Rebirth of the internal combustion engine

ICE’s have come a long way over the hundred-and-so years of its existence. More notably, over the last 10-15 years, their efficiency has grown tremendously, since I remember in the mid 90’s, having a car with triple-digit horsepower was quite a thing. Today it’s commonplace, while fuel consumption has gone down. I’ve already written this before, but to put it into perspective, my 1991 1.6l petrol Citroen BX had 94hp, and it was considered powerful when it came out. My 1992 Volvo 460 GLE had a 1.7l petrol engine and 105hp, and could to 8.7l/100km (32.5mpg) on LPG. In contrast, my current 2.3l, 5-cylinder, turbocharged, DOHC, 20-valve 2000 Volvo S60 can pull an impressive 8.8l/100km, or 32.1mpg (with 3 adults inside, as opposed to just me in the 460) on LPG, even though it has two and a half as many horsies under the bonnet. That’s quite some progress when you think about it, and the tendency for more efficient liquid chemical-burning engines continues, as this gallery from Popular Science attests. Some of the solutions have been talked about on this blog, while others are new to me. Interesting stuff.


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