• May 11th 2010 at 6:40PM
  • 27
It seems as though engine downsizing is the catch phrase of the last few years. Take an engine, shrink it and drop a turbo in and ba da bing, you've got a more efficient and sometimes even more powerful solution. Even though engine downsizing is popular, few have ventured as far as FEV Inc. With this new engine (pictured), appropriately called the Extremely Downsized Engine, FEV explores uncharted waters, going beyond tiny four-cylinder engines.
The Extremely Downsized Engine (EDE) comes in at just 0.7 liters of displacement from its three-cylinder turbocharged design. FEV claims that the EDE powerplant, complete with direct-injection, can return 12 percent better fuel economy than a non-turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder motor.

Fuel economy aside, the EDE has horsepower per liter numbers that few supercars can match. We're talking about 134 horsepower per liter here, jolting this engine past icons such as the Corvette LS9 powerplant at just over 100 hp/L and the 2.0-liter turbocharged Ecotec mill at 130 hp/L, but falling just shy of the current 911 turbo rated at 137 hp/L. Now that's a lot of power.

Though no release date has been set, FEV sees a market for its EDE in B- and C-segment vehicles throughout U.S. and Europe. It may take time for buyers to understand the benefits of a tiny engine, but we're confident that FEV is on the right path with this one.

[Source: Ward's Auto]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm not overly impressed. The Honda S2000 came out 11 years ago with a naturally aspirated engine that was good for 120 hp/L.
        • 7 Months Ago
        It's a sliding scale. It's a lot easier to get 700hp out of a 7L than it is to get 100hp out of a 1L.

        S2K, guess what the 1986 RX7 got, but that didn't have great fuel economy either.

        All in all, it's a nice demonstration, but I'm doubtful it would hold up to manufacturer's durability tests. Not to mention torque output and rev range required to make this practical in a modern safety equipped automobile.

        Will we see it in a car.....ever?? No, but at least, now we have more than some engineer's calculations to look at.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'll take HP/$, HP/gallon, HP per lb or HP per engine volume (dip displacement). HP/L just isn't that useful when you compare across technologies because when you change the valving from 2/cyl to 4/cyl, the size, weight, cost and gas usage go up. when you go from OHV to OHC the size, weight, cost and often gas usage go up. When you add a turbo and intercooler, the size, weight cost and often gas usage go up. Yet none of these change the displacement.

      What I really care is how much power am I getting for my dollar, for the space I have to allocate to the engine or for the gas I burn.

      Also, an Ecotec LNF makes 145HP/L on premium gas with a low cost (not free) upgrade that retains your factory warranty. And you can buy it today, in a car or in a crate.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'd wager the new Fiat TwinAir two cylinder, 900cc ,engine will succeed while this thing falls by the wayside. Auto engines are regarded by the automakers as necessary in-house expertise, always have, always will. In addition, this thing is tuned to the edge of performance and therefore can't have a long life expectancy.

      I'll take the TwinAir in a Fiat Cinquecento, Toppolino, or Panda, cars for which it is designed. The Fiat 500 is already recognized as the best micro World Car going, and the downsized 900 cc two cylinder, from the 1.0 -- 1.4 liter I-4s will find a ready home.
      • 5 Years Ago
      12% better fuel economy than a 1.5L motor is not that impressive.

      Seems like it would make a good generator though. Small, simple..
        • 5 Years Ago
        I with you on that.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Who is FEV?

        • 5 Years Ago

        They do engine consulting/research/testing for a lot of the automotive companies out there. A lot of times, they'll do emissions and benchmark testing of engines for GM/Toyota/Ford (that's all I know of). It's like a hands-on forum of engine research for major automotive companies...and a very good one at that.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'll take one!
        • 5 Years Ago
        Anyone posting these articles know anything?

        BMW motorcycle engine. 1 liter displacement 193 horsepower. For sale now at dealers all over the world. Similar power to displacement in its competitors. This EDE is not a special engine. It is very ordinary. It does not deserve any special notice.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Not that its a standout in the fuel economy department, but the new Ferrari 458's has 127hp/L, from a non-forced induction, naturally aspirated engine. I can only imagine what's going to happen when the tuners get a hold of it and slap some turbos on it.
      • 5 Years Ago
      nah it's not quite right. 1 or 2 cylinders too many and should be designed for generator operation, not stand alone drive of the car. all that drive belt alternator stuff has no place there. much too big.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Have fun driving, designing and selling that 1 cylinder car Dan... will it be made out of fiberglass too?
        • 5 Years Ago
        PB, Dan's thinking is pointing in the right direction, really. He's saying that cars should be electric drive with the engine only as a generator to either charge batteries and/or horse power augmentation. Electric drive out accelerates gas drive hands down, even with less HP so it's inherently fun to drive if the maker doesn't down-spec the vehicle. Then there's the whole needs-no-transmission-so-it's-lighter-and-fewer-parts-to-break thing...

