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Internal Combustion Engines of the Future

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Internal Combustion Engines of the Future

Internal Combustion Engines for the Future

Horst Schulte, Martin Wirth

Ford Motor Company


Future internal combustion engines for light duty applications will have to cope with a very complex set of

customer, legal and business requirements. Customers are expecting further improvements in durability, reliability,

drivability, fuel economy, and cost of ownership. Legal requirements are focused on significant emission and fuel

consumption reductions. Additional manufacturing cost reductions will be essential to maintain, or better grow the

business in a very competitive environment.

The challenge for the diesel engine will be to meet the future emission standards at affordable cost, while maintaining its

fuel economy advantages. Regarding the emissions, advanced diesel technologies will have to focus mainly on NOx

reduction. New combustion system concepts in combination with advanced airhandling/boosting and control systems

offer a promising potential.

The focus for future gasoline engine development will be on fuel economy improvements through improved combustion

systems and reduced throttle losses at part load operation. This can be achieved through e.g. direct fuel injection with

stratified lean part load operation. Downsizing in combination with boosting offers an additional potential.

Internal combustion engines still have a huge potential to deal with the challenges of the future. In comparison with

alternative powertrain concepts, at least for the next 20 years, the internal combustion engine should be able to maintain

its advantages regarding high power density, low manufacturing cost, recyclability, long driving distance between two

refueling events, well established fuel supply infrastructure, and its capability to use a wide variety of fuels.

Key-words: Diesel and Gasoline Engines, Fuel Economy, Emissions, Combustion, Boosting


Future powertrains for light duty applications have to fulfil a very complex set of requirements (Figure 1), and there is

always the question: "Will the internal combustion engine be able to cope with these challenges also in the future?"


•Resale Value

•Fuel Economy

•Maintenance Cost


•Driving Range


•Bigger Vehicles

•More Features and Equipment

•Customized Vehicles


Legal Requirements





•Market Share /Total Volume

•Manufacturing Cost

•Development Cost

•Product Variety (Niche


•Resource Usage



•Precious Metal

•Exhaust Emissions

•Fuel Consumption / CO2









Figure 1: Interaction between Customer Expectations, Environmental/Legal Requirements and

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