Saturday, October 10, 2009

Top Gear Sunday Brunch #3

The other day I was researching the concept of anti-lag after watching a bunch of Group B rally and turbocharged engine videos and found this old gem. It's a great little concept produced by Prodrive - the same Prodrive that ran an E30 M3 rally car as well as ran Subaru's highly successful WRC team with the WRX STi's at the hands of legendary Collin McRae. If that's not enough, David Richards and his company Prodrive are now the co-owners of Aston Martin and their racing team along with a few Middle Eastern equity firms.

But I digress, this is the Prodrive P2 and its a car predicated on the idea of anti-lag, which is essentially the concept of maintaining the rotational speed of the turbocharger so that when the driver lifts his foot off the throttle to apply the brakes the turbo doesn't lose rotation speed. With traditional turbocharged engines, the turbos spool up at a preset engine speed (revolutions) and the power provided by the turbocharger becomes available to the driver. However, lifting off the throttle causing the engine revs to fall, there can be a "lag time" before the engine gets back up to the revolutions it needs to feed the engine power once the driver is back on the throttle. With an anti-lag system, it helps keep the turbo spooled up even when the engine revs fall when the driver lifts off of the throttle. Thus, with the turbo staying spooled up at its optimal speed and power is readily available as soon as the driver is able to reapply the throttle.

OK, lesson over - watch what this car does to Clarkson!

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