Internal combustion engines as we know them have changed very little over the years, with minor improvements in the majority of gasoline engines running on a four-stroke cycle. Scuderi Engine is looking to change that with its recent patent filing for a split-cycle engine design.
Essentially modern engines today run on the ‘Otto’ four-stroke cycle which is induction, compression, ignition, and exhaust. When fuel and air enters the cylinder, it’s compressed by a piston, then a spark ignites the mixture. The spark pushes the piston down in the power stroke and once the piston makes its way back up again, the exhaust valve opens and pushes the gases out.
Scuderi’s split-cycle engine design looks to cut that four-stroke process into two parts. By utilizing paired cylinders, each cylinder will do half the work with one combustion cycle per crankshaft revolution. The four strokes are essentially divided between the two cylinders – one intake/compression cylinder and one power/exhaust cylinder – that are interconnected by a Crossover Passage.
In the grand scheme of things, the split-cycle engine would only have half the cylinders in any engine setup combusting mixture. That would equate to half the spark plugs and half the injectors required. The company currently claims that its engine design is 25 percent more efficient than a typical engine found in European cars and 13 percent more efficient than best-in-class vehicles. Scuderi predicts that its powerplant could get upwards of 65 mpg in a small vehicle.
“Independent laboratory results confirm that the Scuderi Engine has unusually fast and robust combustion; has a diesel like, flat torque curve; is highly knock resistant; produces less NOx than conventional internal combustion engines and is ideally suited for air hybridization,” says Scuderi on its website.