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I really want to be able to take this car cross country from new york to california and back. I feel like it might need more horsepower for a trip like that. I know that the civic hybrids in the past have had a turbo charger. What if an added turbo charger to the insight or even an ecu upgrade, what do you think?
 

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I really want to be able to take this car cross country from new york to california and back. I feel like it might need more horsepower for a trip like that. I know that the civic hybrids in the past have had a turbo charger. What if an added turbo charger to the insight or even an ecu upgrade, what do you think?
None of the hybrids from Honda or Toyota have ever been fitted with a turbo charger from the factory.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I really want to be able to take this car cross country from new york to california and back. I feel like it might need more horsepower for a trip like that. I know that the civic hybrids in the past have had a turbo charger. What if an added turbo charger to the insight or even an ecu upgrade, what do you think?
None of the hybrids from Honda or Toyota have ever been fitted with a turbo charger from the factory.
But there are civic hybrids with turbo chargers. Its not like what im saying is unheard of. Put it like this i got an insight ans i intend on getting a new suspension system if not coilovers for looks and performance reasons to drop the ride hit an inch max and new wheels and tires. And im gunna raise the horsepower by atleast 15 to give it a sportier feel im used to a car that get 25 to 30mpg so i think i could spear 5 or 10 mpg and still save money.thanks for your help. Ill let you know how it goes.
 

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Every Civic Hybrid was an IMA system. I had one for quite a while. Yes, you can Turbo charge a Civic Hybrid because the gas engine is the primary propulsion system. The hybrid system simply boosts the output to the wheels or assists the gas engine. Not trying to discourage you, but any type of engine performance modification you make to this car will be an absolute waste of time, money, and resources. You could give that 1.5 liter in the Insight 500 HP and it won't matter until you are at freeway speeds. Until you get to highway speeds, it is essentially an electric car with a gas generator. As soon as you view it that way, you will realize that engine mods just won't be the same as they are on any other car.
 

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Try If First

But there are civic hybrids with turbo chargers. Its not like what im saying is unheard of. Put it like this i got an insight ans i intend on getting a new suspension system if not coilovers for looks and performance reasons to drop the ride hit an inch max and new wheels and tires. And im gunna raise the horsepower by atleast 15 to give it a sportier feel im used to a car that get 25 to 30mpg so i think i could spear 5 or 10 mpg and still save money.thanks for your help. Ill let you know how it goes.

Akai: As a mechanical engineer with a lot of experience in engines and electro-mechanical systems, I would be VERY hesitant to mess with the factory hybrid system in any way. For starters, you will void your warranty, and for good reason. More engine output will mostly overpower (and burnout?) the generator and be of no use except at highway speed, when the engine is directly connected to the drive wheels.

The car has plenty of power right from the factory for most anything you want to do, short of racing -- including cross-country trips. All I can say is try it out first before you waste your time and money on something that has the potential to damage the car. I'm all for improving the handling, but my advice is to leave the hybrid drive system alone.
 

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Really? I made a similar trip in 1978 in a ten year old VW Bug.
Sounds like FAKE NEWS Mr. Natural!! If this is true, you surely would not remember any of it being stoned the whole trip while following the magic bus :surprise:
:smile:
 

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I really want to be able to take this car cross country from new york to california and back. I feel like it might need more horsepower for a trip like that. I know that the civic hybrids in the past have had a turbo charger. What if an added turbo charger to the insight or even an ecu upgrade, what do you think?
Akal, Why do you 'feel' that you need more horsepower for a cross-country trip? As a guy whose crossed the country multiple times, that's just not true. Think of the trip as a series of repetitive day trips instead of crossing 3000 miles twice. Do you need more HP going out for a day trip which you are (hopefully) doing now? If so, you've bought the wrong car.

Going on a trip like this is about going slower, not faster, and enjoying the time. One trip I did had me not on one interstate, by choice, and camping out, for free, the entire way across (except when staying with friends and family). I drove alot of that trip in Mexico too, still camping out, for free. This was my best trip, all secondary roads, going slow, enjoying the country roads.

Take that money you'd spend on the TC, and installation, and put it in a garbage can kept in your garage. Because if you waste your money on a TC for the Insight, that's what you'd be doing, throwing your money out. Instead, after the trip, feeling amazing about your experiences, go back into your garage, get that money out of the can, and feel even better about all the money you didn't waste.

One man's opinion :wink:
Phil
 

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Sounds like FAKE NEWS Mr. Natural!! If this is true, you surely would not remember any of it being stoned the whole trip while following the magic bus :surprise:
:smile:
Lol! It was over 40 years ago and you could be right. I do clearly remember replacing the speedometer cable in a parking lot in Cody, WY. So I must have been functioning OK for some of the trip. My wife, girlfriend at the time, was impressed enough at my mechanical skill that she married me the next year.
 

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But there are civic hybrids with turbo chargers. Its not like what im saying is unheard of. Put it like this i got an insight ans i intend on getting a new suspension system if not coilovers for looks and performance reasons to drop the ride hit an inch max and new wheels and tires. And im gunna raise the horsepower by atleast 15 to give it a sportier feel im used to a car that get 25 to 30mpg so i think i could spear 5 or 10 mpg and still save money.thanks for your help. Ill let you know how it goes.
Any update?
 

