Both Ferrari and Audi are preparing to take turbo technology to the next level, with both marques set to debut models with electrically-assisted turbochargers.
Audi's system will likely be similar to that of the A6 3.0 TDI Concept, which combined an electrically-run supercharger with a conventional turbo.
During acceleration from low RPM, when turbo diesels typically suffer from turbo lag, the electric supercharger spools up to provide positive boost pressure in just 250 milliseconds.
The result is much sharper throttle response and improved performance.
The RS5 V6 TDI-e's sequential turbo system (above and below) offers a slightly different take and may be used instead, with an electrically-assisted smaller turbo generating boost at low RPM before handing off to a larger conventional turbo for high-RPM performance.
And while Audi has yet to reveal the details of the SQ7's powertrain, we won't need to wait too long to see it. Audi's board member for technical development, Ulrich Hackenberg, said to UK mag Autocar:
"The new Q7 will be available in the market next year but the electric turbo will come a bit later in the Audi SQ7 available in 2016.”
Ferrari's plan for electric superchargers is a little less clear, but the supercar maker is slowly introducing turbocharged powertrains to its models (the California T was first with a 412kW 3.9 litre twin-turbo V8), and more are definitely on the way.
And at least one of these engines will have electrically-assisted turbos, which, like the Audi SQ7, will spool up electrically to help the engine build boost faster and reduce turbo lag.
Which Ferrari will be the first to get the technology? That's a closely-guarded secret, but odds are it will debut in a flagship model like the upcoming 500kW M458-T Italia.
Watch this space.
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