A patent application reveals Toyota has been working with electric superchargers.
Originally filed on May 8, 2015, the patent application, which protects a special bearing design meant for an electrically-boosted supercharger, was recently published on March 22, 2017.
Toyota says in the patent application that certain bearings used on electric superchargers make assembly work difficult, and the Japanese automaker is hoping its invention simplifies things: “a preloading spring combines both a function for preventing the creeping of the outer ring and a function for preloading the outer ring, which makes assembly work difficult,” it says in the patent application. “The present invention is made in order to solve this problem and is aimed at providing an electric supercharger wherein the assemblability of a bearing holding structure is improved.”
Electric superchargers use stored energy to help get the supercharger rpm up to speed, eliminating extra strain on the engine and allowing for boost to be built quicker.
While a bearing isn’t particularly interesting, the idea that Toyota has been working with electric superchargers is. Toyota has made no official mention of an electric supercharger, so where this component could show up is unknown.
The brand’s most recent dabbling with superchargers comes with the Yaris GRMN hot hatch that uses a 1.8-liter supercharged four-cylinder engine. That same powerplant is also used in the World Rally Championship Yaris, making this a good candidate for go-fast parts.
There is also the upcoming Toyota Supra which could benefit from supercharging, along with a hot version of Lexus’ new coupe the LC, which will be known as the LC F. We’ll have to wait and watch to see where this technology ends up.
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