Concept Cars Showcase Innovative Eaton Superchargers

27 January 1999

Concept Cars Showcase Innovative Eaton Superchargers

    CLEVELAND--(AutomotiveWire)--Jan. 26, 1999--Four concept cars unveiled at the 1999 North American International Auto Show in Detroit showcase the popularity, versatility and innovativeness of Eaton Corporation's superchargers.
    The four cars--the Buick Cielo, the Dodge Charger, the Cadillac Evoq and the Mercedes Vision SLR--each boast trendsetting styling cues. But under their curvaceous hoods, they harbor unique engine/supercharger combinations.
    Automakers are increasingly turning to supercharging because it allows them to use a smaller engine to provide performance that is equivalent--and often superior--to that of a larger engine, without sacrificing fuel economy. On the Detroit concept cars, Eaton superchargers were used to provide class-leading performance while showcasing innovations in forced induction.
    Buick's Cielo, a four-door convertible with voice-activated roof panels that automatically slide into the trunk, features a standard Eaton Roots-type supercharger on a 3.8 liter V-6 engine. The engine makes 240 horsepower and is currently available to consumers on Buick's Regal GS and Park Avenue Ultra, and on Pontiac's Grand Prix GTP and Bonneville SSEi.
    The Dodge Charger is a clean, green update of Dodge's 1969 muscle car. The new Charger runs on compressed natural gas (CNG) and features a standard Eaton supercharger mounted atop Chrysler's new 4.7 liter V-8. The 4.7 liter engine comes from Chrysler's 1999 Grand Cherokee, and in unsupercharged stock form is rated at 230 horsepower. When supercharged and running on CNG, the engine's output jumps to 325 horsepower.
    Cadillac's Evoq, a stylish, two-seat roadster that is nearly a foot shorter than a Corvette, features a supercharged 4.2 liter Northstar V-8 that pumps out 405 horsepower. The Evoq also uses an Eaton Roots-type blower, but the supercharger's rotors are housed in a unique intake manifold that integrates the rotor housing and a liquid-to-air intercooler.
    The Mercedes Vision SLR, a two-passenger sports coupe, features a supercharged, direct-injected 5.5 liter V-8 rated at 557 horsepower. The supercharger on the Vision SLR is a prototype screw compressor, which Eaton is developing with SRM/Lysholm. The screw compressor provides more boost than Eaton's traditional Roots-type supercharger, and it features a clutch that disengages the blower under light load conditions to improve fuel economy. The Mercedes Vision SLR also features a supercharger intercooler fitted with its own water-cooling system.
    "All of these concept cars are important to us because they're representative of the innovations that can be achieved in supercharging," said Stephen M. Buente, vice president of Eaton's Engine Components Operations-Worldwide. "We worked closely with the engineers at Buick, Dodge, Cadillac and Mercedes to ensure that, in each instance, our superchargers performed flawlessly and seamlessly.
    "Supercharger innovations like the ones on these concept cars, combined with new products like our M20 unit for small displacement engines, should help our supercharger business continue its position as the fastest growing product line within Eaton's automotive businesses."
    Eaton is the world's largest manufacturer of original equipment automotive superchargers. The company sold nearly 210,000 superchargers in 1998 and expects the business to grow more than 20 percent annually.
    Eaton Corporation is a global manufacturer of highly engineered products that serve industrial, vehicle, construction, commercial and semiconductor markets. Principal products include electrical power distribution and control equipment, truck drivetrain systems, engine components, hydraulic products, ion implanters and a wide variety of controls. Headquartered in Cleveland, the company has 49,500 employees and 155 manufacturing sites in 25 countries around the world. Sales for 1998 were $6.6 billion. The Internet address for Eaton is:

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