The Blade Supercharger by British company Lontra is a variable mass flow positive displacement compressor that can be used for both petrol and diesel engines. It is said to be able to change boost pressure without changing rotational speed.

The supercharger uses a variable port design which allows for a realtime variation of mass-flow and internal compression ratio. So far the few prototypes that have been built demonstrate as much as a 20% efficiency gain over traditional compressors. The Blade Supercharger uses a rotary device with a wrapped toroidal chamber. A rotating blade passes through a slot in a rotating disc once per cycle. The compressor is oil free, compact and is said to be low in vibration and noise.

The UK Technology Strategy Board has awarded a grant to a consortium comprising of Lontra as well as Ricardo and Ford Motor Company to implement the Lontra Blade Supercharger in a Ford vehicle demonstrator, coupled to a downsized engine. The prototype vehicle is expected to be completed this year.

Downsizing is very very popular in Europe indeed. For those that don’t know what downsizing means, it’s basically replacing a regular normally aspirated engine with a much smaller engine that puts out the same or better power thanks to technologies such as forced induction. An example – we are used to 2.0 litre Camrys and Accords here but the Volkswagen Passat is available in Europe with a 1.4 litre that is turbocharged and makes the equivalent power and even more torque.