German Ingenuity Lowers Consumption By A Third

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt

Remember the miracle carburetor that would have halved the gasoline consumption, if the wicked oil companies would not have bought the patent and locked it away? As a matter of fact, the lowly ICE has made great strides when it comes to reducing consumption, a drive that has traditionally been championed in Europe and to some degree Japan.

german ingenuity lowers consumption by a third

More savings are lurking in the ICE. A German engineer says he can lower consumption of a three liter engine by 30 percent and lower CO2 output by 40 percent. And the power? That would go up by 20 percent.

It’s done with a special sequential injection system, originally developed for aircraft engines. It already has been used in Formula 3 racing engines of Mercedes, BMW and Toyota. Now, inventor Jürgen Himbert wants to adapt it for everyday use, says Automobilwoche [sub].

Different than the mythical miracle carburetor, the system has been proven and officially verified. A test with a 3 liter Mercedes, observed by the independent German testing lab GTÜ, replicated the numbers given above. The engine produced considerably more torque at lower revs which promises even more savings with an appropriately adapted gearbox. With gasoline engine, the system can even be refitted.

Diesel engines can profit even more from the system, says Automobilwoche. To receive maximum savings, the diesel engine needs a new block. For the oilburner, Himbert promises 2.5 liter per 100km (94 mpg US) and only 40-50g CO2 per 100km.

Himbert is talking to “a large international supplier” who wants to build the system in series “if carmakers want it.”

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6 of 19 comments
  • TR4 TR4 on Jun 28, 2010

    I call BS on this one. If a genuinely more efficient engine were developed it would be reflected in the brake specific fuel consumption (BSFC) figures. Pounds per horsepower-hour, or grams per kilowatt-hour, whatever floats your boat. Using whole-vehicle units like liters per 100 km or grams per kilometer introduces a bunch more variables. The fact is that engines in the 1950s achieved bsfc as low as 0.38 lbs/hp-hr and this figure has not been significantly improved upon.

    • CarPerson CarPerson on Jun 28, 2010

      I have to believe there have been significant improvements in the BSFC figures over the past 60 years. 1. Fuel injection systems are vastly superior to carburetion. 2. Spark timing, responsive to speed and load, is much improved. 3. Piston top and combustion chamber design vastly improved. 4. Three and 4 valves per cylinder is an advancement. 5. Variable cams and splitting intake and exhaust cams help. 6. Exhaust and intake manifolding is far superior 7. Airflow in the head is improved. 8. More attention to pumping and friction losses helped. 9. Much improved air intake and engine temperature control. 10. Today’s better motor oils have also helped. Totaled up, the engines of the 1950s are boat anchors compared to what is under the hood today. For a peek at what may be in store for tomorrow, look at some of the technology that has been incorporated into the newest Chevy, Ford, Dodge, and Toyota NASCAR engines. SAE’s Automotive Engineering magazine is also a great place to keep up on the big boy’s toys.

  • Charly Charly on Jun 28, 2010

    There is also the difference between 30% fuel savings and 40% CO2. Shouldn't that be 1 to 1

    • Dr Strangelove Dr Strangelove on Jun 28, 2010

      Indeed it should, unless the fuel composition also changes, or else the difference is emitted as soot.

  • David C. Holzman David C. Holzman on Jun 28, 2010

    This is very exciting if true. Both because I like my internal combustion straight, like my bourbon, and for the reasons sfdennis outlined. I don't believe what TR4 said, basically for the reasons outlined by CarPerson. The notion that engines are not genuinely way more efficient than they were 50-60 years ago has to be nonsense. Furthermore, Csaba Csere wrote a good column in the early-mid '00s on how much engines had improved in power since maybe the late 70s--an improvement which he admitted could have been manifested in better gas mileage, but don't tell Kerry or McCain he says as they were trying to pass new CAFE legislation at the time.

  • Niky Niky on Jun 29, 2010

    Dual-injection? The question is whether this requires more cylinder head real-estate, or if the engine remains port-injection. If that's an old Merc engine with a two-valve or a three-valve combustion chamber, then adding an extra injector to the head itself won't be as difficult as with today's 4-valve jobs. Nissan was actually working on a dual-injector system in a similar vein. The idea is to give the same benefits as direct injection, without being tied to extremely expensive and sensitive (read: prone to clogging) piezo-injectors. Thus, this one really isn't news to me.