Honeywell Boosts First Hybrid Win at Le Mans
Honeywell Turbo Technologies, the leading global developer of automotive turbochargers, is celebrating another victory at the Le Mans 24 Hours on Sunday having provided yet another successful evolution of turbocharger technology to its long time racing partner Audi Sport.
Audi dominated the 80th running of the classic endurance race with a 1-2-3 finish to earn its 11th Le Mans victory in the past 13 years. The race pitted the Audi turbo diesel engines – and the first victorious hybrid powertrain– against the naturally aspirated gasoline engines of its main race competitor. Honeywell supported all four Audi R18 race cars entered, which were powered by a downsized 3.7L V6 single-turbo diesel engine relative to its 5.5L twin-turbo diesel predecessor in previous years on the Audi R15.
“As the race officials continue to adjust the rules to promote efficiency, we have been able to boost downsized engines with significant turbo innovations to help maintain or even improve overall lap times at Le Mans,” said Jeff Lotterman, Honeywell Turbo Technologies Motorsport and Advanced Technology manager. “When we won with Audi in 2006, we were working with a V12 engine. We’ve been able to help maintain that power output in a V6 and also enhance fuel economy which can make the difference in endurance racing.”
Honeywell snugly integrated its ground-breaking motorsports VNT turbo with variable internal geometry into the center “vee” of this year’s V6 diesel engine providing extreme space utilization efficiency and a new lighter-weight design to help keep the Audi’s center of gravity low. Honeywell’s experience with higher temperature gasoline engines and proven diesel VNT technology also allowed this customized racing turbo to consistently and reliably run at over 1000°C degrees without issue.
“Audi has now won this event 11 times since 2000 and always with the help of Honeywell Garrett turbochargers,” said Ulrich Baretzky, the head of Engine Development at Audi Sport. “The demands in developing the latest V6 TDI turbocharging concept were extreme, from general technology to thermal loads, chemical corrosion, bearing play, clearances, etc. These are exactly the technologies which Audi developed together with its long-standing turbo partner Honeywell.”
Honeywell’s motorsport activities provide real-world validation for its turbo technology portfolio. Its collaboration with Audi Sport led to the first Audi Le Mans victory in 2000 and a follow-up 2001 victory with the combination of turbocharging and gasoline direct injection, which is standard in production vehicles today. In 2006, Audi and Honeywell shared the first Le Mans victory of a diesel-powered race car and then claimed the first winning race car with variable turbine geometry in 2010.
“We use motorsports as a means of both developing and validating our technologies,” said Honeywell Turbo Technologies Advanced Technology and Innovation Vice President Gavin Donkin. “Honeywell has developed and sold VNT turbos for high volume passenger and commercial vehicles for years, but to adopt them to the intense performance needs demanded by Le Mans gives us an opportunity to develop the next generation of these technologies.”