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A Petrol Engine - But Not As We Know It

The DriveWrite Archives Topics:  Hyundai

A Petrol Engine - But Not As We Know It

Geoff Maxted
November 18, 2013

Here’s an interesting development. The Korean car maker Hyundai is working on a 1.8L engine that works like a diesel, yet burns petrol. Hyundai reckon that if it works as they think and they can see their way clear for production, it could deliver a twenty-five percent fuel economy gain over a comparable petrol engine. Genius. That’s around the same saving as a true equivalent diesel will give you but it would cost less to buy and run.

As we all well know, diesel fuel currently cost us more per gallon than the regular stuff. Unlike many of today's diesels, the proposed Hyundai engine does not require a system in the exhaust to reduce emissions.

The Company calls the engine GDCI - gasoline direct compression ignition. With compression ignition, the pressure in the cylinder ignites the fuel which is how a diesel engine does it, whereas a spark plug burns the fuel in a petrol motor.

The Hyundai GDCI engine has no spark plugs. It uses both a supercharger and a turbocharger and has exhaust valves that open twice instead of once per cycle, the company have revealed. The extra opening draws in heat, which along with the pressure of being compressed in the cylinder, ignites the fuel. Hyundai plans to begin fleet vehicle testing next year. In bench testing the motor is generating around 180bhp.

There is every reason to think that this will be a goer as the comments from the developers are very positive. After all, why mention it at all otherwise? This has the potential to be a game-changer. If a valid claim, it wouldn’t come as any surprise to hear that other car makers are looking at the tech. Let it be so as over time we could finally see the back of the suspicious price differential.

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