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I think everyone is missing it here, other than I agree it maybe geared towards over the road type trucks. Diesels price point is no picnic and the Urea Injection is a pain. no cooled and or uncooled EGR as well to deal with. Yes Natural Gas infrastructure is not all here, so why not use Gasoline to supplement it because that infrastructure is? No mention that that engine could go to one fuel as in a limp-home mode if you will should one run out. The 10% downsizing and a 10% improvement in power density hmmm, might that take the Eco-Boost system to a new level? Note, they do not mention if that was tried with Eco-Boost with the research, but it is already DI. IMHO read through the tea-leaves, my guess is they are trying to trick the engine out as if it running really high octane ( via nat gas ) to get higher BMEP's via compression ratios or turbo boost, that would be the power density increase of 10%.
"For the powertrain we have worked closely with the team at Total to not only reduce friction inside the engine, but within all components of the powertrain. Friction is the enemy of horsepower and tackling that has been one of the efficiency targets we have concentrated on heavily." Friction. Is Friction the next beach-head of increasing efficiency. Do your research on low friction technologies, surface treatments, coatings, and bearing advances i.e. bearing materials (without giving it all way) The question begs, which ones if not all are they employing of the three mentioned.
"Specifically not of interest to VTO are the following engine technologies that DOE research has shown to be unpromising: "Rotary engines Two‐stroke engines Adiabatic engines" I respectfully disagree. Look at some of the advanced the work being done with Rotaries in the unmanned arena and ditto that 2 strokes, Power to weight and compactness matter as well, it is not all about emissions and BSFC, I think their priorities are too centric in a couple of areas. Adiabatics? Didn't they read up on the Oil-Less Un-Cooled work done by TACOM in the 1980's. How much oil would you save on an Un-Lubricated and Un-Cooled engine since those products are derived from oil. The work done on that program IMHO was probably more significant than many realize and yet no one has run with that ball, and IMHO that is a shame. Tangent to this is some of the work done since then in frictionless and near frictionless technologies, that may warrant a revisiting of what was done before and can these new coatings etc be applied to a revisit of the Adiabatic Engine Program. However kudos to them on recognizing the Titanium low cost options that have come to light in the media in the last couple of weeks.
I think this has sea-legs beyond the Taxi Market, imagine this as a Mom ( or Dad ) Mini-Van replacement for around town especially with a CNG filling station at home. Tangent to this, with all the DNA in the Ford Powertrain Portfolio, supplanting the "Energi" Drivetrain in this Vehicle AND THEN converting to CNG, might be the state of the art Taxi with operating cost that would stun the owners. Perhaps they should build some Prototypes and lend said combo to some fleets to see if it would save as much as I think.
Isn't this narrow minded with the focus on JP-8? Seriously, how about Omnivorous so if caught behind enemy lines and you find JP-4, home diesel or even Whiskey from a Distillery you can run it? Wasn't that some of the mindset for the the John Deere S.C.O.R.E. Rotary in the 80's?
"The Aptera project failed, why would this one works, it is a similar approach. " Go to their website, look @ the team members. It is a who's who the winning-est racers and they got the challenge from a viewpoint others didn't. The question begs, can they take that competitive spirit and energy and apply it towards a production intent vehicle given the proper Capital. IMHO the Very Light Car w/ very low drag as noted in their papers makes a compelling arguement against carrying around a very heavy battery for a hybrid drivetrain.
Why use an LS1? I am sure their is a DI Corvette V8 in the works, why not go directly to that DI engine? Better yet, go with the Ford V6 Eco-Boost and supplant the current gasoline injectors with either CNG or LPG. The Octane is higher than Gasoline which may make for some interesting increases in compression ratios or turbo-boost.
As a former alum of P & W, I can tell you such advances don't come easy. It was an industry that would fight and claw for 1.5%, but 20% says to me multiple breakthroughs may have occured. For competitive reasons, we may not get a glimpse of all of them in and in detail until it is ready for certification. Maybe snipets along the way. However, note in this press release the compressor is headed to the test rig. One may ask when do the combustor, and turbine section go to their respective rigs, and what % of the gains they account for as well as the Compressor. Although this is the Canadian divison may I say to them and the East Hartford Guys and Gals, good luck and make it happen! G_dspeed!!!!
