• Nov 15th 2013 at 1:01PM
  • 77
Despite the growing trend of automakers offering diesel-powered or electrified powertrains, there's still a whole lot that can be done with the good-old gasoline internal combustion engine. And at Hyundai, that's exactly what's being worked on – new gasoline engine technologies that improve both performance and efficiency. During an event at the automaker's technical center in Superior Township, MI on Friday, Hyundai gave Autoblog a glimpse into the future, offering up preliminary details on its new GDCI (Gasoline Direct-Injection Compression) engine – something that will be heading to production soon.

Hyundai's main goal with this GDCI engine is to "achieve diesel levels of fuel efficiency with conventional gasoline," according to Nayan Engineer (yes, his last name is Engineer), one of Hyundai's powertrain gurus. What's more, Engineer says the GDCI engine will offer "equal to better performance than conventional gasoline engines" and will have a "lower system cost [than] diesel engines."

Hyundai expects a 1.8-liter GDCI engine to be more efficient than a comparable 2.0-liter diesel engine with similar performance.

So, how's it work? Basically, Hyundai is combining the best attributes of diesel engines with gasoline fuel, and using both supercharging and turbocharging technology to aid with performance. For starters, the GDCI engine in development uses a supercharger for "low exhaust gas temperatures" and then a turbocharger for "high-speed power." Combined with an extremely high compression ratio – 14.8:1 – as well as a fully variable valvetrain, Hyundai expects a 1.8-liter GDCI engine to be more efficient than a comparable 2.0-liter diesel engine with similar performance.

"Gasoline is possibly the best fuel for diesel engines," Engineer said. Adding to that, John Juriga from Hyundai's powertrain engineering team told us that the target here is to "beat diesel" in terms of cost to the consumer. Flat out, Juriga said that diesels "don't make economical sense to the consumer," and that this GDCI engine will offer the fuel efficiency and performance benefits of diesel without the added price premium. With a current redline of only 4,500 rpm, it also appears like it will behave like a diesel, if not sound like one, though Hyundai tells us it "can soften the noise with injection timing."

This new GDCI engine is being developed with the help of Delphi, and while official production timing hasn't been released, Engineer says the company hopes to begin its in-car testing sometime next year. This engine was "always factored in production," according to Engineer, and will arrive in the "not too distant future" – likely in the next Sonata.

UPDATE: Image of the GDCI development engine added above. Click here to view a high-res version.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 1 Year Ago
      Look ma! No spark plugs! Since it's a diesel cycle engine burning regular gas, I wonder, can it burn diesel?
      • 1 Year Ago
      Didnt Mercedes have something similar a few years ago, the diesotto motor?
      • 1 Year Ago
      Does it have a throttle? Otto cycle (gas) engines usually do, diesels don't. Throttle losses are why gas engines are never as efficient as diesel engines for cruising on the highway.
      Joseph Brody
      • 1 Year Ago
      I always expected more from diesel.
      • 1 Year Ago

      I wonder when HCCI will actually happen, if ever. Maybe on the fly Atkinson cycle for all cars, not just hybrids, is a good solution for now.

      Hopefully the diesel cars in the USA will become available with sizes smaller than 2 liters, because 2 liters gets around 40MPG real world average. Calculating the additional energy that diesel has per volume than gas, it's not really more efficient than a modern gas car.
      A 1.4 L diesel car might be able to get MPG close to a Prius, but then why not get a Prius..

      • 1 Year Ago
      Well, first those are Hyundai "estimates". subtract about 30% for real world.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Damn you South Korea! You foiled our plans to rule the earth with diesel. We will blame your government! -Audi
      • 1 Year Ago
      Well sure, it shouldn't be hard to beat diesel when they inevitably fabricate impressive MPG figures that are nowhere near reality! With twin charging, it will almost certainly require premium, which would edge it closer to diesel operating costs. I also wonder if the service intervals will be as long as a diesel. If they can make it run on 87 octane (and the real MPG actually matches their claims), this will be a winner.
        • 1 Year Ago
        No force fed engine running 15:1 compression is going to use 87 octane and make meaningful power. Look at the SAE paper, this engine still has throttle bodies (throttle and EGR) which means the advantage of no pumping loses a diesel has is thrown away on this engine. Add that the drag of the supercharger, both mechanical and pumping-wise, and the losses add up. Lastly, the weight of a beefy block, the supercharger, turbo charger, oil coolers, and multiple charge coolers. Packaging nightmare from all the charge pipes, EGR, by-pass valves and sound deadening that will be needed over the gas engine. Definitely NOT going into anything soon.
      • 1 Year Ago
      I'll believe this from Hyundai when they A. get it to production, meeting required emissions levels, and B. Still maintain competitive performance and pricing- without losing money on each one, like some hybrids do.
      Sal Neri
      • 1 Year Ago
      Isn't this the same company that claimed their cars could get 40mpg highway? Yeah...
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Sal Neri
        They would if the us wasn't putting that crappy ethanol in our gas. And I've always gotten better than EPA fuel economy with our Hyundais. Our 2011 Sonata GDI is averaging in the mid 30's, and will at times get in the high 30's or even low 40's with extended highway use. Not bad for such an enormous car.
          יצחק בּוזוף
          We have a 2011 Kia Sorento with the 2.4 I4 and the old PFI. (not GDI). It gets exactly the mileage that it is advertised, except when we have the whole family and back loaded up for a camping trip.
      • 1 Year Ago
      • 1 Year Ago
      Hyundai currently is a Top 10 Engine Manufacturers in the World. Way to go Hyundai ! Good Achievement.
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