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Honeywell Facilitates Best-In-Class Fuel Economy with New Variable Geometry Turbocharger

  • Collaboration with VW judged a best practice in receiving a 2017 Automotive News PACE™ Innovation Partnership Award
  • Honeywell helps VW to fuel economy gains with innovative, cost-effective, variable geometry turbo
  • Technology recognized as a “game changer” for helping reduce CO2 emissions by as much as 10%
Award Image

TS President and CEO Olivier Rabiller and Mahesh Kodumudi, Volkswagen Vice President of Purchasing, North America, accepted the award on stage together.

DETROIT, April 3, 2017 – Honeywell (NYSE: HON) received a 2017 Automotive News PACE “Innovation Partnership Award” Monday night with Volkswagen for the unique level of collaboration demonstrated in developing Honeywell’s Variable Nozzle Turbine (VNT) turbocharger for gasoline engines that helps VW achieve best-in-class fuel economy in a cost-effective manner suited for high-volume production vehicles.

The award was presented to VW in recognition of the special levels of collaboration between the automaker and its supplier that rise above everyday joint efforts to serve as best practices for the industry. This award showcases only those original equipment manufacturers whose collaborative efforts made both a strategic market entry and competitive timing difference to their supplier’s process of commercializing their product innovation.

Honeywell Transportation Systems developed its latest VNT turbocharger for the Volkswagen Group’s 1.5L gasoline engine to be used in various VW and Audi models. In its most recent benchmarking study, industry analyst FEV Group GmbH determined that the carbon dioxide emissions (108g/km) for a 1,250 kg vehicle with Honeywell’s technology represents best-in-class performance for the industry in 2017.

For Volkswagen Group’s 1.5L gasoline engine, Honeywell’s Gasoline VNT turbocharger will be paired with a combustion phasing technology known as the Miller cycle. A Miller-cycle engine alters traditional inlet and exhaust valve timing, creating a key role for the turbo to share in the engine’s workload by providing increased boost pressures. By shifting some of the work for compressing air inside the engine’s cylinders to the turbocharger, the VW engine operates with higher thermal efficiency. This results in improved fuel economy and reduced CO2 emissions at nearly all engine speeds.

Honeywell’s Gasoline VNT turbocharger features a variable geometry turbine stage rather than a typical wastegate valve. This technology increases the turbo’s ability to satisfy the needs of a Miller-cycle engine across a broader operating range.

“Honeywell has 60-year track record for pioneering turbo technologies helping our customers meet their goals and ultimately changing the industry’s approach to turbocharging,” said Olivier Rabiller, Honeywell Transportation Systems president and CEO. “This prestigious industry award recognizes a level of partnership between VW and Honeywell that reflects our commitment to providing differentiated technology and customer service to all our partners all around the world.”

“Honeywell pioneered VNT technology with its introduction in 1989 on a diesel application and has since produced approximately 70 million VNT turbos for auto-makers all around the world. With that considerable experience, Honeywell was well-positioned to adapt the VNT concept to mass-volume gasoline engines solving for the difficult equation of higher temperatures and balancing cost,” Rabiller said.”

Diesel engine exhaust gas temperatures are typically in the range of 830-860°C, but Honeywell also has unsurpassed experience in diesel racing applications, which can reach temperatures up to 1050°C – similar to gasoline engine temperatures. The ability to withstand high temperatures results in better turbocharger aerodynamic performance and efficiency adapted to the unique requirements of a gasoline engine.

With the benefits of collaborating with the larger Honeywell Aerospace business group, TS used detailed kinematic design simulation, detailed component finite element analysis (FEA) and component level accelerated testing, to optimize design and component material selection able to withstand the extreme operating environment of the gasoline engine. A new base material and coating were developed in order to pass durability needs, succeeding in both oxidation and wear resistance.

WATCH: Video of Honeywell Gasoline Turbo Technology

The 23rd annual Premier Automotive Suppliers’ Contribution to Excellence (PACE) awards are sponsored by the EY Global Automotive Center, the Original Equipment Suppliers Association (OESA) and Automotive News. The competition is open to suppliers who contribute products, processes, materials or services directly to the manufacture of cars or trucks. Innovations are evaluated by an independent panel of judges in the context of planning, novelty, market impact and competitive posture, based on comprehensive written applications and site visits. For details, visit the Automotive News PACE Awards page at

Honeywell ( is a Fortune 100 software-industrial company that delivers industry specific solutions that include aerospace and automotive products and services; control technologies for buildings, homes, and industry; and performance materials globally. Our technologies help everything from aircraft, cars, homes and buildings, manufacturing plants, supply chains, and workers become more connected to make our world smarter, safer, and more sustainable. For more news and information on Honeywell, please visit

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