Nerd’s Eye View: LA Auto Show 2015 – The Engines, Electrons, and Extra Bits


This is a heat recovery device on the new Prius. It uses exhaust heat to warm up the engine faster which reduces the time the engine spends in cold-start mode. It also warms the oil faster, further reducing pumping losses. The heat recovery unit is still placed after the cat so as to minimize emissions.
The new Prius also has active grille shutters to reduce aero drag.
Getting near the end of the day, I need more fuel courtesy of the Volvo booth.
This Volvo X90 might have one of the most expensive powertrains short of the P1/918/LaFerrari. It’s not just a hybrid but a plug-in hybrid. The engine doesn’t just have forced induction but it’s twin-charged!
Yup, the turbo 4-banger has a supercharger and a turbocharger. Packaging everything to fit does not look like it was fun for the engineers. The packaging of the catalyst of the turbo does not look ideal; I am not even sure of the actual flow path or how the catalyst is oriented in there. Regardless, the exhaust has to make a 90 degree turn. The compressor discharge from the turbo is pointing downwards and likely has to snake its way around the engine to the front of the vehicle to get to an intercooler.
So it appears the air gets sucked into the supercharger first and then pushed into the turbocharger through the U-shaped bit of piping. Packaging must be very tight because in the middle of the U, there appears to be a significant indentation for a tube to pass by. Not exactly ideal, but whatcha gonna do when there’s no other space?

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