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Final Wrap: A New Year And Some Brand Spankin’ New Technology

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Happy New Year! As you undoubtedly realize, this is the time of year when magazine editors typically write their columns on one of three subjects:

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  • How bad the last year was and assurances that THIS year will be better.

  • How great last year was but expressing concern that the bottom will drop out soon.

  • Or, how new technology is impacting the engine building industry.

    The amazing coincidence is that, I too, will write about the third topic. After all, Roy Berndt has already said he’s seen a more positive attitude lately than he has in years (Core Corner) and we’ve all heard enough about how the bottom has dropped out.

    According to an interesting article I read in the magazine Automotive Engineering International, your skills will be put to the test in the future by some new technology. The editors of Automotive Engineering took a look back at the key automotive innovations of 2006 and pointed out that at least half of those technologies involved engines. Here are some of them:

  • Lexus came up with a new fuel delivery system that puts two injectors into each cylinder.

  • Volkswagen’s Golf GT (sold in Europe) has a new induction system that utilizes the best parts of both turbocharging and supercharging. Below 2,400 rpm, the supercharger is used. At 2,400, the turbo kicks in and the blower is disengaged. Fuel economy is improved 20 percent while power is up 15 percent.

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  • Valeo’s new Smart Valve Actuation (SVA) is to be used in lieu of the conventional mechanically operated cylinder-head design. Rather than employing the cam belt and camshaft to perform the duties of injection control, this new camless engine system is operated by an electronic actuator positioned above the valve mounts. This performs a number of functions including deactivating unnecessary cylinders to reduce consumption and emissions by a reported 20 percent.

  • Audi showed that diesel doesn’t have to be just for trucks. With its domination at LeMans, Audi put diesel in the spotlight and proved “gas and go” isn’t the only way.

    To read about the rest of the technology, visit www.sae.org/automag.

    How much these developments will affect your business (and how soon) remains to be seen, of course, but they underscore the fact that time doesn’t stand still. There’s always something more to keep your day interesting.

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