Gas prices are going up, and as a result, consumers are seeking vehicles with improved fuel economy. Also, environmental concerns and emissions laws pressure manufacturers to make a product that produces fewer emissions. With that being said, consumers are still looking for more power. This is a big problem for the automotive industry. Typically, more power equals poorer fuel economy and higher emissions. So, what’s the answer? Direct injection.
Here’s how it works. Fuel is injected at high pressure directly into the combustion chamber, instead of mixing with air in the intake or cylinder port. The gains in power and efficiency come from precise control over the amount of fuel being delivered. Also, engines using direct injection are able to run at higher compression, which further improves its’ power characteristics.
Direct injection was actually first used in the 1955 Mercedes Benz 300 SL, but didn’t really become popular until roughly ten years ago. When it was first used, its’ electronic controls were costly and unreliable. But, technology has come a long way, and now it’s found in many new vehicles, even economy cars.
The use of direct injection has allowed auto manufacturers to achieve more power, improved fuel economy, and to create fewer emissions. This certainly is a win-win for the consumer and manufacturer.
Photos courtesy of Car and Driver magazine
Filed Under: The Car Guide from CarConsult
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