sábado, agosto 25, 2007

AUTOMOTION: General Motors develops diesel-like gasoline engines

General Motors Corp. says it intends to improve the mileage of its gasoline engines by making them run more like diesel engines.

Although many automakers are pursuing the same strategy - notably Honda - GM became the first company Friday to demonstrate the technology in running concept cars.

"This is not ready for prime time yet," said Tom Stephens, group vice-president of powertrain for GM. "We don't have a date pinned to it at all," he said at the company's proving grounds here 80 kilometres west of Detroit.

"But in my opinion, it's going to happen," he said of mass market production of HCCI engines. Called homogenous charge compression ignition (HCCI), the system, which has been 30 years in development, enables gas engines to mimic key aspects of the diesel combustion cycle.

Specifically, the system uses high pressure to increase burn efficiency to levels only achieved in diesel engines until now.

Diesel engines are up to 30 per cent more efficient than gas engines but create more emissions - making HCCI an attractive goal. Stephens said the technology will not be sold until at least 2013. He said it is too early to tell how much it will cost in production.

Via: CanWest News Service

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