Interesting... This is on the heals of Westport getting deals on production line LPG engines, as well as the Clean Energy 150 filling stations at "Pilot" Truck Stops. A Gaseous Revolution has begun and the usual suspects the nattering nabobs of negativism can't stop it. I find it also interesting the NPRM on Coal Plants and their CO2 hurdles. Gee, could Crony Capitalist who make Gas Turbine Units benefit? Nah, move along, nothing to see here...
I think many here are missing something... I do not think this frames the question of is it Series or Parallel, but with the power split some new beast I will call adaptive? I look forward to the follow on "Energi" Drive. Tangent to this is that no one is talking about or sees what will be the transmission-less drive motor in the Electric Focus unveiled at the 2010. After talking to one of the engineers @ the NAIAS, they are modulating torque via a controller. Is eliminating the Transmission a breakthrough that no one sees? http://www.engadget.com/2011/01/11/ford-focus-electric-motor-extracted-split-asunder-coppery-guts/ If so why not build a rallye car or even sports cars with 2 of these motors, one front and one rear, on a Lotus Aluminum Chassis with their new 1.0 Litre 3 cylinder EcoBoost powering a motor and out "e-drive" the "Volt"? IMHO as an observer of the company, they might have all the bits and pieces in their expanding parts bin to do it. Even wilder, add Wesport's LPG Injectors for a non gasoline prime mover engine. That might be one fine "Superleggera" sports car!
Poet, Your VW is a good vehicle, however I don't have the numbers in front of me but I would gather the current Gen VW is some 800lbs heavier than the 80's variants and the current is heavier than yours ergo as everyone chases 5 star crash ratings. The Taurus based on the Volvo is 5 star if my memory is correct and is a larger vehicle than your VW. These ratings have cost everyone MPG numbers. We can have a discussion at another time on the advantages and disavantages of lightMy guess is you should be comparing the Focus to your VW. Overpowered? If you are advocating control of that two we difinitely part company, that is a another choice I do not want to surrender to Fedzilla....
E-Poet, You have got to be kidding, that is a marginal increase of 12% that is nothing to sneeze at for a "mature" technology. Yes the next contraction could be brutal. But take a look at the LPG EcoLPI Ford Falcon in Australia. With Clean Energy working on their LPG stations nationwide ( from GCC a few days ago) one may ask will that alternative offer a true competitor to gasoline's dominance in the US.
Sustainability, Emissions bla bla bla... What matters even more is the engines will last longer and the pricepont difference between CNG and Diesel might give WM something businesses haven't seen in a while, margins....
Compare this to the Volt, and tell me, which one would you rather have in your driveway or take out for a spin. Especially if you are a Plug-In enthusiast, with the "Energi" variant... IMHO this car could be a game changer.....
Just a gut feel, but watch the 2013 Fusion when it comes out. Just someone reading the tea leaves of the auto blogs etc, but IMHO it could be a game changer. Again IMHO it may make the Volt look like a Trabant. The juxtaposition of federal over-site vs free market innovation may also rear it's head.
If the 2013 Ford Fusion Hybird comes in at the 48 mpg in the city like some of the auo/green car blogs have pontificated, the Malibu will look like moldy cheese in comparison. And we don't know what advantages the Ford "Energi" drive will have on top of that.....
The Explorer is a marvelous driving car, and this is the next step. However, Ford has denoted that their Truck Line will soon get the auto/stop-start feature for up 8% reduction in fuel consumption via no-idle at stop lights. The question now is when will Ford roll this out feature on top of this Eco-Boost Engine and would he 8/10's improvement bring in ciy numbers to 21.6ish and change?
