What it's like to drive a car with Active Charge Air Cooling system

Posted: 8th May, 2018

What it's like to drive a car with Active Charge Air Cooling system

In this article we talk to Matt Saville, ACT’s Senior Test and Development Engineer about what it's really like to drive a car with Active Charge Air Cooling.

So, in your role Matt, do you get to drive all the ACT test vehicles?

Yes, I’m the one who puts the miles in.  I don’t mind that as I have usually developed and fitted the data logging equipment, so I can keep an eye on how everything’s working whilst I’m driving.


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What are you trying to get from the test programmes?

Quite a lot of things, all at the same time.  We want to see if the Active Charge Air Cooling system is doing its job, so we’re interested in temperatures and pressures during acceleration and gear changes etc.  We’re also very keen to put the system under load and make sure that it’s coping properly – so, no air leaks, full sensor operation and seamless operation of the bypass control system.  And we want to get to the feel of the engine and the system together – what’s it like to drive?  Is it quick? Is there any lag and so on?

Where do you do most of your testing?

We do quite a bit of road testing, always within the speed limit of course.  We also take cars to the tracks such as Goodwood so that we can really give them some hammer.  And of course, there is also the dyno testing, which I run and organise too.

And what’s it like to drive a car with the ACT Active Charge Air Cooling system fitted?

It’s great.  You can really feel the kick when you floor it and there is a definite power increase over the base vehicle setup.

Any downsides?

Not yet!  Fingers crossed.

Any embarrassing moments?

Er, we did have an engine blow a hole in the crankcase on the A27 going past Brighton.  Lots of noise then lots of smoke and we had to coast off onto the slip road.  A piston had split in half and made a bit of a mess.  Unfortunately, it was one of those things – we know that that particular model of engine suffers from piston failure if pushed and I guess that’s what we did.  

What’s next?

Lots more testing in the pipeline as we develop our system to fit onto more and more models.  We do a full test programme on any “first-off” to make sure the installation and packaging are all fine and to confirm the predicted performance improvement.

Thanks for your time and good luck with the ongoing development programme.

We would love to show you how our system works and explore how we might help you reach the magic combination of more power and better fuel economy for your turbocharged engine installation.  Get in touch here for more information and to set up a confidential discussion.

Steve Hinton is Director and joint owner of Air Cycle Technology and responsible for guiding the growth of this exciting and innovative engineering and manufacturing business. With a First Class Honours degree in Mechanical Engineering, Steve has a wealth of experience from years in the rail industry and management consultancy and is a Fellow and past Chairman of the British American Project, a transatlantic leadership development and networking organisation.

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