Then some new technology became available that would revolutionize supercharging.
"We gained knowledge in electronic controls through our industrial line," says Jones of the i-1. With this technology, it could control a variable ratio transmission incorporated into the supercharger assembly.
So all that was left was to bridge the gap between the electronically controlled variable ratio transmission and the turbine. The package had to be rugged, compact, and efficient. Traditional belts wouldn't work because of durability issues, and chain drives wouldn't work because of weight and fluid requirement. The solution: a dry hybrid belt-drive system. The dry hybrid belt provides the best of both worlds, acting like a belt, but with the durability and strength of a chain.
After the first prototypes were made, testing ensued for three years in the lab and two years of under-the-hood testing. Finally, at the 2012 SEMA show, the announcement was made and the i-1 was introduced to the world—the first programmable-ratio supercharger.
There are serious advantages to the i-1 over traditional centrifugal superchargers. The main advantage is the adjustability. With its three modes (four with the touch-screen upgrade), you can either have full boost on tap instantly or lock in the lowest possible boost ratio for maximum fuel economy.
Sport Mode allows you to be stealthy, and is probably the mode most will want for street driving. You retain the quiet operation of a standard centrifugal supercharger but can reach maximum boost within one second.
Competition Mode pre-spools the blower, so maximum boost can be tapped at any moment—instantly. This mode is noticeably louder, and can be used for the track or to just intimidate pesky Camaros on the street.
Touring Mode locks the transmission in the lowest possible ratio. This mode is good for valet parking, snow and rain, or cruising on the highway. It provides the best fuel economy of all the modes.
By the time you read this, ProCharger will have i-1 kits ready for '11-up Mustang GTs. For about $2,000 more than a standard kit, you get the latest supercharger technology. The kits include everything that a normal ProCharger kit contains, as well as the controls system, which mounts under the dash, and the mode selector knob and wiring. The knob can be mounted anywhere in the driver's reach and can be adjusted on the fly.
Optionally, you can get the touchscreen for an additional $450. Not only does it give you live feedback, but it also unlocks yet another mode, Custom. Custom Mode is for those that want to add their own touch, for whatever reason—a custom tune for towing, for instance.
Another advantage of he touch screen is being able to monitor impeller rpm, current ratio of the supercharger, engine rpm and boost level. You can customize the display to it your preferences, and the touch screen mounts in an A-pillar gauge pod or can mount to your windshield like a GPS.
While maintaining the advantages of ProCharger's standard product line, the i-1 produces more seat-of-the-pants feel and increased performance—up to 2-3 mph gain in the quarter-mile, according to ProCharger's testing.
"We have decided to set the boost level for the Mustang 5.0L i-1 ProCharger system at 7.5 psi, which produces a 200-rwhp gain on a bone-stock motor (with stock exhaust) running pump gas," says Jones. "Our 2011 5.0L Mustang with stock motor and exhaust is making 580 rwhp with 91-octane fuel with 7.5 psi. It made 380 rwhp on the motor in dyno-testing on the same day with the same atmospheric conditions."
Imagine these results with on-the-fly adjustability and better fuel economy. Is this the perfect supercharger? We'll have to get our hands on one to test before we make that assessment.
This breakthrough allowed the P600 kit to safely pump out 14 pounds of boost.
On The Web
Part of being a leader in a growing industry today is a strong Internet presence. ProCharger realizes this, and is continuing to update and improve its website. In fact, it is re-launching
www.ProCharger.com with a whole new look and feel.
Since it may not yet be live by the time you read this story, we've included a few snapshots of what it's going to look like. It will be easy to read, easy to navigate, and informative. You'll be able to not only learn about ProCharger products, but there will be a photo gallery, FAQs, and info about ProCharged racers. You can download printable versions of catalogs, and watch videos on ProCharger TV. There's even a place for you to tell your story about your ProCharged Pony. And don't forget the ProCharger Store, where you can get everything from apparel, branded bling, and hardware for your kit.