I'm from Missouri, show me... I was their in the early years of Pratt's geared Turbofan and got to see the test rigs and talk to those who where doing some of the brain-iac long range planning on it. It took almost another 20 years, and it is a reality, and it is a paradigm changer. I can't see how GE can get another 15% with internal tweaks, again show me....
As someone that has followed all these inventor engines, I can't say I have been very comfortable with this engine and the connecting rods. Something just doesn't sit right with me. The injector is not in an optimal location. But I stumbled upon this Patent Pending , a Barrel Engine, 2 stroke, Direct Injected, Internally Charged vis a Stepped Piston and a rotary cup off the main shaft to help control the airflow to the pistons after charging. Ingenious to say the least.... http://www.google.com/patents?id=zPLwAAAAEBAJ&printsec=abstract&zoom=4&rview=1&source=gbs_overview_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false
If you look at the total weight of hybrid systems, this Stop/Start feature makes a heck of a lot of sense rather than 2 drive-trains and the associated weight. Maybe this combined with an ultra-capacitor (or other cutting edge storage device yet unspecified ) to potentially capture some of your braking energy would make current hybrid drive-trains look like an "Adam Computer" i.e. a product that was neat, but who's time has come and gone. I look forward to the day when a "super-light" something akin to the Edison X2 goes head to head against a comparable Hybrid.
This car shares the current Ford Kinetic design cues and common driver cockpit electronics. The question is, is this a show car or a show car with 80 or 90% of what we see making it to the production line. But, the question begs, is the sliding door the "Great Oz" i..e. pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. Ford also showed a sliding suicide door on the Flex Show Car 3 or 4 years ago now at the NAIAS. My guess? The slider doesn't make it to production and it maybe a head fake. Now with the B pillar missing a suicide door would allow a different but potentially easier entry, i.e. sit first and swing you legs in, if the door is far enough out of the way. I share the sediment that the 3 cylinder Eco-boost could be a good prime mover engine for a larger hybrid. It would be interesting to see it linked up with their new "Energi" Hybrid System.
What people may not realize, this thing has a good shot at eventually going production. As opposed to these pie in the sky startups in California, Bombardier has production experience and assembly lines. As an engineer on a high profile vehicle told me, the big 3 give money to small companies to succeed, many of their ideas fail because in fact they are not ready for prime time. My guess is Bombardier working with these students will be able to filter them from going to solutions that are unobtainium, and much like the my other example only do things that are ready for prime time, yet grab onto their enthusiam and fresh ideas. IMHO fully enclosed for all weather and aero might be more marketable, but that is not the "fun" marketplace that the current Spyder is in.
I ask of all reading this and all posters to go over to "Jalopnik" and take a look the pictures of the show car, It is gorgeous. Note, Car manufacturers are not making show cars for grins and giggles anymore, they do not have the capital to do a two seat Indy-type-Car for the show circuit that will end up in a museum as a design exercise (Ford did such a car in the 90's if my memory is correct). With that said, is this a show car with design intent? My guess? Following the Ford mantra of global platforms is this trial balloon for the next generation "Ka" or "Puma" (a guess on my part via it's size) to be sold worldwide? Time will tell. But the 3 Cyl, Eco-Boost maybe further evidence that Ford's commitment to this technology denotes they are talking the talk and walking the walk.
Pratt and GE both worked on this technology in the late 80's early 90's. Why do you think this was given up? Consumer perception of going back to "props" and noise signature issues. Could GE have made advances since the early 90's? sure, but as far as I know and this article seems to state it, this technology has been dormant for a while, other than the computational aero-acoustic analysis tools... My questions are these: Is this as a "Hail Mary" pass since Pratt's Geared Turbofan is 3 years away from Type Certification, and they worked on the geared fan for YEARS? How long will it take GE to have a market ready product from this? Turbofan's have to do a "blade-out" test, what do you do to insure the blades never liberate from the hub or survive a large bird strike, i.e. geese, since their is no containment ring? Is this why GE is going "green" since a paradigm changing technology by one of their competitors (Pratt's Geared Turbofan) make further erode their revenue stream of their existing Turbofan engine offerings and a new revenue stream is needed?