Among conventional combustion engines, the turbodiesel is among the most powerful and fuel efficient. But a startup company called EcoMotors has developed a design that’s smaller, lighter, more fuel efficient, and can run on a variety of fuels.
The engine is a two-stroke turbocharged two-cylinder with two pistons in each cylinder. Yes, you read that right; four pistons in a two-cylinder engine. The pistons sit opposed to each other, one being pushed, the other pulled by the combustion of each stroke. What this does is allow a normal stroke to be completed twice as fast in an engine package that is just one-quarter the size of a conventional turbodiesel engine. It’s also 30% lighter, and will supposedly deliver 50% better fuel economy. With an engine that small, cars could also get smaller, and thus lighter, leading to even more impressed fuel economy gains.
Sounds like a miracle motor, and I’d be quicker to dismiss it if it didn’t have two very well-known and respected vehicle specialists behind it. EcoMotors just received $23 million in funding from Khosla Ventures and Bill Gates, and aims to have a vehicle on the road sometime in 2013. They think they can deliver 100 mpg in a conventional vehicle that can run on gas, diesel, or ethanol. Sounds great; the only question I have is about the horsepower and torque numbers. Making a smaller, lighter engine is great for fuel economy, but if it takes 20 seconds to get to 60 mph, it will be a hard sell.
I hope Coletti won’t let that happen.
Source: Hemmings Auto Blog
Chris DeMorro is a writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMI’s. You can follow his slow descent into madness at Sublime Burnout.