Delphi has a new gasoline engine that beats most hybrids
Imagine combining the best attributes of gasoline and diesel engines into one system and reaping fuel economy numbers that rival today's gasoline-electric hybrids like the Toyota Prius. Engineers have been dreaming this dream for years, but have been stymied by the problems such engines have to overcome.
Delphi, a major parts supplier to manufactures, thinks it's figured it out. Using a single-cylinder test engine, the company put the technology to the test under a variety of conditions and found it performed better than expected. They're now building a multi-cylinder version that will be very much like the production-level engine in a car would be and will test that to be sure the idea scales up.
The engine is a combination of diesel and gasoline engine combustion technologies, combining the best of both to achieve fuel economies that are estimated to beat today's midsized sedan's averages by more than 50%, according to the company.
The gains come mainly from the higher energy efficiency of a diesel engine, which is 40-45% efficient in energy extraction and use while a gasoline engine is usually less than 30% efficient. Diesel engines, however, require a lot of after-treatment to meet emissions requirements while gasoline engines do not.