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Old 4th November 2011, 11:00   #1
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Default Turbocharging and Fuel direct injection in Petrol Engines

Hello,
I decided to start this thread after a test-drive of the Skoda Laura Tsi.
Just some details:
1.8 Tsi engine.
163Bhp @ 4500-6200 rpm
250Nm @ 1500-4500 rpm
This 1.8L Tsi engine is turbocharged and uses Gasoline Direct Injection technology. Basically a CRDi for petrols. Petrol is fed into the cylinders from a common rail at high pressures and at variable timings to achieve best possible fuel economy and high power output.
It basically has three different ratios which it uses based on the load conditions.
1) Ultra-lean mixture (as high as 65:1)
2)Stroichiometric mixture (for normal petrol 14.7:1)
3)Full power mixture (runs rich)


Here's my question.
When the gains from turbocharging and using GDI are so clear, why aren't the usual automotive companies investing in it? And even if they are, why are'nt they coming to india which happens to have a large percentage of "Kitna deti hai"-minded people and also the relatively smaller "Occasional Enthu-driving" people??

For ex:
Honda Civic, Maruti Suzuki Kizashi.

Civic:
1.8L i-VTEC with PGM-Fi
132 PS @ 6300 rpm
175 Nm @ 4300 rpm

Kizashi
2.4L VVT with Multi-point injection
178 PS @ 6500 rpm
230 Nm @ 4000 rpm. The dyno result is very small in the Brochure. It's around 180Nm @ 1400 and 180Nm @ 6500. Peak is given above.

I haven't driven a Civic so will just state the common reviews given by owners:
Low end grunt is bad. Revv-friendly but lacks punch.

Kizashi's test drive left a very bad impression.
This is car is absolute RUBBISH (no offense to anyone!! just my opinion). Its bottom end is just so boring. It neither has the Power to complement its sporty exhaust note nor does it have the fuel-efficiency to justify the lack of power. The sound might be sweet at high revvs but is very bad at idle and low rpms. When I stood outside and the sales man started the engine, I was startled to hear such a loud and unrefined engine after having read the T-bhp review (unofficial) of Kizashi which claimed shocking refinement.

In comparison,
Tsi is just a rocket par excellence!! turbocharging has given it a diesel like torque lasting 1500-4500 rpm!! Its driveability is out of this world. Yet when driven sedately, I think it'll return very good fuel economy. Its refinement is just "WHOA!!!!".

A Civic with similar technology will be take Honda's sales to another level!!! Its only Skoda's *** thats holding the Laura Tsi back. The other companies can use this tech in higher segments and revolutionize this industry (what CRDi did to older diesels).

Now my point here is, when technologies have amazing solutions to such problems, why aren't the manufacturers using them? Why are they not bringing them to India?? What are technical and market challenges that they face??

PS: I have used different sources for the info provided above.

Last edited by GTO : 5th November 2011 at 16:06. Reason: Aftermath means something else...and obviously the opposite of what you meant. Thanks
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Old 4th November 2011, 13:56   #2
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Default re: Turbocharging and Fuel direct injection in Petrol Engines

Because the existing ones (non turbo petrols) are sufficient*.
And because the newer "TSI" ones would cost slightly more, the firms would want to earn considerably more (higher margins), and the public would not be interested in paying that high price for it = low sales, so it would not justify the investment.




* sufficient for manufacturers profits and volume, sufficient for meeting customer demands
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Old 4th November 2011, 14:12   #3
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Default re: Turbocharging and Fuel direct injection in Petrol Engines

You have got really valid point here..!

Agreed that the advanced technology comes at a price (initially) ..but then there are economies of scale.

Pls Note : We can not term GDI as CRDi for petrol as the injection pressures are much lower (typically @ 100 bar), but yes the working principles are similar.

I was wondering for quite a long time that why the GDI is not used in bikes as well (without turbo charging) as it will give a very close control over the combustion...read Fuel Efficiency.

Ever wondered why they are not using the electronic/ electrically controlled stem/actuator for turbo guide vanes ?
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Old 4th November 2011, 15:00   #4
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Default re: Turbocharging and Fuel direct injection in Petrol Engines

I think downsized engines with direct injection and turbocharging has marked the comeback of the petrol engines. Considerable amount of investment and R&D would have gone into it. I am sure VW would be holding a lot of patents involving the technology. The technology will be expensive right now and will not easily make its way to all manufacturers so quickly. But yes, going down the line other engines will probably have to adopt it, if they are to compete with engines which are powerful, fuel efficient, have excellent driveability and are refined at the same time.

