Auto Tech

Hyundai is wary of direct injection in small engines

Automotive news reports on Hyundai's plans for fuel-efficient engines.

Automotive News

Cost and complexity are discouraging Hyundai from applying direct injection to small engines.

Direct injection reduces fuel consumption and emissions and in some applications boosts engine performance.

The automaker's new family of engines, Theta II, has 2.0- and 2.4-liter four cylinders with direct injection. But future engines with a displacement of 1.6 liters or less may not, said John Juriga, power train director at the Hyundai-Kia America Technical Center Inc. in Superior Township, Mich.

For the United States, "I think you will see us over time transition very heavily" into gasoline direct-injection engines, said Juriga at a Hyundai Motor America press event at the tech center this month.

But for a 1.6-liter engine or below, direct injection may not make sense as a fuel economy measure, he said.

Juriga said direct injection is more expensive than the multipoint fuel-injection system on Hyundai's 1.6-liter engine. Cost is an issue for Hyundai's price-sensitive small vehicles, such as the Accent.

There also is the issue of complexity. For smaller engines, "it gets more difficult when you have four valves, the injector, and the plug all in a very small-size bore," Juriga said. Bore is the diameter of the holes drilled into the engine block for use as cylinders. Juriga said "there is still more room to get more fuel efficiency" from smaller engines without direct injection.

(Source: Automotive News)