The Outlook for Conventional Automotive Engines

  • Bernard I. Robertson


This paper deals with the outlook for conventional automotive engines in the face of continuing competition from a variety of alternative powerplants. The primary areas considered are technological attributes, entry barriers, and cost. A brief review of the technological improvements of the recent past is presented and the overall results in powerplant attributes are reviewed, together with forecasts for the immediate future. Promising developments which may support the projected future improvements are briefly summarized. A major hurdle presented to any alternative powerplant is that of entry barriers. The specific entry barriers presented by capital investment, the current infrastructure and public acceptance are discussed. A breakdown of typical costs of today’s conventional engine is presented together with a review of the likely areas for future improvement. An overall reduction in the area of 30% is forecast over the next five years. It is concluded that, in the final analysis, the most critical test for any powerplant, conventional or alternative, is that of customer value. The marketplace will ultimately select the successful candidate. In order to be this successful candidate, any replacement powerplant must match the conventional engine in most of its characteristics and beat it in the rest. Furthermore, the target to be met by any replacement candidate is not that represented by a 1986 powerplant, but by an engine which is continually improving in all technological respects and corresponding cost at a very significant annual rate.


Diesel Engine Fuel Economy Gasoline Engine Entry Barrier Public Acceptance 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bernard I. Robertson
    • 1
  1. 1.Powertrain EngineeringChrysler MotorsUSA

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