As you said the TSI engine in the Laura is one amazing machine. A lot has been said about its bursts of power and acceleration. But the driveability and refinement is just mindblowing. Even at its redline, you can hardly hear the engine inside the cabin!

Last edited by Santoshbhat : 4th November 2011 at 15:14.
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Old 4th November 2011, 15:22   #5
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Default re: Turbocharging and Fuel direct injection in Petrol Engines

I thought most of the important patents were held by Mitsubishi.
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Old 4th November 2011, 15:52   #6
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Default re: Turbocharging and Fuel direct injection in Petrol Engines

i guess the answer is simple. When one's junk is selling, why upgrade it. This attitude is slated to change and has been changing in the wake of stiff competition. I hope the government stops babying the domestic and ingeniousness manufacturers by posing stiff duties, levys and restrictions on car imports. What is happening is they are killing the principle of free trade and competition. If more competitive duties are levied, more cars will be ought in and this will force the very manufacturers who are present (and a huge amount of them are not Indian) in the market to get their act and pricing together to offer their best at the best rates. Then, consumer will be truly king!!
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Old 4th November 2011, 16:29   #7
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Default re: Turbocharging and Fuel direct injection in Petrol Engines

The Laura really has the best petrol engine in the segment; the Civic & Altis don't even come close. Drive these three cars back to back and you'll think that the Honda & Toyota have engines from a full class below. That's saying a lot, as the Japanese have typically excelled at petrol engines (the way Europeans do diesels).

Plus, the TSI is such an all-rounder. Great torque low down, extremely revv-happy, powerful and reasonably fuel efficient too (well, atleast as much as the Civic).

Why doesn't everyone offer it? One reason is cost. Turbo-charging would cost noticeably more, as would the development & production of direct injection. A relevant point : The Japanese simply don't innovate the way that the Europeans do. I mean, Honda & Toyota are still selling the same kinda petrol engines they used to in the nineties. Where is the step ahead? Where are the improvements?
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Old 4th November 2011, 18:22   #8
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Default re: Turbocharging and Fuel direct injection in Petrol Engines

I can think of the following reasons

First and foremost Cost. The turbo is not the only part. There need to be
. High pressure line
. High pressure injectors (Electrically actuated)
. Better components in the cylinder - liner, piston, valves, connecting rod and the crank shaft amongst the others, to take care of higher temperatures and higher pressure stresses.
. Need for higher octane fuel

All these translate to a big cost increase - you are then talking of diesel engine prices.

Secondly Reliability. As the engines become more complicated and have more components, they will tend to fail faster. Mercedes had problems with their State-of-Art ceramic injectors, you may get turbo failure, or the injection lines may need more frequent replacements due to higher operating pressures.

Lastly, as pointed out, why do it, when the older technology sells. We all know that Japanese technology may be dated, but their reliability is way ahead of the European technology. Once the Japanese find a way to get the reliability in newer technology, we will see them. Till then only high end European cars will sport them.
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Old 4th November 2011, 19:30   #9
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Default re: Turbocharging and Fuel direct injection in Petrol Engines

Quote:
Originally Posted by alpha1 View Post
Because the existing ones (non turbo petrols) are sufficient*.
And because the newer "TSI" ones would cost slightly more, the firms would want to earn considerably more (higher margins), and the public would not be interested in paying that high price for it = low sales, so it would not justify the investment.

