SEMA 2013: Turbonetics Takes A Fresh Approach To New Lineup

It’s often risky for an aftermarket company to invest in the research and development of a completely new product line. The higher the dollar amount of the product line, the fewer companies that are financially able to take that risk. When our team at Power Automedia scours the SEMA Show floor looking for new and innovative products, we are always keeping an eye out for companies that are trying to take their products to the next level. At this year’s show, Turbonetics is certainly one of those companies with their new line of turbochargers.


Turbonetics has been a turbocharger manufacturer for years and is by no means a new player in the boosted performance game. But recently they decided to take things to a whole new level and design a new turbocharger line with a “clean sheet” approach. This is a very risky proposition because of the huge investment and time in engineering, development, and testing. Brian Regnier, Director of Engineering for Turbonetics says, “Durability and performance are two key aspects of this new line.”

The new TNX series features dual piston ring seals on the turbine and compressor sides of the bearing housing to reduce oil leakage.

From the get go, they knew they wanted to create a compact unit that was highly durable. They started by focusing on the center section of the turbocharger. The bearing housing in the new TNX line features a dual ball-bearing that is made out of high strength bearing material that is not only built to last, but also reduces the amount of drag. To help keep the oil from burning up, the center section is water-cooled.

Next, they shortened the length up as much as they could to make installation that much easier. Then they added everything necessary so someone can hook up a shaft speed sensor without having to pay a machine shop for machine work or over complicate the installation.

With a stout center section, they turned their attention to the exhaust side of the equation. First thing they did was design a few tubine housings with different sized A/R (Area divided by Radius) ratios. Then, they added large internal wastegates to help regulate the drive or boost pressure. Next, came the aero package. Starting from scratch, they weren’t tied to what is currently available. So, after extensive CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) and FEA (Finite Element Analysis) work they were able to come up with a scalable design that is very responsive, yet able to flow a large quantity.

(Left) The compressor wheel is made out of a forged piece of aluminum that is then milled into shape for extra strength. (Right) To handle the high exhaust temperatures, the turbine wheel is made out of 713C Inconel.

On the fresh air side of the equation, they managed to come up with a new line of compressor wheels with high efficiency ranges. As the efficiency of the compressor wheel increases, less and less heat is transferred into the air. This means that the boost air is more dense resulting in more power per PSI. One way they are able to achieve this is by starting with a forged piece of stock, then milling the wheel out of it. This results in a much stronger wheel compared to the same design out of cast. Because the wheel is stronger, they are able to design the fins to be a little more aggressive since they are stronger and can handle more force.

The entire range of TNX chargers feature ported compressor covers for improved performance throughout the compressor RPM range.

The new TNX line of turbocharger by Turbonetics is able to support anywhere from 200 to 800 horsepower. They are available in T25, T3, and T4 footprints and have an optional v-band or hose outlet on the compressor cover. Turbonetics anticipates expanding this line to handle a much wider range of vehicles as these gain traction in the marketplace.

“Turbonetics, new generation of turbochargers are here,” Regnier proudly shared. We’re excited to see what these bad boys can do once we get our hand on one – stay tuned!

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About the author

Chad Westfall

With diesel running through his veins from childhood, Chad has more than a decade of experience in the automotive industry. From editorial work to wrenching, there isn’t much he hasn't conquered head-on. When he’s not writing and shooting trucks and tech, you’ll find him in the shop working on turning the ideas floating around in his head into reality.
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