into second gear (even with four people in the car!) and we were also able to pull out through corners in third gear (instead of second) due to the large amount of torque at low revolutions.

This ability to provide decent performance with a smaller engine is becoming an increasingly hot topic with auto manufacturers, especially in the wake of high oil prices and tighter emissions controls. In fact, VW have recently announced a diesel engine with makes use of both a supercharger and a turbocharger in order to provide decent performance with a smaller engine at
all engine speeds whilst minimising emissions (such as the smog caused by turbo diesels accelerating at low turbo pressures).

We view the VW system as a highly complex and expensive solution as there have to be complex control mechanisms to decide when best to de-couple (or re-couple) the super charger to provide performance when required whilst preventing the supercharger from over-running and impacting economy.

We believe Antonov’s two speed supercharger provides a far more elegant solution to the problem by offering an upwardly geared supercharger at low engine speeds and a lowly geared supercharger at high engine speeds in one simple unit. This allows the vehicle to give a far higher and smoother power curve as well as a very clean fuel burn throughout the engine cycle, thus
keeping emissions low. We are also reassured from our experience yesterday that the system is not only highly effective but also pleasant to drive; a key element for consumers.

The Ford Mustang, as demonstrated by Le Mans driver Peter Kox
was altogether a different beast; literally. The huge torque from the over 500hp engine made the ride a hairy one and is bound to make a significant impact when it joins the US Hot Rod Power Tour later this year.

The aftermarket Rotrex kit is believed to be receiving a good initial response from the US car tuning market.

We also had the opportunity to experience Antonov’s prototype 6-
speed gearbox demonstrated in a Rover Streetwise. This was the prototype developed in conjunction with Rover Powertrain before Rover’s collapse. Whilst it was noticeable that the shift quality was not as smooth as traditional automatics, these defects will be ironed out in the full production version being developed by Great Wall Motors of China.
Unfortunately the Mercedes CLK was not ready for testing; however, we expect to have it available in the UK for demonstration to investors in the coming weeks.

For more stories on the internet about the combine Rotrex/Antonov AMM 2-speed supercharger



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On the interesting comments from Rafael and Tio especially, I am more with Tio on the basic point that there is a theoretical efficiency gain from turbocharging, that doesn't exist with a mechanical supercharger. The turbo adds a 2nd stage of both expansion and compression, and as we know that the exhaust gases are not fully expanded to atmospheric pressure in the cylinder there is waste energy that is normally lost by rapid gas expansion from the exhaust port onwards. This expansion is able to be moved downstream and usefully converted to work in the turbo, and in doing so you see back pressure in the manifold. By comparison consider a supercharger which increases the gas compression capacity without a commensurate increase in the gas expansion capacity. Compression ratio being strictly limited in a conventional technology petrol motor results in that while the volumetric efficiency is able to be increased, the expansion ratio effectively has to be reduced, so that even more gas energy is poured down the exhaust with a direct loss of thermodynamic efficiency and hence fuel economy.


Oops! I've mixed up peoples names. Sorry Tio, Rafael and Ruaraidh!


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