A new British engine technology has undergone formal evaluation tests, which showed a 19.8 per cent improvement in fuel economy over a comparable, conventional gasoline engine.
A new British engine technology has undergone formal evaluation tests, which showed a 19.8 per cent improvement in fuel economy over a comparable, conventional gasoline engine.. Click image to enlarge

Coventry, England – A new British engine technology has undergone formal evaluation tests, which showed a 19.8 per cent improvement in fuel economy over a comparable, conventional gasoline engine. The technology, called the Merritt Unthrottled Spark Ignition Combustion (MUSIC) engine, has progressed from a five-year Coventry University research project to a four-cylinder engine produced at Powertrain Technologies (Ptech) in the U.K., with aid of a grant from the Energy Saving Trust.

The MUSIC gasoline engine is able to operate unthrottled, like a diesel engine, and can come close to achieving the fuel efficiency advantages of a diesel. Its advantage over diesel is that it is able to allow treatment of NOx exhaust emissions with conventional catalytic converters.

The tests were conducted at an independent test facility, as required by the grant providers, with a current Ford 2.0-litre Duratec engine for comparison. The 19.8 per cent improvement was calculated over a number of test points simulating an urban drive cycle. The thermal efficiency increased as the engine load decreased, and at near idling conditions, the MUSIC engine demonstrated a 42.5 per cent improvement over the Ford engine.

Andrew Barnes, managing director of Ptech, said that more improvements can be achieved in the near future, perhaps as high as 25 per cent. “Due to difficulties in obtaining suitable injection equipment, we were unable to optimize the engine at certain test conditions,” he said. “We are confident that there are a few more percentage points available when optimized.”

The four-cylinder prototype is based on a cylinder head mounted on a Ford Duratec crankcase. Unlike competing technologies, the MUSIC system does not require any new supporting technology and apart from the cylinder head, the four-cylinder prototype engine uses currently-available production components throughout.

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