• Aug 20, 2009
Direct injection is exciting technology in that it allows car enthusiasts to have their cake and eat it too. How so? By both improving fuel efficiency and increasing horsepower. This being the case, it's not surprising that automakers from all ends of the world are embracing the tech and selling their resultant wares right here in the U.S. of A.

While Ford has made lots of noise as of late with its so-called EcoBoost power-adding system, the Blue Oval is hardly the first automaker to offer direct injection to the masses, even with forced induction. For a complete rundown of all current passenger cars sold in America with direct injection engines, our friends over at Winding Road have compiled what looks to be a pretty complete list in their latest issue. Expect this to be a rapidly expanding list as more and more engines are fitted with direct injection to yield greater fuel efficiency, lower emissions, and more power.

[Source: Winding Road - NOTE: Link launches magazine e-reader]


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  • 27 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      The 2.0 Ecotech DI Turbo is one sweet engine at 260 Hp and 260 Ft Lbs.

      Add the dealer installed Turbo upgrade kit which is only two MAP sensors and a computer flash you see 290 Hp and 340 Ft Lbs RWD and 315 Rt Lbs RWD.

      Also you pick up 1 MPG with the new flash. A 3200 pound HHR SS will see 23-24 City and 31 Highway. Boost at 1300 ft is around 21-23 PSI based on weather conditions.

      145 Hp per liter is sweet not many top that in a affordable price range. In fact few match that in a expensive range either. Also it is covered by 5 year 100,000 mile warranty.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Diesels have had direct injection since their inception - and I don't hear people yelling about intake valve deposits on them. Its a engine specific issue - not a direct injection problem.
      • 5 Years Ago
      it's hilarious that american cars have had this for a while and the japanese are trailing behind...

      DI is freaking awesome - 10-15% power boost on a non-aspirated engine with the ability to run 87 octane in a high compression turbo.. and most of all, better gas mileage, what's not to love?

      I guess the best thing about this is that litte 4 cylinder motors are able to move heavier cars.. should be no problem to get 200-250 HP and 150-180lb-ft torque out of a 4 pot.

      I wonder if the intake valve thing is a problem with the VWs.. though i guess that stuff needs to get cleaned out somehow, right? Myself i'd gladly clean out my intake tract once a year for a motor like this...
        • 5 Years Ago
        Except the Japanese have had it on their cars since the 1990's...but had no reason to make their US market engines more expensive since the only competition they faced here didn't have DI, or VVT, and were almost all pushrods.
        It's the same reason why most car engines don't have both variable valve timing and lift control for intake and exhaust-it's not that auto makers don't have the technology, they just don't put it on every car since it would drive costs and complexity up. And automakers compete on price as well as features/performance.
        Anyways I hope more cars get DI soon, it's long overdue.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Why is Porsche's 2.9L engine on that list? The Boxster S 3.4L is indeed direct injected, but the regular Boxster is not. Come on, Winding Road, do your homework.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Isn't it "have your cake and eat it too"? Not sure, dyslexia is a bitch. :P

      Still, direct-injection is exciting, and Ford knows it. EcoBoost is Ford's best V6 by a long shot. The Vulcan was decent, but the Duratec is a nightmare. I hate that engine.
      BoBone-D16
      • 5 Years Ago
      yea lets mention the 1 ford engine on that list and ignore the 4 engines from GM. . .
      • 5 Years Ago
      Damn all these years I was lead to believe the Japanese were so technically advanced, and GM was the one that had ancient powertrains. I think this list is biased. LOL.
        • 5 Years Ago
        There were only 4 engines on that list from GM. It's just that they use them in 5 times as many models because they're the biggest platform whores in the business. The only thing on their list I would consider buying is the Solstice.

        GM needed DI just to catch up to where the Japanese were without it.
        • 5 Years Ago
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gasoline_direct_injection
        I think you should take a look at when and by who direct injection was first added to cars there. And also the fact that much like everything else not every direct injection system is equal, so the companies that pioneered it have more advanced systems now (like the Lexus 2.5L plant's dual injection).

        Direct Injection would probably have been found on more import engines if it weren't for the fact that they didn't have to add it to compete since the domestic competitors were running pushrods.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Maybe if the US fuel wasn't so crappy, we would have the good japanese/german engines.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Maybe someone who knows better can inform me...

