Mercedes-AMG Brings F1 Tech to the Road With New Electric Turbocharger

Mercedes-Benz is combining a small electric motor with a turbocharger to eliminate turbo lag.
Chris Young

In partnership with Garrett, Mercedes-Benz has announced it's developing electrically-assisted, 170,000 rpm turbochargers that will eliminate turbo lag and dramatically improve the efficiency of its combustion engines.


The iconic automaker says the turbochargers will be operated "via a 48-volt on-board electrical system." The system is "connected to the combustion engine's cooling circuit to create an optimized temperature environment at all times."

Eliminating turbo lag

Turbocharging, which uses the energy of exhaust gases to spin up a turbine that compresses and forces air into a vehicle's combustion chambers is a highly efficient method for pulling extra torque and power out of an engine.

The problem with turbochargers though is that they can take some time to respond. This is especially the case with large turbochargers, in which turbo lag can cause an annoying delay in the delivery of power. For this reason, many drivers opt for smaller, less powerful turbos for a more pleasant driving experience.

This is where Mercedez-AMG and Garrett's electric turbocharger comes in:

"Even when the driver takes their foot off the accelerator or applies the brakes," Mercedes Benz said in a press release, "the electric turbocharger is able to maintain boost pressure at all times, so that a continuous and direct response is assured."

The collaboration between Mercedes-Benz and Garrett — a company that's been making turbochargers since 1954 — is aimed at giving a more efficient low-fuel experience to its customers, New Atlas explains.

Garrett has been investing in electric turbo tech over the last few years. The company has, effectively, been using an electric motor on the back of the turbo scroll to spin the compressor in order to eliminate turbo lag.

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Mercedes-AMG's electrified future

"We have clearly defined our goals for an electrified future," said Tobias Moers, Chairman of the Board of Management of Mercedes-AMG. "In order to reach them, we are relying on discrete and highly innovative components as well as assemblies.

"With this move, we are strategically supplementing our modular technology and tailoring it to our performance requirements. In a first step, this includes the electrified turbocharger - an example of the transfer of Formula 1 technology to the road, something with which we will take turbocharged combustion engines to a previously unattainable level of agility."

Though the future is electric, the present still relies greatly on combustion engines and fossil fuels. Making them more efficient in the meantime is a worthy cause.

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