We’ve spilled a few pixels on these pages over Hyundai’s dedication to direct injection (DI) technology, even going as far as to crown Hyundai the “new Honda” of motor technology. But DI technology isn’t without its downsides, and Hyundai tells Automotive News [sub] that the technology isn’t likely to appear on future engines with less than two liters of displacement.
Specifically, a 1.6 liter engine, destined for Hyundai’s future compacts like the Accent likely won’t see direct injection, as Hyundai’s North American powertrain director tells AN [sub] “it gets more difficult when you have four valves, the injector and the plug all in a very small-sized bore,” like the 1.6 liter engine under development. But, he adds, “there is still more room to get more fuel efficiency” out of small-capacity engines without DI.
This is an interesting development in that Chrysler is heavily relying on downsized, direct-injected and turbocharged engines from Fiat, including a 1.4 liter engine that will first see action in the US under the hood of the Fiat 500. Though the 500 won’t compete with any Hyundai models, future mass-market B- and C-segment Chrysler offerings are expected to utilize sub-two liter DI engines, meaning they’ll face a challenge in competing with Hyundai’s cheaper, non-DI powerplants.