Mar 22, 2010

Switzer | VTG Turbo Upgrades


The latest Porsche 911 's variable-vane turbochargers (VTG) are marvels of modern performance engineering that allow the 911's relatively small 6-cylinder “boxer” engine to deliver incredible horsepower, and help keep Porsche's flagship competitive with supercars boasting 10, 12, or even 16 cylinder engines. Even with nearly 500 hp from the factory, however, Porsche turbo owners still want more – more power, more speed, more everything. These performance enthusiasts demand superior performance, and have lofty expectations.

In order to meet those clients' lofty horsepower goals, it is necessary to increase the flow of air into the Porsche's engine – and since the primary function of any turbocharger is precisely to force air into an engine, upgrading the factory-provided VTG turbochargers is a logical step in the process of building additional power ... but Porsche clients don't want to sacrifice reliability to have more power.

This is the real problem faced by the modern tuner: clients want more performance, without more trips to the garage.

In order to provide a thrilling experience that is reliable enough to thrill time and time again, day or night, Monday through Sunday, we here at Switzer Performance have to deliver a package that is simply better than what the factory offers. We need an exhaust that flows more air. Intercoolers that remove more heat. We need turbos that are more efficient – that compress more air, and make less heat than the stock Porsche turbos.

How did we do it? By working closely with some of the industry's leading engineering firms and OE suppliers.

Switzer Performance' close relationships with our development partners allow us to produce larger-than-stock compressor wheels with unique aero profiles specifically designed to achieve the airflow rates required for our P650/R680 and P700/R750 Porsche tuning packages. The new wheels are 11% larger than stock, and allow the Switzer turbos to move more air than the factory Porsche turbos, while generating less heat.


The Switzer VTGs have other competitive advantages, as well – all due to Switzer's unique ability to specify exactly the component characteristics required to meet our needs, as determined by our clients.

All of this is made possible through the incredible advances in engineering and design software, and lessons learned from decades of aggressive aftermarket turbocharger development. These are lessons that have taught us to build both power and reliability into a given system, and given us the ability to deliver cutting-edge performance upgrades that meet or exceed OEM-levels of component fit, finish, and quality.

“Quality” is a word we take very seriously. On that note, I'd like to point out that every VTG turbocharger Switzer upgrades is built to be as solidly reliable as the OEM component it replaces.

When we upgrade these turbochargers, every component is cleaned, refinished, and checked for proper tolerances. Every backing plate and compressor housing is CNC-machined for precise matching to our compressor wheels. We use only brand-new seals and bearings in our cartridges. We individually balance all shaft and wheel assemblies during assembly, then verify the final product with a high-precision cartridge balance, ensuring that there is no self-destructive behavior once the turbos are put into service. These are rebuilt cores, for sure, but they are so thoroughly reconditioned that it wouldn't be too much of a stretch to call them “new”.


Sadly, however, there are number of companies that are trying to sell simple wheel swaps with little or no regard to additional machining and quality-control procedures. They are telling their clients that these steps aren't necessary, swapping in some billet wheel, and calling it a day ... and there are a lot of billet wheel options on the market, being produced with reasonably-priced and readily-available alloys.

That's simply not the case here, as every compressor wheel we use is built with aerospace quality alloys specifically formulated for use in high-performance turbines. 5052 or 6061 aluminum simply will not perform consistently in the brutal, ultra-high temperature world inside a high-performance turbo housing, and even laymen can spot the cheaper wheels after a few heavy duty cycles. Combine objectively inferior alloys with anything less than best-practice machining and assembly programs, and it becomes easy to see why the resulting products tend to self-destruct over time.

Our client's cars are just not something we at Switzer are willing to take a chance on.

We demand and use only the best material technologiess and manufacturing practices; and we work diligently to deliver products that perform better than anything else available anywhere. These VTGs certainly aren't the cheapest turbo upgrades available to Porsche enthusiasts, but they represent the best value for dollar argument in the aftermarket today: the best of everything, at a fair price.

Switzer VTG turbo upgrades are available as direct replacements for the factory VTGs, or as part of our comprehensive tuning solutions for Porsche's 997 TT and GT2. Contact Switzer Performance for more.

No comments: