West Springfield, Massachusetts – The Scuderi Engine, a highly efficient, low-emission prototype engine, reached a major development milestone when engineers successfully fired the engine for the first time.

The split-cycle engine operates on a revolutionary concept of firing after top dead centre. Engineers will continue further testing and adjustments over the next several weeks in order to fine-tune the engine to its maximum efficiency levels. Engine maps, test data and other performance measurements are being made available to the global automotive community under non-disclosure agreements. The company said that Scuderi split-cycle technology will give automakers an immediate solution for complying with higher emissions and efficiency standards, without having to make large investments to modify current production processes.

The naturally-aspirated 1.0-litre gasoline prototype potentially produces up to 80 per cent fewer toxins than a typical internal combustion engine. Researchers say that when fully developed with turbocharged and Air-Hybrid components, it is expected to achieve significant gains in fuel efficiency as well. It is named for Carmelo Scuderi (1925-2002), who designed and invented the original Scuderi Engine.

The split-cycle design divides the four strokes of a conventional combustion cycle over two paired cylinders: one intake/compression cylinder, and one power/exhaust cylinder. By firing after top dead centre, it produces highly efficient, cleaner combustion with one cylinder and compressed air in the other. Unlike conventional engines that require two crankshaft revolutions to complete a single combustion cycle, the Scuderi Engine requires one. Studies show that the engine is also capable of producing more torque than conventional gasoline or diesel engines.

Completion of the turbocharged Scuderi Engine and Scuderi Air-Hybrid prototypes are expected in 2010.

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