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Any update?
Civic Hybrid had an OTTO cycle engine. The Insight is Atkinson cycle. It runs at a lower compression and has delayed intake valve closure. I'm pretty sure a turbo would destroy it. As well, the engine primarily turns a generator - not drive the wheels directly. I can't see any benefit to a turbo on an Insight.
 

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In my mind, Turbos are expensive to buy, operate, and reduce the life of the engine.
That being said, I love my 2017 civic hatch with 1.5 Turbo.
The 1.5 is small, light, and has decent HP without the Turbo. When I need the extra HP, say to pass someone, I use it. But 98% of the time, I'm saving having a smaller, lighter, more fuel efficient engine. I'm hoping with limited usage, the Turbo will be reliable, and not too expensive to maintain.
The Hybrid system on the Insight is similar in that way, the 1.5 has decent HP on it's own, but light weight and fuel efficient.
The electric motor increases the HP from 107hp to 151hp.
So the electric gives you the extra HP boost already, and adding Turbo will add to complexity, but give limited boost as you are already at 151.
Cruising at highway speeds does not require a lot of horsepower, that's for acceleration, unless you are climbing mountains!
 

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You can do it. The problem is when it comes down to tune it. There is no tuning software out there, short of going to a full stand alone engine management. And at that point, you likely would not be able to use the hybrid ability of the vehicle.
 

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I'm not sure how a turbo would work in the 3g Insight. For one, the generator is unlikely able to take advantage of it, even if you could tune the entire powertrain. Otherwise, I doubt you can just turbo the gas engine and tune it and expect the hybrid system to be happy about it because it's necessarily a highly integrated package. Hypothetically, the most the turbo can do is help the engine generate additional torque at cruise when the direct drive clutch is engaged, and in turn eliminate the need to declutch under moderate acceleration or additional loading caused by going up hills etc. But like I said, in order to make that happen, the hybrid system controller would also need to be tuned, and I think we're ways away from that happening (if ever). IMO, the future of any kind of performance tuning will likely come in the form of a different (or additional) battery pack that allows for a higher charge/discharge rate.
 

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Is there ANY example of a hybrid with a turbo?
 

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There's no technical reason a hybrid vehicle can't be turbocharged, and as insightfully points out, has been done. That said, it's much easier for a manufacturer to implement it during development than it is for the aftermarket. In the case of the latter, I suspect it's less of a hassle to do it on hybrid systems that consist of an engine and single motor/generator mated to a standard transmission that many manufacturers use. For the Toyota/Ford and the Honda series hybrid systems, you're much more limited in terms of what you can do with just a turbo and tune.
 

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Driveline type probably has to do with whether a turbo makes sense. In something like an IMA where the electric assists, but the engine is directly linked to the drive wheels all the time, it would make sense. Putting a turbo on a generator, which is how the Insight is set up, wouldn't really show any benefit at the wheels. The Insight's lockup clutch it hydraulically activated and is only a single speed disgned for cruise. I can't see a turbo applying there either. I guess the better question I should have asked was, has anyone every put a turbo charger on a generator? Of course you CAN do it, but what would the benefit be?
 

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The generator would have to be capable of absorbing the power provided to it by the turbocharged engine. Generally, in an OEM application, the generator is going to be sized appropriately for the engine it's mated to. So, for example, if an engine can provide 100kW of power at 6000RPM, the generator will be sized to convert the mechanical energy to roughly 100kW of electrical power. If you turbocharge the engine to the point where it makes 150kW at 6000RPM, that doesn't automatically mean the generator will be able to convert that to the equivalent electrical power. I think it's safe to assume that in the case of the 3G Insight, the engine and generator are pretty closely matched.

Of course, a properly engineered product usually isn't on the ragged edge of self destruction (except maybe in the highest performance products), and so there's a factor of safety which can be taken advantage of to further increase performance, but often at the expense of reliability. So how would that look in our cars?
1) Potentially allowing the generator to be more heavily loaded across a certain rev range, in other words, generating more electrical power at a given RPM. If that can be done, then turbocharging the engine would help.
2) Increasing the redline of the engine so that the generator can spin faster and generate more electrical power. A turbo could help here if engine power tapers off as it approaches redline. This is particularly dangerous without doing a proper analysis of whether the generator can tolerate the forces associated with higher rotational speeds.

Lets say that one of those methods work, and now we can generate more electrical power. Well, what can we do with it? If our traction motor can't handle the additional input power, and/or our batteries can't take a higher rate of charge then the whole thing is pointless. In a hybrid system such as ours, every part of it has to be considered.

I should point out that there's an exception that immediately comes to mind. I live in the Denver region, which is a mile above sea level, which means the air is thinner, and thus engines make less power here than they do at lower elevations. So, I could theoretically turbocharge my engine to the point where the boost pressure is equal to what it would be like at sea level, and therefore could make the stock amount of power. That doesn't sound super cool, and it would only be useful to people living at higher elevations, but to those people, the increase in power would be noticeable and appreciated.
 
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