German-British consortium launched

Lotus and Siemens VDO working on further development of direct petrol injection

Automotive companies and two British universities have recently founded a consortium called HOTFIRE (Homogeneous and Throttle-less for Fuel Efficiency with Reduced Emissions).

Its aim is to demonstrate the future potential of direct-injection gasoline engines. The design consultancy Lotus Engineering of Norwich, England, takes a leading role in the consortium. Siemens VDO Automotive, the University of Loughborough and University College London are also involved.

The consortium is concentrating on gasoline direct-injection with homogenous mixture preparation in combination with fully variable valve action under the name Lotus AVT.

The design consultants are introducing two single-valve engines to the project. One of the two is a so-called optical engine, which has a transparent valve and a window in the piston to help research into alternation of load and mixture preparation. The second engine serves the research of emissions and small particles.

"Siemens VDO Automotive is providing the hardware for the injection," explains Hans Nuglisch, who is responsible for the project on the German suppliers' side.

The consortium is planning to complete the project in September 2007.

The government-owned Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) supports HOTFIRE with a 720,000 euro grant. Together, Lotus and Siemens VDO are investing the same amount.

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