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Old 01-17-2008, 09:47 AM   #1
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Post Car engines squeeze power out of every drop of gas

http://www.usatoday.com/money/autos/...s_N.htm?csp=34

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Car engines squeeze power out of every drop of gas

By Chris Woodyard, USA TODAY

DETROIT ? Looking to cut gasoline consumption by up to 20%, automakers aren't just rolling out pricey diesel-powered models or gas-electric hybrids.

General Motors (GM) , Ford Motor (F) and others are launching big initiatives to get more mileage out of what they sell now: tweaking internal-combustion engines with turbochargers and a technology called gasoline direct injection. The goal is to make fuel-stingy small engines perform like big ones.

"There is still a lot left in those engines," says Daniel Hancock, vice president of GM Powertrain. "It's the near-term way to improve fuel economy."

Direct injection makes fuel burning more efficient by squirting it straight into combustion chambers instead of mixing it with air in an intake port. Turbos, tiny windmills spun by otherwise wasted exhaust, run compressors that blast air into intakes to mix with fuel.

Best for car buyers, vehicles with the modified engines cost thousands less than hybrids or the coming wave of clean diesels. Leading the way:

?Ford Motor. The automaker just announced EcoBoost, an initiative to use turbochargers and direct injection across the lineup to cut fuel consumption by up to 20% and limit greenhouse gas emissions.

"We are going to have 500,000 vehicles in the next five years that will have this enabling technology," said Ford CEO Alan Mulally in an interview at the North American International Auto Show.

EcoBoost will make its debut in the Lincoln MKS, on sale next year. Its twin-turbo 3.5-liter V-6 will have 340 horsepower, equivalent to a V-8. Ford also showed off the technology in its Explorer America concept vehicle at the show, which runs through Tuesday.

?GM. Hancock says that direct-injected, turbocharged engines will start sweeping through the automaker's lineup. It started with a 2-liter, 260-horsepower four-cylinder engine on the Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky sports cars. The same engine is in the SS version of the Chevrolet HHR small sport utility that just went on sale. It will come to the Chevy Cobalt SS that hits showrooms in April.

?Mazda. The CX-7 crossover has the same 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with direct gasoline injection as the high-performance MazdaSpeed3. It provides as much power as the automaker's 3.7-liter V-6, which doesn't have the advanced features. The 2.3 is "considerably smaller and lighter, which allows it to be packaged in a smaller vehicle," spokesman Jeremy Barnes says. It was chosen for the CX-7 because the vehicle is meant to be small and nimble.

?Audi. A 2-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder with direct gasoline injection powers the A3 five-door hatchback, A4 sedan and TT sports car. "You feel the power of a V-6," Audi Chairman Rupert Stadler says.

Experts say that hopping up today's car engines with turbos and direct injection is a common-sense way to increase gas mileage. Hybrids typically deliver 30% in gasoline savings depending on the model, compared with the modified internal-combustion engine's 20%, says Brett Smith of the Center for Automotive Research. Adding direct injection and turbos to internal-combustion engines typically costs automakers about $1,000 per vehicle, compared with $3,000 for diesel engines and $4,000 for a gas-electric hybrid.

Ford estimates its EcoBoost system will pay for itself in gas savings in less than three years for drivers who log about 15,000 miles a year, compared with a seven-year payback for diesel engines and 11 to 12 years for hybrids, says Dan Kapp of Ford powertrain research.

But getting consumers to accept the new technology won't always be easy. Turbos have been around for years and were rejected by some drivers for their balky performance, dubbed turbo lag. The new ones, engineers say, are much improved.

Automakers' embrace of making small engines seem bigger for efficiency is a turnabout: In recent years, the trend to raise gas mileage has been toward making big engines seem smaller, such as cutting off use of cylinders not needed in low-demand situations.

Now, direct-injected engines with turbos "is the technology that is coming on big," Smith says.
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Old 01-17-2008, 10:06 AM   #2
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I'd like to see this technology applied to a 1.0L engine or smaller - as small as they can safely get about 100 HP out of - that's plenty to drive around most coupe/sedan/hatchback Japanese cars.

If my math is right and the HP / engine size correlation is approximately linear, something like a 770cc - 1000cc engine with direct injection should be able to generate 100 HP.
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Old 01-18-2008, 04:36 AM   #3
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I'd like to see this technology applied to a 1.0L engine or smaller - as small as they can safely get about 100 HP out of - that's plenty to drive around most coupe/sedan/hatchback Japanese cars.

If my math is right and the HP / engine size correlation is approximately linear, something like a 770cc - 1000cc engine with direct injection should be able to generate 100 HP.
Dax, you're absolutely right about the wrong size engines for this technology. An 800 CC twin powering a Yaris could easily get 50 mpg Hwy, or even 60 mpg with LRR tires and a few aero tweaks.

I don't think I'd go as small as that because of my long legs. A 1.6 liter Turbo 4 with DI powering a Toyota Camry or Chevy Malibu could get 40 mpg and still have the same performance as today's 2.4 liter versions.

And a turbo DI 2.4 liter would make good enough power for a van or 1/2 ton pickup truck.

