With rising fuel costs and stricter emission norms, automotive giants around the globe are working on the technology of the future. While some are going for a turbocharged power packed capsule like Ford with the 1-litre turbocharged EcoBoost, others are improving on the direct injection system like Hyundai to improve the fuel efficiency and tailpipe emissions, without compromising the performance.
In the clash of the titans, some automotive manufacturers are combining the turbocharging and direct injection with a variable valve timing technology on a compact three-cylinder engine.
The new star on the three-cylinder block is the French automaker Renault with the TCe 90 engine. With just 899 cc, three-cylinder engine, the Renault TCe90 has groundbreaking performance with clever forced induction. Growing over the naturally aspirated engine, the forced induction engine or supercharged engine improves the combustion in the cylinder by increasing temperature, density and pressure of the injected air.
This gives the Renault TCe90 a staggering 90 bhp at 5,000 rpm and a thrust of 135 Nm at 1,650 rpm. The figure is remarkable for a petrol engine, thanks to the forced induction. With the torque output available right from the low rev range, the need of quick-shifts is eliminated. Not only does it give extra edge in traffic, but it also improves the fuel-efficiency of the engine.
Apart from the power-boosting supercharger, the French engine is also equipped with direct injection system and the variable valve technology. Renault has also announced that the new engine comes with a multitude of technological uplifts like start-stop function and graphite coated piston skirts. In terms of design, the Renault TCe90 features an offset crankshaft, which reduces the reciprocating losses between moving parts.
This is the eight product in the Energy family, and the Renault TCe90 is derived from the French brand’s Formula 1 wing. Jean-Philippe Mercier designed the TCe90 engine and he believes that it’s distinctive and comprehensive design will give an extra edge over other products in the market. Getting expertise from the Formula 1 engineers, the TCe90 has some raw engineering traits like the Diamond-Like Carbon (DLC) coated cam followers, graphite coated piston skirts and Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) coated piston. This gives the three-cylinder TCe90 a class leading 100hp/liter power to capacity figure.
The pocket rocket, Clio could be the first model to experiment with the three-cylinder TCe90, and it might trickle down to other models as well, possibly hatchbacks, due to small size of the engine.
With American Ford and German BMW offering powerful small capacity engines in the A segment cars, the French Renault is not far behind in proving its mettle. What this gives us is new improving technology, cleaner air to breathe and finer products in future.