What is a twin-turbo engine?

May 12th, 2021 by

Earlier this week we dropped the news that Toyota has been hard at work patenting a brand-new turbocharged V8 engine. For what, we have no idea. However, we do know that it’ll likely go in one Toyota and one Lexus and that it’ll be a twin-turbo setup. We’ve discussed turbocharged engines in the past, but today we’re diving a bit deeper into the logistics of a twin-turbo configuration and exactly what that could mean for your drive time. Check it out!

Toyota engine patent

How is a twin-turbo different from a turbocharged engine?

A turbocharged engine – as you probably already know – is an engine that uses turbine power and forced induction to push extra compressed air into the combustion chamber of the engine. This extra air means that extra fuel also has to be pushed in so the fuel/air ratio can be maintained, the extra fuel burns faster than it would in a normally aspirated engine, and voila – this results in a boost of power to your ride. You won’t find this type of engine in any old car, either – it’s usually found in sports cars like the Toyota Supra or larger trucks and SUVs.

OK, so what’s a twin-turbo engine then? Basically, it’s exactly what it sounds like. It’s when an engine has two turbochargers pushing extra compressed air into the combustion chamber to get the “boost”. The turbochargers can be different sizes and can be laid out in different configurations to get the final effect you want. Let’s take a look at the three most common types of layouts so you can better understand their benefits.

Three types of twin-turbo layouts

Parallel twin-turbo engines lay out similarly sized turbochargers in a parallel design. In this setup, each turbocharger gets half of the gases. It’s best used in “v” engines (V6 and V8) because then each turbocharger can be assigned to one cylinder bank, which cuts down on the amount of exhaust piping needed for the system. This setup also reduces lag, a common issue in turbocharged vehicles, because it uses two smaller turbochargers instead of just one large one.

Sequential twin-turbo engines have two turbochargers, but one is used for low speeds and one (or sometimes, both) is used for high speeds. A problem that you sometimes see in turbocharged cars is that it’s difficult to get that boost of power if your RPMs are low. By using a small turbocharger for low speeds and a larger turbocharger for high speeds, this problem is erased.

Series twin-turbo engines have the turbochargers set up in a sequence or series. The output from the first turbocharger is then further compressed by the second turbocharger for a serious pressure buildup and a large boost of power.

We don’t know just yet what Toyota has in store for us with their new turbocharged V8 engine, but hopefully we’ll find out soon enough. In the interim, give us a call for any and all info regarding turbochargers or even just engines in general. Toyota of Clermont is open seven days a week at (352) 404-7000 and conveniently located just off the Florida Turnpike at 16851 State Road 50.

Posted in New Toyota