First Scuderi split-cycle engine prototype completed

The engine promises to yield up to 80% fewer emissions than a typical engine

The engine promises to yield up to 80% fewer emissions than a typical engine

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American engineering firm Scuderi has announced the completion of the first prototype of its new ultra-efficient engine design called the ‘split-cycle’. The design uses a revolutionary new system to provide engines that release significantly fewer emissions than current offerings and is claimed to be one of the most efficient internal combustion engine designs in the world.

The prototype is a 1.0L gasoline-powered engine expected to produce up to 80% fewer pollutants than a standard combustion engine. "This is a very important milestone for the Scuderi Group as well as the Scuderi family," said Sal Scuderi, president of the Scuderi Group. "This has been seven years in the making and we're only just beginning to realize the potential that this technology holds. We are eager to conclude licensing discussions with OEMs, so we can see the engine come to life in a variety of vehicles and finally be able to give the driving public a more fuel-efficient and environmentally-friendly driving option."

Therein lies the rub - the engine will require substantial investment and development by larger partners before it's ready for prime time. Nevertheless, Scuderi thinks that once fully developed with turbocharged intake and 'air-hybrid' components, it will make a significant leap forward in fuel efficiency. Scuderi analogizes the advance of the split-cycle over today's engines to the advances made by the Otto cycle compared to its predecessors.

Typical combustion engines are roughly 33% efficient at the moment - meaning that they use about 1/3 of the power available in the fuel they burn. The Scuderi engine pushes this figure to nearly 40%, a significant improvement, achieved through some clever technology.

The Scuderi engine splits the strokes of the four-stroke cycle over a pair of dedicated compression and power cylinders, meaning that the design of each cylinder can be independently optimized to perform the separate and distinct tasks of compression and power. This means that engines can be designed in ways that were impossible before, making the technology one of the most sought after products in the industry.

Scuderi is planning on introducing both petrol and diesel prototypes, with both engines greatly reducing emissions and increasing fuel-efficiency. As yet, no plans for commercial application of the engine have been announced. The prototype will be officially unveiled April 20 at the 2009 Society of Automotive Engineers' World Congress in Detroit.
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Comments (10)
  1. Scuderi or scuderia?

  2. good point dino.

    a 7% gain is huge when you consider that you're getting 21% more output... but I wont lie, I'm kind of confused about what this technology actually is and what it does. it sounds like a cleaner and more complex way of doing a 2 stroke.

    aaaaaaaaand i just found a cool animation of it:

  3. Like I said, I think there's still huge gains to be made with good old fashioned gasoline...
    Thanks for the link Chris...

  4. It looks like one piston compresses the air/fuel mixture and "charges" it into the other combustion chamber. The combustion cylinder fires like a 2 stroke, but it takes two cylinders to do all that.
    Kinda like a supercharged 2-stroke. But the rotating mass of two cylinders.
    Is this right or am I wrong about how it works?

  5. paul, thats exactly it. its a two stroke but with double the number of cylinders. instead of compressing behind the piston in the crank case, its using a separate piston to do the compression. its not like a super charged 2 stroke, cause the compression isnt any higher than any other engine.

    The biggest problem I see with this is increasing the mechanical complexity of an engine by 2, without gaining any power. or for that matter, keeping the same complexity but with half the power.

    I really dont see why you would opt for this instead of turbo charging. the EcoBoost system is supposed to give 20% more power while reducing emissions by the same figure.

    the real question is, can you get compound gains if you combine this system with a turbo. inject air/fuel into the compression cylinder at over 1 atmosphere already, and then compress it further. just a thought.

  6. Yeah, you have to compare apples to apples. What this sytem does is increase the efficiency taken out of each drop of gas. Adding a turbo to this engine would probably have the same effect as on any other engine, using waste gas to increase the oxygen density of the intake air, thus resulting in even more efficiency per drop...

  7. this is not new technology or even a new principal! Anyone can go and get a book with the history of combustions engines and you'll see! I can't remember what the name of the engine is but its way old! It dates from back in the day when engineers were struggling to get an IC motor to produce more power. A mechanical supercharger can be bolted to a standard 4 cylinder motor to achieve similar results and a supercharger is more compact with less weight/complexity issues. Besides all this, this engine is essentially only a 2 cylinder motor! So in order to have a 4 cylinder the concept would require 8 cylinders!... Stupid!

  8. Nothing new here. Racers were cheating, using one cylinder out of eight to supercharge the intake manifold, decades ago.

  9. Interesting, though makes me wonder what happened to that engine GM and Mercedes were talking about that is a gas engine that works similar to a diesel

  10. The Revetec X4v2 engine achieved 39.5% efficiency on gasoline 3 years ago with no forced induction, split cycle or even overhead cams. Look for yourselves at

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