GM brings experimental engine tech to the road

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Posted by Ben ( on 01:30:32 08/27/07

Finishing up some reading material out of the log jammed queue....

Have been following DCCI ever since found it in some DARPA doc's while at SunLabs.

Motor Trend has a very good article about GM's two experimental vehicles on the road right now. Hope it gets into production soon.

No spark plug, direct injection (gasoline), etc.

Still not ready for large displacement, yet.


GM brings experimental engine tech to the road
Posted August 24 2007 02:52 PM by Kirill Ougarov
Filed under: Technology, General Motors

GM is putting a pair of prototype vehicles fitted with its experimental homogenous charge compression ignition
(HCCI) engine on the road to help further the technology's development and demonstrate it outside of
a laboratory setting. The two cars, a Saturn Aura and an Opel Vectra, have been fitted with modified
2.2-liter four-cylinder engines making 180 horsepower and 170 lb-ft of torque that offer as much as a
15-percent improvement over a traditional gasoline engine by combining HCCI with other fuel-saving
technologies such as direct injection and variable valve lift. The Aura is equipped with an automatic
transmission, while the Vectra is fitted with a manual. Both vehicles can run up to 55 mph in HCCI mode.

Like a diesel, HCCI works by compressing a fuel and air mixture inside the cylinder, which then produces a
flameless release of energy throughout the entire combustion chamber. All of the fuel in the chamber is
burned simultaneously as a result. When cold, however, the HCCI engine will run as a normal spark-ignition
gasoline engine, with the transition between conventional and HCCI operation occurring quite
smoothly, according to the automaker. Currently, the prototypes will shift to spark ignition at higher
speeds and during heavy loads, though GM expects to reduce the amount of time the engines spend in spark
ignition mode as development progresses.

Although 15 percent is a fairly small fuel economy improvement when compared to a similar size diesel
engine, a big advantage of HCCI is that costly emissions equipment such as particulate filters needed
to meet today's emissions standards are not necessary. It's still early, but HCCI technology, especially if
combined with a hybrid component, could some day help The General's gas engines become as fuel efficient as
equivalent diesels.

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