Ground-breaking Ricardo engine wins Autocar award

14 November 2005 #SMMT News

The Ricardo 2/4SIGHT gasoline engine has today won Autocar’s prestigious technology award. Switching automatically between two and four stroke operation, the groundbreaking engine design has the potential to deliver an improvement of up to 30 per cent in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, together with class leading performance.

Accepting the award in central London, Tim Lake, Ricardo chief engineer, advanced gasoline engines said:

‘It is extremely pleasing that Autocar has chosen to recognise the potential of the 2/4SIGHT engine. Together with our industry partners, we look forward to testing the first prototype engine next year and hope to demonstrate potential of the 2/4SIGHT concept to reduce emissions and improve the overall performance characteristics of future vehicles.’

The 2/4SIGHT engine concept is based on an innovative design of combustion system combined with advanced valve train and control technologies. By matching the control strategy to make best use of the 2/4SIGHT engine’s capabilities, simulation studies, originally managed under SMMT’s Foresight Vehicle programme, showed the potential to deliver:

  • Up to 30 per cent benefit in fuel consumption and reduced CO2 emissions via aggressive engine downsizing – using a smaller, lighter engine operating at higher specific load
  • Compliance with Euro 4 emissions standards and with the potential to adapt to meet future standards as applied to conventional gasoline engines
  • Similar CO2 emissions yet lower production costs than a conventional diesel engine
  • Highly attractive driving characteristics, with class leading torque delivery

The 2/4SIGHT engine concept is viewed as being particularly attractive for premium cars and SUVs, where fuel consumption and CO2 emissions tend to be higher and its inherent torque benefits will fit well with typical driving characteristics.

Work on the 2/4SIGHT engine is being actively progressed by Ricardo and a consortium of industry partners including DENSO, Ma 2T4, the University of Brighton and Brunel University, with additional support provided by a number of automotive manufacturers. A detailed 2.0 litre V6 gasoline engine design has now been completed which is intended to deliver levels of performance and driveability more usually associated with 3-4 litre V8 engines.

Ricardo and its partners intend to build and test the first concept demonstrator engine in mid-2006. In parallel with this work, a detailed cost/benefit study is being carried out based on a 1.0 litre 2/4SIGHT engine for use in mid-sized family cars as a highly efficient replacement for a conventional 1.8-2.0 litre gasoline engine.

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