Automakers Hit Bottom in Engine Displacement, May Be Forced to Upsize

Ford 1.0L Ecoboost. Photo courtesy Ford.

If you believe engine displacements have turn out to be a small too European more than here, you’d hate to see the motorcycle-worthy powerplants motivating econoboxes on the other side of the pond.

Paired with the magic of modern technologies, inline threes and parallel twins can now make adequate grunt to move respectably sized automobiles. Nonetheless, these days could quickly be more than, all thanks to ambitious regulators and the downsized engines’ tendency to spew man-sized amounts of pollution.

And if you consider this isn’t America’s issue, feel once more.

European emissions regulators received a black eye last year soon after realizing their collective noses weren’t up to the activity of sniffing out a skunk in their midst.

It took a small independent European team working with a group of West Virginians to reveal Volkswagen’s years-long deception. Burned and angry, regulators fired back with laws mandating significantly far more stringent real-planet testing. With those new laws on the horizon, it appears that massive is the new tiny.

Reuters reports that Common Motors, Renault and Volkswagen plan to scrap their smallest engines, with other automakers anticipated to adhere to suit. Whilst small, boosted motors can provide superb fuel economy, the nitrous oxide and carbon dioxide output is often out of all proportion to the diminutive displacement. That goes for both gasoline and diesel powerplants.

At the Paris Auto Show final week, Renault-Nissan alliance powertrain head Alain Raposo told Reuters, “We’re reaching the limits of downsizing.” GM reportedly plans to drop its 1.two-liter diesel following the current generation, and Volkswagen will shortly ditch its 1.four-liter 3-cylinder diesel.

The current testing regime offers the tiny motors a thumbs-up, but only due to the fact the tests run the engines at moderate temperatures and light loads. Make them work, and emissions soar. Bigger displacements give automakers a likelihood of passing a real-world test.

Starting next year, new European models need to meet on-the-road testing for NOx, with all cars essential to comply by 2019. A new worldwide test common for fuel consumption and CO2 emissions arrives in 2021.

What does this all imply for America? Well, thanks to a rise in global solution offerings, some of those suspect small-displacement engines are sold on this side of the Atlantic. After the Volkswagen debacle, the Environmental Protection Agency pledged to add on-road testing to its battery, so the clock is ticking.

Ford’s significantly-touted 1.-liter EcoBoost three-cylinder, discovered in the Fiesta and Focus, earns low marks in actual-globe emissions testing (generating TTAC’s managing editor a monster). An independent fuel economy and emissions testing organization, Emissions Analytics, has begun on-road testing of new autos, and the benefits are not good for the Blue Oval.

The company’s Equa Air Good quality Index rates the 1.-liter Focus an “E” on its “A” to “H” air top quality scale. That places the model in compliance with a testing normal that ended in 2014. Ford’s Fiesta doesn’t fare a lot much better, rating a “D”, which still does not attain present Euro six emissions needs.

BMW’s 1.5-liter 3-cylinder, found in the Mini lineup, rates a “C” on the air quality index, creating it compliant with Euro 6. Nevertheless, Euro 6’s days are numbered.

Will the rise of the higher-output three-cylinder be a brief-lived one particular? Will Ford be forced to scrap an award-winning engine that fits in a suitcase? You can bet there’s furrowed brows in Dearborn and beads of sweat forming in Cologne.

[Image: Ford Motor Business]

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H2Oh Yeah: Bosch’s Energy-Boosting Water Injection Method Now Available to Automakers

Boeing 707 water injection takeoff (USAF/Wikimedia]

Bosch, the creator of the horsepower-boosting water injection system in the BMW M4 GTS, will now supply the technology to any automaker that wants it.

Spraying distilled water vapor into an engine’s combustion chamber has an added bonus of greatly rising fuel efficiency — meaning Bosch may possibly have a lineup at its door when the program enters mass production in 2019, Autocar reports.

BMW was the 1st buyer to use Bosch’s technique, adding it to the high performance version of its M4. By lowering engine temperatures and knock, water injection helped push the vehicle’s output from 425 horsepower to 493. Torque saw a comparable bump.

The company claims the technology can be utilized in any automobile class, from minicar to supercar. The timing is also right, as regulators around the planet mandate decrease emissions and larger fuel economy.

Water injection is often utilised on piston and turbine-powered aircraft to increase engine thrust, but Bosch claims the principal goal for its automotive technology isn’t power. The organization says its system improves gas mileage by 13 percent and reduces emissions by 4 percent. Energy levels will rise by five %.

