The internal combustion engine has been around for well over a century now, but that has not stopped the technology from moving forward and making them better. From the beginning, manufacturers have looked for ways to improve upon the engine. The following is a list of different auto technologies, some old and some new, that have taken the internal combustion engine from mediocrity to near perfection. Most of these technologies can be found in vehicles that are showcased at Listin Autos.
1. Direct Injection
Direct injection allows the engine to mix the fuel with air inside the cylinder, rather than inside the intake manifold, which gives the engine more control over how much fuel is used. This is a technology that has allowed gas mileage to increase in recent years.
2. Cylinder deactivation
This also affects gas mileage, as it allows the engine to deactivate certain cylinders when less power is needed. For a V8 or higher, this is essential to lowering gas mileage on the vehicle.
Turbochargers allow the engine to create more power by increasing the pressure inside the cylinders. This is a technology that allows smaller engines to have more power, thus eliminating the need for huge, gas-guzzling engines for those who want a vehicle with as much power as possible.
4. Variable Valve Timing and Lift
Having the ability to vary the valve timing allows one to adjust the amount of power an engine is using at a given time. When adjusted properly, the engine can run at the most economic RPM while the car is in idle, while also providing the most powerful RPM while the car is moving and more power is needed.
5. Clean Diesel
Diesel engines have always had superior gas mileage to that of gasoline engines. However, they have always been considered loud, stinky machines that are not worth the hassle that comes with the economy. Thankfully, clean diesel engines have changed that, and with this advancement, car companies are attempting to make diesel engines popular again in the United States.
6. Four-Stroke Engine Cycle
This was one of the first major advancements in the internal combustion engine. Prior to this advancement, which occurred in the late 19th century, internal combustion engines were two-stroke engines. The advancement of the four-stroke engine cycle led to far better fuel economy and engine power.
7. Forced Induction
Forced induction engines were originally used in aircraft, but did not begin being used in automobiles until the 1920s. Going hand-in-hand with turbochargers, forced induction forces more air into the engine, causing more pressure, and increasing the engine’s power. Today, this allows even smaller engines to get excellent horsepower. A good modern example of this are certain Mini Cooper models, which use 1.6 Liter engines, but get all the way up to 200 horsepower.
The internal combustion engine was one of the most important technological advancements of the last hundred-fifty years, but further advancements continue, making the engines cleaner, more powerful, and more fuel efficient.