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Our friend the internal-combustion engine may not be with us forever.

Electric cars, atomic cars, perpetual-motion cars, carts pulled by robot mules – someday, they may replace the good old internal-combustion engine.

Even as electric vehicles gain in popularity, we're told again and again that internal combustion engines aren't going away. While that may be true, it would still be nice to kick our addiction to gasoline. Pollution, international turmoil and energy insecurity are getting a bit tiresome. It's good news, then that Navigant Research is predicting a decline in the amount of gasoline we use.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is turning to a company whose home base is as old-school Rust Belt as one can get, but the company's specialty's undeniably new-school technology. The EPA has struck a deal with Pittsburgh-based ANSYS to model simulations of internal combustion engines. And while the models will be theoretical, the EPA is shooting for some very real results.

Mazda6 Skyactiv Mule – Click above for high-res image gallery

NEVIS stands for New Exhaust Valve & Intake System, while it sounds basically like a simple modification to current technology, is actually attempting to reinvent the ICE. From fourteen years of research and testing by Cesare Bortone, the new engine design claims to solve lots of problems. It is smaller and lighter, even though being built of steel, versus the aluminum-magnesium alloy BMW R6 3.0L block they tested it against, and only has two cylinders. The cylinders themselves are not as we

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