having successfully brought in the common-rail technology for diesel engines, Bosch
is doing wonders with the gasoline direct injection technology. According to a
press statement, the company has already revolutionised one type of
internal-combustion engine by means of direct injection. In the space of a
decade, this technology became the undisputed standard for diesel engines.
Today, it features in some 80pc of new diesel vehicles worldwide.
similar transformation is currently taking place in connection with the
downsizing trend for the gasoline engine. With Bosch gasoline direct injection,
drivers benefit from higher torque at low speeds and therefore enhanced driving
enjoyment. At the same time, the system reduces fuel consumption by up to 15pc.
direct injection is now heralding the same kind of revolution that we
previously saw in diesel engines,” says Dr. Rolf Bulander, the member of the
board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH responsible for powertrain technology.
In Europe, the technology is already on the way to becoming standard, and Bosch
components can be found in sporty compact cars, touring sedans, SUVs, and
in 1951, Gutbrod was the first automaker to use Bosch gasoline direct injection
in selected models of its Superior subcompact car. From 1954, Bosch made this
technology available for large-scale series production in the Mercedes-Benz SL
300, the legendary “Gullwing.” The basic technical principle has remained the
same over the years: the injectors spray the fuel straight into the combustion
chamber in such a finely atomized state that it is immediately combustible. The
fact that the fuel vaporizes permits greater compression, because the
combustion chamber is additionally cooled. Although the new combustion method
saved a lot of fuel, it took a long time before the technology gained
decades, the company further developed gasoline direct injection with
innovations such as laser drilling for the injection holes, which enables
particularly exact mixture formation and clean combustion.
the start of the new millennium, tough emissions standards in Europe brought
gasoline direct injection to the mass market. This pattern is repeating itself,
because vehicles will be allowed to emit on average only 95 grams of CO2 per km
by 2021. As a result, approximately half of new European vehicles with gasoline
engines will have direct injection by as soon as 2016. “We are currently doing
excellent business in Europe with gasoline direct injection. But in a few
years, there will be lots of action in the U.S. and China too,” Bulander says.
In these markets, the innovative injection systems are still largely restricted
to imported vehicles. However, with automakers in China and the U.S. facing
tough new emissions legislation in the future, they will increasingly adopt the
will boost the fuel economy of U.S. pick-up trucks, European sedans, and
medium-sized Asian cars in equal measure, saving motorists money at the pump.
In addition, the economical systems make a valuable contribution to the
environment. This effect is already measurable in Europe, the cradle of and
lead market for the innovative technology. In 2013, some 40 percent of all new
cars on the continent were equipped with gasoline direct injection. Bosch
experts estimate that these new vehicles save a total of around 1.2 million
metric tons of CO2 a year, because they consume less fuel. “With innovative
technology, Bosch is making powertrain systems energy-efficient, reducing
emissions, and slashing the costs for every kilometre driven,” Bulander
the potential of gasoline direct injection does not end with making
internal-combustion engines more efficient: it is also the ideal basis for
electrifying gasoline engines. Its optimum design for downsizing allows for
compact engines with few cylinders, which can be supplemented by electrical components.
In such cases, a highly efficient IC engine forms the core of the powertrain
and can be supported by electrical components during its less efficient running
phases or even switched off altogether – such as in plug-in hybrids, which can
drive up to 60km powered by electricity alone. “Gasoline direct injection and
electrification complement each other perfectly,” Bulander says. Big reductions
in CO2 emissions can be achieved by a combination of electrical components and
boost recuperation system is a good example of how this works. The 48-volt
hybrid goes perfectly with downsized engines. A particularly strong generator
supports the engine at low speeds or during acceleration by working as a motor.
This electrification measure alone can reduce fuel consumption by up to 15
percent. In real driving conditions with the coasting function that shuts off
the engine, additional reductions of 10 percent are possible. That makes for
total fuel savings of up to twenty-five percent. The system can thus help to
meet strict emissions standards in the compact class.
Picture courtesy Bosch
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