Why do these idiots always put the goodies in such large engines?
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Old 01-18-2008, 10:51 AM   #4
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Why do these idiots always put the goodies in such large engines?
To sell the big stuff and all the extras that come with it. If they slapped it on all their econo models they'd be no reason for someone to "upgrade".
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Old 01-18-2008, 12:23 PM   #5
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Dax, you're absolutely right about the wrong size engines for this technology. An 800 CC twin powering a Yaris could easily get 50 mpg Hwy, or even 60 mpg with LRR tires and a few aero tweaks.

I don't think I'd go as small as that because of my long legs. A 1.6 liter Turbo 4 with DI powering a Toyota Camry or Chevy Malibu could get 40 mpg and still have the same performance as today's 2.4 liter versions.

And a turbo DI 2.4 liter would make good enough power for a van or 1/2 ton pickup truck.

Why do these idiots always put the goodies in such large engines?
a turbo 2.7 liter diesel does a superb job propelling the Dodge (Mercedes) Sprinter vans, which are a good 1/2 to 3/4 ton, and can pull 27MPG while doing it..
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Old 01-18-2008, 01:51 PM   #6
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because it costs more. more cost doesn't work well on an econobox.

DI doesn't get THAT much more power out of an engine (unless you're talking going from a TBI to DI maybe) it mainly improves emissions and very low end and very high end.

Example: Toyota used the 2JZGE since the early 90s and without a turbo ranges from 205-230 hp (BHP advertised). if you don't know, it's a 3 liter straight 6, twin cam, 4 valve design. most models run from 10-11:1 compression and they're all multi-point port injected. in america they were found in the Lexus GS300, SC300, IS300, and toyota supra. the same year port injection VS direct injection is about 10 hp and 5 ftlb difference. however, emissions are nearly nonexistant and the powerband is improved. fuel economy I don't remember exactly but it went up like 2 mpg average.

I do agree that 90% of engines are vastly oversize. once when I worked at a car dealer I picked up a customer in their car after soem work was done. pulling out of his driveway into a multiple semi size space I think I hit maybe 10% throttle in the cadillac. the guys eyes got huge and grabbed the armrest. I'd say I was using 20 hp from an engine rated at 315 and the guy was nervous....why does he need 315 hp if he gets scared of 20!?
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Old 02-26-2008, 09:15 PM   #7
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According to this article, it seems that the tech is improving and the improvements are significant enough.

I believe that manufactures will benefit from the emmisions and (meager) FE gains to meet the stricker requirements for fleet averages.

http://cars.about.com/od/thingsyoune...tinjection.htm

How much more powerful and efficient is direct injection?
Cadillac sells the CTS with both indirect and direct injection versions of its 3.6 liter V6 engine. The indirect engine produces 263 horsepower and 253 lb-ft of torque, while the direct version develops 304 hp and 274 lb-ft. Despite the additional power, EPA fuel economy estimates for the direct injection engine are 1 MPG higher in the city (18 MPG vs 17 MPG) and equal on the highway. Another advantage: Cadillac's direct injection engine runs on regular (87 octane) gasoline. Competing cars from Infiniti and Lexus, which use 300 hp V6 engines with indirect injection, require premium fuel.

However I complete agree, no 'needs' a 300 hp car!

We are just used to it and now expect it.instead of using this tech to make our v-6 seem like v-8s, why not downsize to a and get MUCH more FE and less power?
Of course your first point is correct too, it is hard to sell because it costs more. More cost doesn't work well on an econobox. A 5-10% increase in cost for the same in FE is a very hard sell in that market. It is pretty easy to add $1000 to a Caddy's 40-50k price.
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Old 02-26-2008, 09:48 PM   #8
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Well they've got most auto review hacks cheering them on. I can't beleive some of the econobox reviews I've seen lately, complaining about a "measly" 140HP or suggesting a 9 second 0-60 time is bad. HOLY CRAP those were sports car numbers not so damn long ago, and this is meant to be an economy car you freakin' idiots. These guys need shooting for some of the ridiculous crap they spout about these cars, what? It's not up to the ride comfort of a Lexus, no freakin' crap einstein it's a quarter the damn price. In 3 cars shootouts of econocars they invariably pick the fastest, best equipped car, 160HP 8 second 0-60 and more extra equipment than I carry for a weeks camping, I wonder how I survived my 30 min drives across town before.

Back in the day they had more integrity I think, I've got some old Popular Science mags, in one is a review of the diesel Chevette, 0-60 in 27 seconds, and they managed to find some nice things to say about it and gave it a review appropriate to target market.
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Old 02-26-2008, 09:53 PM   #9
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vehicles like the vw golf/rabbit with a 1.2L or 1.3L dirrect injection gas engine are avalible other places and get 50+mpg, the US is the only country that you CAN"T get little engines in commen cars, it's not a matter of designing and building them, it's a matter of making them avalible HERE.
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Old 02-27-2008, 02:27 AM   #10
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However I complete agree, no 'needs' a 300 hp car!
LOL!

You're saying this while owning a 100HP motorcycle that weighs a little over 400#? Who needs that? Or is that your choice?
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