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Want To See Some Terrifying Turbo Lag? Watch This Group B Test Video

In the 1980s, Lancia developed a supercharged and turbocharged (aka twincharged) engine for their midengine/AWD Delta S4 Group B rally car. The idea was the two compressors would eliminate any kind of lag in boost. It doesn’t look like it worked out that way.

The system worked with a supercharger starting to feed boost to the engine at low revs while the turbocharger was busy spooling up and lagging. Once the turbo was up to speed, a clutch would disengage the supercharger. Nissan later used this system on their awesome March Super Turbo, but Lancia did the whole twincharged thing first.

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Supposedly the whole system worked, but watch this video (particularly the onboard at 5:55) and it doesn’t exactly look like things are perfect. There’s a moment when the engine picks up like crazy, the whole frame goes blurry, and the car rockets forward. The driver barely has time to grab the next gear.

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But hey, what do I know? This was a test session after all, and it’s possible the twincharging system got tuned to be much smoother and progressive into the car’s career.

I don’t imagine that would have been easy, since this engine produced well over 500 horsepower out of 1.75 liters, but it’s possible.


Contact the author at raphael@jalopnik.com.

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DISCUSSION

No, it never got smoother than that. The first time I saw one in action was actually frightening. Car exits corner, there is an explosion, car is elsewhere.

Spectacular.