*sufficient for manufacturers profits and volume, sufficient for meeting customer demands
Quote:
Originally Posted by 007 View Post
Agreed that the advanced technology comes at a price (initially) ..but then there are economies of scale.
+1 to that!! I mean in the short term I can understand that they are meeting their margins, but is it not better for them if they invest in these things which are clearly the way to go? It will not only increase their volumes, but also (and more importantly) improve their "Brand value" when they come up with such leading technologies. If one popular manufacturer (read good ***, reliable etc) starts it, competition will surely force the others to follow suit. Exactly as told by V-16!! Quite a few people on this community itself have turned away from this wonderful machine ONLY and ONLY because of ***!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by V-16 View Post
i guess the answer is simple. When one's junk is selling, why upgrade it. This attitude is slated to change and has been changing in the wake of stiff competition. I hope the government stops babying the domestic and ingeniousness manufacturers by posing stiff duties, levys and restrictions on car imports. What is happening is they are killing the principle of free trade and competition. If more competitive duties are levied, more cars will be ought in and this will force the very manufacturers who are present (and a huge amount of them are not Indian) in the market to get their act and pricing together to offer their best at the best rates. Then, consumer will be truly king!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by 007 View Post
I was wondering for quite a long time that why the GDI is not used in bikes as well (without turbo charging) as it will give a very close control over the combustion...read Fuel Efficiency.
Umm. Dont know much about different bikes but will it not be difficult to build a bike with those high pressure systems?? May be high displacement bikes but city commuter bikes??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Santoshbhat View Post
As you said the TSI engine in the Laura is one amazing machine. A lot has been said about its bursts of power and acceleration. But the driveability and refinement is just mindblowing. Even at its redline, you can hardly hear the engine inside the cabin!
I did not stress on this as the OP was not about Laura but "OH MY GOD!!" was my reaction to the Laura's test drive!. My uncle started the car and turned around to me with a puzzled expression - "why is it not starting??". I bent across and answered "It already has mama!!".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
I thought most of the important patents were held by Mitsubishi.
These days the maximum news has been about BMW getting patents. Recently they patented their V6 engine design and the most recent one being the electronic turbo that they have come up with.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Why doesn't everyone offer it? One reason is cost. Turbo-charging would cost noticeably more, as would the development & production of direct injection. A relevant point : The Japanese simply don't innovate the way that the Europeans do. I mean, Honda & Toyota are still selling the same kinda petrol engines they used to in the nineties. Where is the step ahead? Where are the improvements?
Exactly!! Where are the improvements?? Damn! the only way i think they would be forced to bring in such technology is for Skoda to clear up it Reputation and murder the Altis!! It has pretty much taken care of the Civic. As V-16 mentioned, the govt will also have to play a part here if India stands a chance at these developments. Even GM has this technology if i'm not wrong. The ECOTEC engines employ these engines (correct me if I'm wrong). Chevy Cruze is available in 1.4L turbocharged Ecotec engine in the US.

And about the Cost factor. By developing this technology there is much more profit than we might think.
For Ex: Ford has come up with 1.5L (1499cc) engines (much to our disappointment) only because of the tax benefits for it being <1.5L engine. Now with this tech a Civic can be brought to India at taxes comparable to a fiesta and placed (fairly competitively) with the segment where it is now. Taxes will be less for the companies, Emissions will be lesser, better technology (better everything - driveability, refinement, power, efficiency) and finally MUCH better Brand recognition!!

Haha!! We should as someone from Honda or Toyota to see this!!
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Old 4th November 2011, 20:09   #10
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Default re: Turbocharging and Fuel direct injection in Petrol Engines

+1 to to what Rangakishen has mentioned in post#9. Manufacturers can increase their profit margin and provide better products to the end customer by turbocharging petrol engines.

My 2 cents - The first step to be taken by manufacturers before launching turbocharged petrol vehicles is to do a proper marketing of turbocharged vehicles. Educate people about the advantages (better performance with better fuel efficency) of it via marketing, promotions etc. You got to study before you appear for an exam right?

Majority of people in India dont know what a turbo is and even if they know, they think its rally stuff (am not speaking about enthusiasts here).

Demand from public can be created/expected ONLY when there is an initiative taken by the govt and manufacturer to market and sell new and better technology.

What FIAT has done to Linea (1.4 T-JET) is the way to go. Instead of FIAT if VOLKSWAGEN or FORD or HYUNDAI had launched their c segment petrol cars with a turbo (1400 or 1500 cc engines with turbo technology to enjoy lesser taxes, duties etc), i am sure it would have sold like hot cakes.

I think instead of launching C+ and D segment cars with the turbo technology first, manufacturers have to come up with turbocarged petrol cars in the B, B+ and C segment. Most of the action (volumes) happen here.

Last edited by Torque123 : 4th November 2011 at 20:14.
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Old 4th November 2011, 20:11   #11
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Default re: Turbocharging and Fuel direct injection in Petrol Engines

Quote:
Originally Posted by rangakishen View Post
These days the maximum news has been about BMW getting patents. Recently they patented their V6 engine design and the most recent one being the electronic turbo that they have come up with.
Sorry, should have elaborated. Meant GDI patents. In keeping with the thread focus.

