Watch: How Audi’s Electric Supercharger Works

48-Volt electrical systems are on their way and they’ve been called a lot of things, up to and including a “mild-hybrid” system. Just what does that mean? Well, Engineering Explained has got you covered.

Jason Fenske’s latest video covers the Audi system’s most pertinent feature. That is, an electric supercharger which Audi argues will completely eliminate turbo lag.

Technically an electric air compressor, the system uses battery power to spool up an air compressor that sends air charging down the intake manifold. This is in contrast to a traditional system that uses exhaust pressure to spool up an air compressor.

That means that you don’t have to wait for the exhaust pressure to spool up the compressor because the electric compressor is there filling the boost gap.

As ever, though, just because the idea is simple doesn’t the application is simple. With turbos giving you high end power and variable valves to consider, there’s a lot of engineering witchcraft going on here that’s better left for Fenske to explain.

And you’ll be able to see just what that means in terms of drivability when the 2018 A8 arrives in the fall.