This is what's called the twin-charged engine.
Superchargers and turbochargers each have their own unique sets of advantages and disadvantages. Turbochargers take longer to spool up, but superchargers are a bigger parasitic drain on the engine. If only there was a way to have the best of both worlds. Luckily, there are a few engines out there that have both turbocharging and supercharging. This is called a twin-charged engine and they're actually quite rare. We've picked our top five cars to feature this unique powerplant.
The Zenvo ST1 is a strange supercar from Denmark. The car has some impressive performance figures thanks to a 6.8-liter twin-charged V8 with 1,104 hp. This combination gets the car to 60 mph in 3.0 seconds and onto 120 mph in 8.9 seconds. The car has a top speed of 233 mph, which is nothing to scoff at. Unfortunately, Top Gear proved that the Zenvo had trouble putting its power down and even caught fire during a power test. We still think that the ST1 looks cool, and love its unique engine.
New models from Volvo are available with two versions of the company's 2.0-liter twin-charged four-cylinder engine. The T6 models have around 316 hp, while the T8 models add hybrid assist for a total of 400. Volvo just introduced the Polestar-tuned XC60 T8, which has 416 hp. The new Volvo models are the most mainstream cars (in the US) to use a twin-charged setup. Perhaps we will start to see more companies use this unique engine configuration.
We mentioned that the new Volvo models were the most mainstream car in the US to have a twin-charged engine because Europe has had many of them over the years. The Volkswagen Group built a 1.4-liter twin charged engine that it stuffed in many of its cars starting in 2005. This engine was available in Volkswagen, Skoda and Seat models as well as the Audi A1. Our favorite applications were the Scirocco and Polo GTI, both of which were never brought to the US.
This little hatchback may not look like much, but is actually extremely unique. In the US, we never received the Micra (or the March, as it's called in Japan). This Nissan March is a special homologation special built in 1988 as a 10,000 unit limited run. It was called the March Super Turbo because of its unique 930 cc twin-charged inline-four engine. This tiny powerplant put out 108 hp, which is not bad for such a small engine. The engine was paired to a three-speed automatic or a five-speed manual with a limited-slip differential. Despite the low power, this car could hit 60 mph in 7.7 seconds, making it the fastest Micra ever produced.
The Lancia Delta S4 was a Group B rally car that raced in 1985 and 1986 before the series was disbanded. The rules of the race stipulated that Lancia had to build 200 road-legal versions of the car. The car was called the Delta S4 Stradale and it was sold for just two years. The car had a 1.8-liter engine with a supercharger, turbocharger and two intercoolers, rated at 247 hp and 215 lb-ft of torque. Power went out to all four wheels and 0-60 mph happened in less than six seconds. The Delta S4 is truly one of the coolest twin-charged cars of all time and is also the first car ever to use the technology.