Porsche brought the world's first turbocharged series sportscar to the 1974 Paris Motor Show, the 911 Turbo, type 930. Porsche is a leader in turbo technology, which increases engine efficiency and reduces fuel consumption.
The problem with turbocharging sportscars and ordinary vehicles is response time and driveability. For Porsche, good engine performance would have meant two turbochargers per cylinder bank: small, for fast response at low engine speeds, and big, for efficient high engine speed massflows. Porsche's flat-six engine with four turbochargers is impossible.
Variable vane turbine technology provides big and small turbines in one: quick response at low speeds, optimal full-range efficiency and massflow, better fuel consumption, better packaging, and less weight. Variable turbine geometry is well known in Diesel engines, but efforts to use this technology in gasoline engines had not succeeded, due to much higher exhaust gas temperatures.
In 2002 Porsche wanted an experienced development partner for a new variable turbine effort. Independently, BorgWarner Turbo & Emission Systems decided to develop a production gasoline variable geometry turbo. That quickly led to a collaboration.
Especially with turbochargers, OEM-supplier collaboration must be close, given the reciprocal relationship between engine and turbocharger thermodynamics. Each partner has specific know-how.
The project had high management attention and commitment to close cooperation. Collaboration was open-ended and fruitful, with relevant data shared and engineering calculations carried out in both places. Porsche also had experience in high-temperature materials, and thermoshock tests were carried out at both Porsche and at BorgWarner Turbo & Emission Systems.
But hardware development isn't the only challenge to performance of both variable turbine and vehicle, and Porsche contributed to software development, so a variable geometry turbo could be realized and its potential reached. This could only have been successful given collaboration from the outset.
Realizing a variable geometry turbo helped Porsche create an outstanding new sportscar with very high performance, driveability, and responsiveness, but with efficiency suitable to everyday use and application.