        I disagree with Dan on reducing the number of cylinders though. I'd say just keep 3 or 4 and simply reduce the displacement even further until the HP is around 40 (for a sedan or other regular car). Use that as the gen-set to compliment a nice 150 HP DC electric drive train (equal to about 225HP gas drive train).
        • 5 Years Ago
        Techsword, my thinking is reduction of complexity and things to go wrong, cost aided by future cars being a lot lighter and needing less power. I also have an intuition that fewer larger slower cylinders can be made more efficient because the gases will be less rushed. but my understanding of it is still limited.
        Fiat introducing a 2 cylinder engine lends some credence and that's direct drive of a heavy car.
        I think the most efficient combustion engine area might be low rpm high load. not sure about theoretically ideal cylinder count.
        • 5 Years Ago
        posterboy, no the engine will be made out of lego blocks and glued together with tears of petrolheads.
      • 5 Years Ago
      hp/L means nothing
        • 5 Years Ago
        agreed. High hp per liter usually makes for *worse* fuel economy.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It's a benchmark against which to measure something. The fuel consumption figures, the space and weight that the engine takes up, etc are the real world benefits, but they also have benchmarks.

        By the way, current-production 600cc four-cylinder motorcycle engines are in the same range of power output (100-ish horsepower) but without turbocharging or direct injection or variable valve timing, they just do it with revs. They don't have particularly spectacular BSFC figures.
        • 5 Years Ago
        hp/L tells you about as much about a car as
        stereo wattage/# of seatbelts or
        # of spokes on the wheels/air conditioner capacity

        it tells you nothing without the context of lots of other information

      • 5 Years Ago
      Are there any automotive engine engineers who can answer a concern I have? These direct injection, turbo charged engines look great on paper, but I have hesitation in buying one. First, I know that as a general rule of thumb, the higher hp/liter, the lower the longevity, because you put the same amount of heat and stress onto a smaller amount of material.

      Secondly, this engine is small, but far from simple. The more complex an engine is, the more unreliable it can be, and the more difficult it can be to diagnose and repair. The ecoboost engines have a robust controls system. Due to all of the modern sensors and electronics, I can't tell you how many times I've been under the hood of my car, scratching my head trying to figure out why the engine isn't running right. I have little to no help from the computer codes. Many times, they can't even figure it out at the dealer. I scream and cuss, and swear that my next car will be a 65 mustang with a carb.

      In our search for more mpgs, will we as car owners kick ourselves later?
        • 7 Months Ago
        High specific output turbocharging often does have the problem of heat, but what FEV is doing here is using direct injection as a means of controlling that heat.

        Direct injection has been the big thing in diesels over the past decade, because it allows them to run high specific outputs (for diesels) without burning a whole shedload of diesel to keep things running cool. It does the same thing for gasoline motors.

        While the high specific output isn't very impressive by itself, the fact that they've given the motor (according to the original article) the tractability of a bigger mill, with lots of low-down torque available from just 1,500 rpm through the use of direct injection and variable cam phasing (impressive, given that this is a SOHC/two-valve per cylinder motor) is an interesting development.

        For all the naysayers on here, it's bloody difficult to implement these modern technologies on engines with such a small bore... some automakers have expressed doubts over the viability of putting direct injection on mills smaller than 1.4 liters. This engine is half that size... with just one cylinder less than common 1.4 liter DI engines... in effect, it's about 30% smaller per cylinder than most other direct injection mills.

        Yes, motorcycle engines have huge hp/liter numbers... at the expense of flexibility. An engine with high hp/liter numbers and good torque numbers will be much more useful in a 2,000+ pound car meant to carry four passengers. And a lower-revving automotive engine, using the aforementioned direct injection for better cooling, will be much longer lived than a high-strung motorcycle motor. The only question is the durability of the direct injection system... as this has proven to be the Achilles heel of direct injection diesels.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Way overstated article.

      "Take an engine, shrink it and drop a turbo in and ba da bing, you've got a more efficient and sometimes even more powerful solution."

      You have that backwards. Drop in a turbo and you've got a more powerful and sometimes more efficient solution. Of course, it's also more expensive and less reliable.

      "FEV explores uncharted waters, going beyond tiny four-cylinder engines"

      To the "uncharted waters" of three-cylinder engines.

      "EDE has horsepower per liter numbers that few supercars can match"

      Really? What kind of crack was the author smoking on this one? There are numerous examples of vehicles that can match or beat the hp/liter. Most of them probably offer more torque.

      If FEV can produce an engine that will be in demand by manufactures of small cars, good for them. Hopefully, it's a fine product and I wish them well. Let's just not pretend like they've done something unimaginable.
      • 5 Years Ago
      So it's got power. I don't need a whole heck of a lot of power. How far down the road will it push a car per gallon of gasoline burned? How does it stack up against a 1L turbo-diesel? At the end of the day, is it any more efficient than a Prius?
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