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We first heard about the Scuderi Group and its split cycle engine over two years ago. At that time, they were showing off a concept for a split cycle engine that in theory, at least, could dramatically improve engine efficiency. By splitting the four strokes of the Otto cycle between a pair of parallel cylinders, the engine can reduce pumping losses. The Scuderi team also has a "hybrid version in development that adds high pressure compressed air accumulator to provide some regenerative braking

The Scuderi group unveiled a cutaway version of its first prototype of a new split cycle engine at the SAE World Congress this week. We first heard about this engine three years ago and got more details at the 2007 SAE WC, but this is the first time we have seen something physical rather than just CG animations. The first actual running prototype used to prove out the combustion process is being assembled right now and expected to start running by mid-May. It will be a normally aspirated variant

The Scuderi split-cycle engine technology is not new to our pages. Last year around this time, we had an opportunity to interview Nick Scuderi about the company and came away thinking that the idea, though unproven, has some merit. According to an article on Automotive News, Scuderi is confident that they will line up some licensing agreements to use their technology shortly. Apparently, some amount of validation has been completed recently which offered promising results.