For a few years now, Formula 1 engines have used electric turbochargers, with an electric motor attached to the shaft that connects the compressor and turbine wheels. The effect is virtually no turbo lag, as the electric motor spins up the compressor and turbine far quicker than exhaust gasses alone. Neat stuff, and thanks to Mercedes-AMG, it's coming to production road cars.
AMG announced today that it'll use an electric turbocharger developed with Garrett in a future production model. A Mercedes spokesperson told Road & Track that this turbo will be used on a variant of AMG's 2.0-liter M139 (pictured throughout) currently used in the new 45-series cars. Mercedes isn't yet announcing what model this turbo will debut with, but it's worth noting that last year, reports emerged saying AMG might abandon the V-8 for the next C63, and instead adopt some sort of four-cylinder. This electric-turbocharged M139 certainly sounds like it could be it.
This new electric turbocharger is fascinating. The idea is to blend the quick response of a smaller turbo with the power-generating-capability of a big one. As with an F1 MGU-H, the electric motor is mounted directly to the shaft that connects the turbine and compressor wheels. The motor is driven off a 48-volt electrical system and starts spinning up the compressor wheel before exhaust gasses spin up the turbine.