“The technique operates very best on automobiles with an output of a lot more than 80 kW (107 bhp) per litre,” Bosch international project manager Fabiana Piazza told Autocar. “We’re launching it into the industry now as tighter legislation and new actual driving emissions tests are escalating the significance of this technology in all vehicles.”

Piazza stated that working with BMW helped refine the technologies and bring it to a wider marketplace.

So, how much water would a vehicle equipped with the program use? Not much, Bosch claims. The M4 GTS has a five liter tank in the trunk, but other models could see larger or smaller sized tanks, based on automobile size and cargo space. A single tank is good for 1,800 miles, the firm claims, and if it runs dry, there’s no problem — only energy and mileage will endure as a result.

A single technical issue remains: cold climate, and how to hold the water tank (and lines) from freezing. Bosch is investigating utilizing either engine heat or an electrical method to warm up the technique, but hasn’t created a selection however.

[Image: USAF/Wikimedia]

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‘Actual Mileage May Vary’ Could Travel Far For Troubled Automakers

2015 Ford C-Max Energi

A court ruled Nov. 12 that a lawsuit may possibly continue against Ford for misstating its mileage estimates of its C-MAX and Fusion hyrbid cars.

Ford attempted to dismiss the lawsuit based on its claim that the mileage estimates offered by the Environmental Protection Agency, have been in element, an estimate and that “actual benefits might vary.” Vehicle owners suing the automaker pointed to Ford’s media blitz that incorporated Ryan Seacrest in Instances Square with a bunch of billboards and T-shirts with the quantity 47 on them and “47 Challenges, 47 Days” advertising push and Facebook posts that the cars would achieve a “EPA-certified 47 mpg city and 47 mpg highway ratings for a 47-mpg combined rating” — among a lot of other 47-branded issues — when the vehicles didn’t come anywhere close.*

*Actual mileage did differ.

“Ford implicitly recognized that its marketing campaign was misleading,” U.S. District Judge Kenneth M. Karas wrote in the ruling.

In their claims, auto purchasers who purchased Ford Fusion and C-MAX hybrids wrote that the automaker’s aggressive advertising and marketing claim that the cars could obtain 47 mpg combined was intentionally misleading. The reality that they had been selling their vehicles primarily based exclusively on their mileage estimates didn’t support significantly.

“Ford’s advertisements intentionally used these false and misleading statements to demonstrate that the fuel economy of the Vehicles was superior to other hybrid vehicles in the marketplace, such as the Prius and Camry,” lawyers wrote for the automobile owners.

In its motion to dismiss, Ford argued that the EPA estimates have been presented as estimates (OK, maybe the Facebook post is a tiny incriminating) and that actual final results might vary, so what’s the massive deal guys?

“’Your actual mileage will vary’ … is why the fuel economy figures transmitted to consumers are estimates, not guarantees, promises, legally binding offers, or warranties,” lawyers for Ford wrote in their argument.

Judges mostly rejected that claim.

The lawsuit could have attain effectively beyond the C-MAX and Fusion hybrids that most definitely did not obtain their mileage claims. (In 2014, Ford revised its mileage claims for these cars and mailed checks to owners to account for fuel economy discrepancies. Hyundai did the identical thing for their vehicles.)

Regardless of the lawsuit, what automakers can and can not say to sell vehicles is pretty opaque. According to court documents, automakers aren’t explicitly needed to inform vehicle shoppers that their “actual mileage may possibly vary” in particular situations.

The EPA demands that automakers present the agency’s fuel economy estimates on window stickers, with a mandated disclosure that actual outcomes could vary depending on how the vehicle is driven.

But the Federal Trade Commission, which has jurisdiction more than many marketing practices in the U.S., does not demand a disclaimer in advertising (but, of course, outright lying is not a excellent notion), which is what Ford claimed in its motion. By which includes the disclaimer, the automaker should be absolved of any allegations of lying, lawyers for Ford wrote.

The ruling could attain well into Volkswagen’s pockets in their upcoming barrage of civil lawsuits with regards to what constitutes “clean diesel.”

Civil lawsuits against Volkswagen claim, among other items, that Volkswagen’s claim that it was “clean” could massively backfire if courts determine that selling those vehicles based on their environmental influence could constitute a guarantee by the automaker.

In Ford’s case — at least initially — in spite of including a disclaimer in its marketing, the automaker may be liable for a fuel economy guarantee it never ever delivered.

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