Bath project seeks to develop new gasoline engine that reduces fuel consumption by about one-third

Researchers from the University of Bath (UK) are embarking on a new project to achieve a 35% reduction in car fuel usage. The project aims to develop a gasoline engine achieving the same performance as the current 5.0L V8 engine from an engine less than half the size.

The team, from the University’s Powertrain & Vehicle Research Centre in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, has been awarded £590,000 (US$946,000) from the Technology Strategy Board as part of a £4.2M (US$6.7 million) consortium which includes Jaguar Land Rover, Lotus Engineering and Shell. The other consortium members are GE Precision, CD Adapco, the University of Leeds and Imperial College London.

The resulting engine is intended to have a higher specific torque rating than any production engine but with better fuel economy than current diesel engines and with the refinement, durability and emissions compliance of next generation gasoline engines.

The experimental program will utilise a unique air-charging facility developed as part of my EPSRC Advanced Fellowship that is able to emulate the performance of advanced turbochargers and superchargers before they are available as physical prototypes. This will speed up the engine development process, allowing us to find the ultimate boundaries of engine operation under these extreme operating conditions.

—Dr. Sam Akehurst, principal investigator

The researchers anticipate the first demonstration engine will be built in 2011.


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