Smaller, more sophisticated engines are on deck at Audi with technologies that will characterize the company’s future products.
In the last decade, variable vale timing, direct injection and turbocharging have all become key components in the automotive industry’s battle for more efficeint products. The answer about where to go from here varies by manufacturer, but part of Audi’s multi-pronged solution will include gasoline engines with variable compression ratios and electro-mechanical forced induction (turbocharging and supercharging), Audi R&D boss Ulrich Hackenburg said during the company’s annual press conference.
Neither of those are new ideas. Almost 15 years ago Saab said it was developing an engine that could alter its compression ratios and BMW is developing theoretically similar forced induction systems that could spell the end to turbo lag. This would be achieved by using an electric motor to cram more air into the engine cylinders rather than waiting for exhaust fumes to spin a turbine once the engine is spinning fast enough.
Hackenburgh didn’t elaborate further on the comapny’s plans, but Audi will be able to squeeze more power and greater fuel efficiency out of two- and three-cylinder engines by integrating both technologies.
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