Well-known British tuning and racing company Ilmor Engineering has announced an intriguing new test engine that's reportedly capable of returning diesel-like power and efficiency figures while running on standard gasoline and lowering emissions. Displacing just 700cc and yet putting out 130 horsepower and 122 lb-ft of torque, the turbocharged engine's secret weapon is in its fifth stroke.

Fifth stroke? Here's how it works: two of the engine's cylinders, running with a conventional four-stroke design, fire and expend their exhaust gases into a third low-pressure expansion cylinder. A fifth stroke then allows those gases to expand, boosting thermodynamic efficiency. Due to this clever design, Ilmor estimates a five-percent improvment in overall efficiency versus a conventional direct injected engine of similar displacement.

Future plans call for a second generation of the technology offering up 150 horsepower and weiging 20-percent less than current engines. Interestingly, Ilmor engineering manager Steve O'Connor says, "We're looking for a manufacturer to back the idea, and the interest centres on its use in a hybrid application, as they tend to need sudden bursts of energy, and that is what this engine does well."

[Source: Ilmore Engineering via Autocar]

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