      From a power standpoint, direct injection seems a bit counter-intuitive to me, as I am under the impression that you want the fuel injection to be far upstream of the cylinder, as it allows for better atomization and fuel "shearing." Note formula 1 cars have the injectors high above the intake runners. It is also who carbureted cars can produce more peak power than the equivalent fuel injected motor.

      Direct injection seems like it would be much harder for fuel to atomize, and thus, combust.
        • 5 Years Ago
        If I understand correctly,
        The easiest way to explain direct injection in understandable terms is to say that it makes a gasoline powered engine closer to a diesel engine.
        Not in all aspects though, but it allows the fuel to be injected into the cylinder after the piston compresses, whereas a normal gasoline engine must put in the fuel with the intake air through the intake valve before the piston compresses. Whenever a piston compresses the air and fuel mixture, heat is added as well as pressure, the pressure allow the fuel to ignite more powerfully, but the heat causes instability known as knock. Direct injection allows the engine to take advantage of the pressure without adding heat to the fuel, reducing knock. This allows higher compression ratios to be used, thus making an engine run more efficiently.

        FYI, the lead previously used in gasoline reduced the knock effect, and used to allow engines to run more efficiently.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The force the fuel through much smaller holes and thus it atomizes a lot better with DI. This is possible since DI has such high fuel pressures (too high to reach with an electric fuel pump).
        • 5 Years Ago
        I believe the high psi of the injection performs the majority of the atomization and rectifies the issue.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Direct injection is good for gasoline engines because it allows for more air to be inducted into the cylinder while the intake valve is open. This means all air is inducted as opposed to a fuel/air mixture with port injection or carbeuration. In engineering speak, this is higher volumetric efficiency. Additionally, there is some charge cooling that occurs when the fuel is injected since fuel vaporizes in the cylinder and not in the intake ports. This allows for potentially higher compression ratios to be run without pre-ignition. This can be seen in engines such as the one used in the Mazdaspeed3 which has a compression ratio of almost 10. These effects are the main drivers for greater power and economy.

        DI engines use higher fuel pressure to overcome the increased cylinder pressure compared to the intake ports. Additionally, the higher fuel pressure is used to ensure that the fuel is well atomized before combustion starts. I should note that DI engines right now inject fuel around the end of the intake stroke. This provides the charge cooling capability mentioned above and still allows for mixing while the charge is being compressed. A spark plug is still used to ignite the fuel/air mixture like a port fuel injected engine. This also still uses a stiochiometric air/fuel ratio like most gasoline engines today.

        DI engines have the capability to run stratified. Meaning that they can run very lean. In this case, the direct injector sprays fuel when the piston is very close to top dead center. The injector is also aimed at an exact location to ensure that the spark plug will see the right air/fuel mixture to start combustion. This strategy has the benefits of running very lean like diesel engines and thus yielding very good fuel economy. The downside is that it can produce diesel like emissions - mainly particulate matter and NOx emissions. Mitsubishi tried this strategy in the early 90s with the GDI engine available in Japan. This engine was cancelled due to emissions constraints. It is doubtful that we will see stratified gas engines again unless there is a breakthrough in exhaust aftertreatment technology.

        You can read the Wikipedia link about DI engines. It gives a little more background that I can type here:
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gasoline_direct_injection
        • 5 Years Ago
        I believe the big thing is that the relatively cool fuel is being injected after the heat-generating compression stroke. This cools the combustion chamber and allows for more aggressive timing which generates more power without increasing detonation.

        Or something. Magic, maybe.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Ford was the only one smart enough to give all this techno mumbo-jumbo a name the cutomer can relate to - EcoBoost, makes a lot of sense and its gaining incredible traction in the marketplace and media, especially with the auto writers and bloggers.

      Ford also has developed a nice portfolio of patents around EB because of their advanced use of:
      - Direct Injection with a specially designed "Y" fuel rail with Bosch
      - twin turbos while most still use just (1) especially on I4's - Mazda, VW,...
      - CTA iVCT - Cam Torque Actuation (vs. oil pressure) for independent variable cam timing
      - more sophisticated engine control unit (ECU)
      - producing the best flat torque curve at a low 1500 rpm

      Note: GM's turbo 2.8L V6 on the new SRX is an old Saab unit that won't even allow DI

      Few other manufacturers have put so much into a single engine design as Ford with EcoBoost and more to come, especially on the I4 family
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