ProCharger's new i-1 Supercharger is a programmable, variable ratio supercharger.
We love this time of year. Around the time of the SEMA show is when a bunch of new products are introduced. We just got a press release from ProCharger describing their new i-1 Programmable Ratio Supercharger. Within its housing is a variable ratio drive belt that varies the amount of "step-up" directed to the impeller wheel from the crank-driven belt. It works like a CV transmission and will be able to provide much more boost at lower rpm that would be allowed by a fixed ratio impeller drive.
This technology could bridge the divide that has long existed between centrifugal and roots/twin screw type superchargers. The latter generally provide more boost at lower rpm, but tend to become less efficient at higher engine speeds, while the opposite is true for centrifugal superchargers.
A variable-speed impeller drive can offer the best of both worlds, spinning the impeller at a high ratio at low engine rpm, delivering the low rpm grunt of a Roots supercharger, while still generating efficient boost at high engine speeds. Click on the YouTube link above to see ProCharger's animation of how it works. Want to see it on an engine? We are itching to get our hands on one to test.