New Fuel-efficient Engine to be Unveiled at Sae World Congress

by : Lauren Woods

The drive to develop cleaner burning engines is steadily increasing as the threat of global warming increases. Car manufacturers are partnering with engine manufacturer to develop gasoline engines with the fuel-efficiency similar to that of diesel engines.

Diesel engines uses direct injection technology and engine developers at present are using the same technology for gasoline engines. The FEV Engine Technology Inc. is at the forefront of developing fuel efficient gasoline engines. The company recently announced that they will be unveiling a developmental gasoline/E85 turbocharged direct injection engine at the forthcoming 2007 SAE World Congress which will be held from April 16 to 19.

The said engine promises to produce the same power produced by a larger engine while consuming considerably less fuel. The engine will also address the problem with using alternative fuels such as bio-ethanol which has a lower energy density as compared to gasoline.

The cleaner engine will be featuring a variable compression ratio which will optimize the use of alternative fuel E85. The engine can get the best out of the E85 fuel by adjusting its compression ratio when E85 is used. With the technology being used by this engine, it can reduce fuel consumption by as much as 25 percent according to FEV.

Robert Last, the Vice President of Operations and Communications for FEV, extolled the advantages of their new engine. Last has this to say: "This engine is a look at the future evolution of spark ignition engines as manufacturers seek to set a new standard for power and fuel efficiency, yet face increasingly stiffer emissions requirements. And by mating the GTDI with variable compression ratio capability, it will allow customization of the engine control strategy to adjust for the use of alternative fuels such as E85 that tolerate combustion without knocking at higher compression ratios."

The variable compression ratio feature of the engine uses a sensor to detect the content of alcohol and the fuel. This information is then passed to an onboard computer which will then adjust the compression ratio in the combustion chamber. The engine though is still in the developmental stage. But according to Last: "While it's still a developmental tool, we believe that we can achieve diesel-like fuel efficiency with a gasoline engine. The GTDI/VCR engine is just one example of advanced technologies that FEV is developing together with its customers that could ultimately reduce our dependence on imported oil."

Developments such as this are a huge step towards the reduction of energy dependence of the country on foreign oil. The global community needs more advancement in technology such as this to battle the threat of global warming. But for those with common gasoline engines, reducing fuel consumption and increasing performance can be achieved with the help of aftermarket parts such as the systems.