What is a hybrid turbo?

Turbo Technics CHRAA hybrid turbocharger combines the quick boost response required at low engine revs, with the extra air-flow capacity needed for more power at higher revs – with excellent Turbo Technics reliability. Hybrid turbochargers are not a new idea. Turbo Technics started producing hybrids as long ago as 1985, and today continues to lead this specialised field. A language has even evolved to describe the components employed in hybrid turbos – words such as cut-back, 360°, screw-down and quick release. Click here to download our turbocharger catalogue (PDF format) and here to buy your hybrid turbo online

For most road-going cars, a standard specification, good quality Service Exchange turbocharger is sufficient. Hybrid turbos only become necessary when significant performance improvement is required, normally on a modified engine. Most hybrid turbochargers will look identical to standard units from the outside. The changes occur inside, by using different aerodynamic configurations, both in the compressor and turbine housings.

Turbo Technics are in a unique position to choose from a comprehensive range of components. This allows our engineers to “blueprint” turbocharger components to achieve the desired characteristics needed for a particular application. Obviously there are limits, but this ability sets Turbo Technics apart from others in producing very effective hybrid turbos.

Most turbocharged engines respond well to increased boost pressure, but only if the engine is modified to capitalise on the change. The same can be said of turbochargers. A hybrid turbo on a standard engine may offer a small benefit, but will be more effective on a modified engine. Unfortunately, increasing the boost pressure also increases the internal loading within the turbocharger significantly. In order to compensate for this, a “screwed down” thrust bearing is sometimes used. This prevents the bearing from “lifting” at high load which can lead to oil starvation and component failure.

To continue up the hybrid ladder of performance, a “360°” thrust bearing is used. This is an entirely new bearing, manufactured by Turbo Technics, and originally developed for our competition customers, such as Ford Motorsport. It has a greater bearing contact face to withstand the high loads, which would otherwise destroy a standard bearing very quickly.

S209 hybrid Evo wheelsTurbo Technics will occasionally specify a “cut-back” shaft wheel. This is the main exhaust-driven turbine wheel inside the turbocharger. To limit its speed to acceptable, reliable levels, and to improve the airflow, the blades are “cut back”. This is a very high precision machining operation, requiring highly accurate grinding and balancing. The Turbo Technics designed and manufactured VSR balancing machine ensures that exact limits are achieved every time, regardless of the vehicle to which the turbo will be fitted, from the humble Mondeo turbo diesel to a full works Group A Escort Cosworth.

Another way in which a hybrid turbocharger can improve an engine’s performance is by improving response, or reducing turbo lag. By designing a more efficient turbocharger compatible with the engine’s characteristics, Turbo Technics offer hybrid turbos which can transform a car’s driveability.

Beware of hybrid copies! Some imitation hybrids are cheaper, but when inspected are found to contain only standard internal components! Only Turbo Technics turbos carry an identification plate to guarantee the genuine article.