DETROIT - Ford Motor Co. is exploring radical powertrain designs.
Germany-based FEV Engine Technology hopes Ford will choose direct-injection diesels.
The two companies have jointly developed a high-speed, direct-injection, four-cylinder diesel for small cars. The 1.2-liter unit has double overhead cams, 16 valves and a variable vane turbocharger. It delivers 78hp and 88.5Nm of torque.
The engine is called DIATA, for direct-injection, aluminum, through-bolt assembly. Both the head and the block are cast in weight-saving aluminum.
Elongated head bolts are screwed through the block to the oil pan to prevent head warpage. Bosch fuel injectors use common-rail technology for fine management of fuel delivery. They spray into deep bowls in the piston crowns which contain the charge for more complete combustion.
Robert Last, FEV's North American marketing manager, said diesels are shedding their noisy, smelly reputation. 'We're now looking at diesel engineering from a completely different viewpoint, to design it for small vehicles from the outset,' he said. 'If you do that, a lot of the biases go away.'
According to Last, Ford's decision to select diesel direct-injection or some other technology 'will be completely dependent on the cost of fuel.'