Ricardo Gasoline Concept Claims 45% Efficiency Boost

Automotive supplier Ricardo has developed a lean-burn gasoline engine it claims is 45% more efficient than current ICE technology.

In league with technical partner, Chinese manufacturer Geely, it has created what it calls the Magma xEV gasoline engine concept claiming better conversion of energy for the engine designed to act as an electrical generator in a series hybrid powertrain. Lean burn is not a new concept in itself but Ricardo says its “homogeneous lean burn combustion” increases efficiency over existing power plants.

This process is a development on lean burn, where a reduced amount of fuel is burned in the combustion chamber alongside a normal amount of air. When a homogeneous mixture is used, the reduced amount of fuel is burned with the same ratio amount of air resulting in, Ricardo says, a 45% boost in brake thermal efficiency, which is the measure of how well an engine converts heat from a fuel into usable mechanical energy.

Ricardo built a single-cylinder prototype to test this, with its findings indicating it would offer better fuel economy when compared against other ICE technology used in existing hybrid powertrains. The British engineering firm says the engine concept is aimed at range extending and series hybrid applications, where the electric motor is the only source of power to the wheels, with a gasoline engine or battery pack powering the motor.

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