How Shall we Power Tomorrow’s Automobile?

  • Charles A. Amann


The thrust toward further gains in the fuel-utilization efficiency of the passenger-car engine, without sacrificing its many other desirable attributes, is continuing. The search for an attractive alternative powerplant has always been included in such efforts, but so far none has emerged. Prominent on the list of contenders today are the Stirling engine, the gas turbine, and the advanced diesel, including uncooled versions incorporating structural ceramics. Large-scale production of none of these is projected for passenger cars in the foreseeable future. Meanwhile, improvements continue to be made to indicated thermal efficiency, mechanical efficiency, and volumetric efficiency of the spark-ignition engine. Supercharging and variable engine geometry are additional options, and the advent of electronic controls has proven beneficial. The spark-ignition engine promises the ability to operate on the leading alternative fuels. Given the evolving scenario, that engine is expected to remain dominant in passenger cars to the end of this century.


Compression Ratio Fuel Economy Intake Valve Brake Thermal Efficiency Turbine Inlet Temperature 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Charles A. Amann
    • 1
  1. 1.Engine Research DepartmentGeneral Motors Research LaboratoriesWarrenUSA

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