Regards
Sutripta
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Old 5th November 2011, 11:19   #12
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Default re: Turbocharging and Fuel direct injection in Petrol Engines

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
I thought most of the important patents were held by Mitsubishi.
True. Mitsubishi also had the first almost-production GDI engine in '95, but barring slightly better emission numbers wasn't something to write home about. Like ye olde 4-wheel steering, GDI also hasn't had the right price-benefit slope since the 90's to justify regular production status.

GDI is the same for gasoline as CRDI is for diesel - the rail pressure has nothing to do with it. The rail pressure is less since gasoline fluidity is more (from injector p-o-v). Though it is intuitive to assume better controllability over fuel injection, gasoline injectors for direct injection have been a pain due to the mechanical tolerances (smaller orifices than diesel injectors for effective spraying) needed in sustainable manufacturing. That was then, it really hasn't changed even now. Maybe GDI is still waiting for the serendipity that CRDI had 20 years back in injector design. After being around in the labs and test beds for 60 years!!!

TSI, with supercharging AND turbo-charging, is a different paradigm for getting performance from small blocks. Cannot be compared with GDI, since TSI would have performed better even with carburettors, had fuel injection not been around.
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Old 5th November 2011, 11:47   #13
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Default re: Turbocharging and Fuel direct injection in Petrol Engines

It's not that other manufacturers do not have DI Petrol engines, it's only that India is low on their priority list. For example the new Verna comes with GDI Petrol engine and better Automatic transmission for developed markets but India gets normal MPFI engine and poor 4 speed Automatic transmission. Here is quote from a website:
Quote:
The state-of-the-art 1.6L GDI unit generates 138 horsepower and 122 lbs.ft of torque. When mated to the all-new six-speed automatic transmission (available for the first time in the Accent model range), the new Accent achieves impressive fuel economy figures of 16.7 km/L, which equals to 40mpg -US. This is far better than the current model does.
Source: Hyundai Blog

To keep prices in check even VW had to stay away from TSI and DSG for Polo. The result is a car which does not feel much like a VW, it misses out on the state of the art engines and other technology. Plus in the process they have diluted the FTD factor by re-tuning the suspension for our country.

Honda on the other side has kept the brilliant 2.2 i-CDTI engine away from India citing bad fuel issues.


Quote:
Originally Posted by DerAlte View Post
TSI, with supercharging AND turbo-charging, is a different paradigm for getting performance from small blocks. Cannot be compared with GDI, since TSI would have performed better even with carburettors, had fuel injection not been around.
Only the 1.4 TSI comes with Twincharger i.e Supercharger + Turbocharger.

Last edited by .anshuman : 5th November 2011 at 11:49.
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Old 5th November 2011, 18:21   #14
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Default Re: Turbocharging and Fuel direct injection in Petrol Engines

Quote:
Originally Posted by DerAlte View Post

TSI, with supercharging AND turbo-charging, is a different paradigm for getting performance from small blocks. Cannot be compared with GDI, since TSI would have performed better even with carburettors, had fuel injection not been around.
So what's the difference between the previous generation Octy TPi (also the previous gen Octy RS) engine and the current generation Octy (Laura) TSi engine? Isnt't it the "S" which stands for stratified injection aka GDI?

Of course trubocharged engine would perform better, but in this case that's a given - both these engines are turbocharged. "S" brings in economy. My TSi is more fuel efficient than the Octy TPi I had been driving.


@Anshuman, Don't take what Honda says so seriously - they have been shy of bringing in their CRDi Accord in India citing Indian diesel is bad (big B.S.) - the way my Tucson reaches 160kmph on expressway (and still gives 10kmpl or more) even after 1 lakh km of driving goes a long way to prove that - and I have had to refuel the Tucson from varied not so trustworthy pumps across the country.

And if someone is saying they can not bring in GDI because India has bad petrol, that's an equal B.S. I have been filling regular petrol in my TSi for past 18000KM and the car does 200kmph even before you know it and overall FE for these 18000KM has been 10kmpl!!!

There is no excuse for not bringing latest technology.

CRDi cars have been a super-hit in India - no matter what Honda says, and so will be the GDI in petrol world - notwithstanding the fuel price differential.

Last edited by anandpadhye : 5th November 2011 at 18:36.
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Old 5th November 2011, 20:42   #15
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Default Re: Turbocharging and Fuel direct injection in Petrol Engines

All Mercedes CGI engines are Gasoline Direct injection. I think its their marketing name.

There absence from common cars are attributed to their high cost. The engine parts needs to be made very rugged to handle the high pressure that is involved. Gasoline is already very combustible in normal state.
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