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GasBuddy News Article

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Diesel-Like Direct-Injection Engine Gets 50 Percent Better MPG

Green Car Reports -- Using gasoline direct injection--but compression ignition, like a diesel vehicle--Delphi says its new engine would allow gasoline vehicles to rival the efficiency of hybrids. It would also eliminate some of diesel's less favorable characteristics. Technology Review (via Gizmag) reports that Delphi has solved some of the normal problems of getting gasoline to work well using compression--rather than spark--ignition. Delphi combines "a collection of engine-operating strategies that make use of advanced fuel injection and air intake and exhaust controls". Those strategies include injecting gasoline in timed bursts to reduce noise and maximize the speed at which fuel is burned.

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Submitted May 24, 2012 By: Piper0072
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eromitlab
Champion Author Huntsville

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Message Posted: May 25, 2012 4:57:03 AM

Hey, check it out, innovation. We used to do that all the time here in America, even though it isn't as profitable as paying lobbyists and politicians for corporate welfare.
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carranco
Champion Author Georgia

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Message Posted: May 24, 2012 10:31:25 PM

Sounds good, but they don't give an arrival date.
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fuel2use
Champion Author Seattle

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Message Posted: May 24, 2012 1:39:14 PM

Lets see where it goes.
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cgrey8
Champion Author Atlanta

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Message Posted: May 24, 2012 11:11:40 AM

I believe this will be the next big thing for cars. Looking over the history of technology in automtive engines, you'll see they have progressed as follows...

First there was ethanol used to create the original combustion engine before gasoline was refined and literally a dampened rag in the airflow path was used as a carburetor.

As the internal combustion engine matured, so did gasoline refinements.

Then complex carburation (automatic choke control, multiple barrels, metering rods/springs, fueling jets, etc).

Then more complex ignition systems (mechanical advance, then vacuum advance).

Those advances there alone ran us strong until well into the 70s. Then came mechanical injection (a flop). But in the 80s, computer technology matured enough to bring on affordable electronic injection. The early versions were nothing more than computer controlled carburators. Then full-up throttlebody injection. Then finally port injection with an injector at each port, each improvement giving improved performance, fuel economy, emission control, and engine longevity.

Computer control simultaneously gave us electronic ignition which was a HUGE game-changer again for performance, fuel economy, emissions, and durability...far more than most people realize.

In the 90s, we got variable valve/cam timing which allowed for smaller engines to do the work that only bigger engines before could do. Adding 2 cams (DOHC) per head amplified this bringing us its full potential.

Also in the 90s, ignition systems went away from distributors to distributorless ignition (coil packs and coil-on-plug setups). This squeezed a little more performance, fuel economy, and emissions reduction by allowing each cylinder to be individually optimized instead of limiting the entire engine to the "weakest" cylinder.

A silent development that was perfected in the 2000s was the ability to model engines in a computer before they were even built into prototypes. Literally engineering teams could test and perfect different ideas on the fly all in a computer with moderate confidence that the results they were getting were as they would be in reality if they actually built what they designed. This saved the MASSIVE amount of R&D time required to actually make and test designs. This advancement alone is how all engines today are developed and is probably the most invisible advancement of all.

In the late 2000s, we got direct injection which allowed even smaller engines to get more efficient by running much higher compressions than were possible on all older fueling designs. This technology mixed with turbos is how the Ford EcoBoost can make a small 4 cylinder perform like a moderate V6 but get the great fuel economy of a small engine. Likewise the small EcoBoost V6 used in the trucks and Taurus out perform the 4.6L V8 used in all other applications including the Mustang GT!!!

Then add to the mix regenerative braking hybrid technology and that brings us to today. People say the combustion engine hasn't changed much. I say it is hardly recognizable to what our parents used to deal with. Back in the 50s and 60s, it wasn't unheard of to rebuild an engine every 50kmiles. Engines built today are lasting 250-300kmiles with proper maintenance and still passing emissions requirements. So never let it be said we haven't come a long way.

The foreseeable things left to improve fuel economy are things like direct-injection-ignition which is what this article is about. I still suspect they will somehow pare this with laser ignition (lasers instead of spark plugs) to better control the burn. But laser ignition technology is still behind and hasn't been as promising in production as it was in the lab. And fundamental changes to the engine such as getting away from piston-driven technology or adding heat-recovery technology.

We are already experimenting with things like fuel cells as alternatives to engines that still consume gasoline but progress just isn't going as fast as I thought it would particularly with GM making decent investments into it.

Heat recovery has a LOT of promise. That's where we convert waste heat directly to electricity. That technology combined with hybrid battery/motor drivetrains could bring engines currently getting 30MPG well into the 60-70MPG range.

The problem with these exotic alternatives are the components are expensive and at the moment, not durable and just don't justify themselves. So until they do, the best we can hope for are improvements on the tried-n-true internal combustion engine.
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ObieDog
Champion Author Maryland

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Message Posted: May 24, 2012 10:38:54 AM

Interesting.
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GetMaxCashBack
Veteran Author Trenton

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Message Posted: May 24, 2012 10:01:41 AM

Repost. Still in the making and may not come to fruition before pure electric takes the stage.
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ErnieK9LO
Champion Author North Dakota

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Message Posted: May 24, 2012 9:40:29 AM

I will believe it when I see it
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CapriceWagon
Champion Author Washington

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Message Posted: May 24, 2012 9:18:10 AM

I'll believe it when I see it
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Evilmaddog
Champion Author British Columbia

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Message Posted: May 24, 2012 9:16:38 AM

ok
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blupupher
Champion Author Houston

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Message Posted: May 24, 2012 9:11:41 AM

interesting.
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Goatroper
Champion Author Dallas

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Message Posted: May 24, 2012 9:08:27 AM

Interesting....but it sounds like they are reinventing the diesel, is this a solution in search of a problem?
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bar1035
Champion Author Charlotte

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Message Posted: May 24, 2012 8:23:27 AM

We've seen this story posted before, yet the date on the story is May 23rd.

Go figure
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angel4me
Champion Author San Jose

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Message Posted: May 24, 2012 8:18:37 AM

it will take years before this gets into production
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amoshins
Champion Author Trenton

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Message Posted: May 24, 2012 8:18:19 AM

Sounds great - more encouraging than EVs
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cdrrod
Champion Author Wisconsin

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Message Posted: May 24, 2012 8:18:02 AM

Get this into production ASAP!
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