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Tomorrow’s world: future petrol engine tech news

Mon, 28 Sep 2009

By Tim Pollard

Motor Industry

28 September 2009 14:15

Petrol engines are changing dramatically. You’ll have heard of the phrase 'downsizing' and most major manufacturers are shrinking their regular gasoline engines to trim emissions and fuel consumption – while employing new tech to keep up the horsepower and torque outputs.

This is the holy grail for engineers: maintain the power and performance of the existing big capacity engines we’ve become wedded to, but in a smaller, more economical package. How? By forced induction, clever valve timing and new, more efficient ways of managing fuel injection.

They are many competing demands of modern petrol engines. Here’s how they do it. Take Ford’s new Ecoboost engine family. They claim that the new 1.6 Ecoboost engine for the Focus class has the performance of a contemporary 2.0-litre petrol but the fuel economy and emissions of a much smaller motor. There will also be a 2.0-litre Ecoboost engine primarily aimed at the Mondeo segment to replace larger lumps (farewell the 2.5 five-pot) and a smaller, unspecified engine small engine for the Fiesta/Ka class, most likely with a capacity of between 1.0 and 1.2 litres.

Make no mistake, those badges on car boots are going to tumble dramatically, ending years of corporate car park one-upmanship.

By Tim Pollard