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Old 9th February 2014, 20:26   #1
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Default Technology @ Auto Expo 2014

A number of car makers take great pains to showcase the technology that runs their cars. This was so at AETMS 2014 as well. Yet, the effort largely goes unnoticed and unacknowledged, perhaps because these are displays that are somewhat beyond the comprehension of general visitors as well as the automotive media. Here, therefore, is a look at some of the engines, gearboxes and other mechanicals displayed at the Auto Expo 2014, with some explanations and interpretations.

Unfortunately, I had not carried a good camera to the Auto Expo, since this was an unplanned visit, and had to make do with using my cellphone. Apologies in advance for the poor quality of photographs. Distinguished BHPian Sutripta accompanied me there. Certain technical questions posed to the people manning the stalls went unanswered because of the absence of engineers / specialists, and certain answers by the marketing team members were hilarious, such as...
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Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
...discovered this sign for the Mahindra Mojo there - please take a look at the part circled in red.



What does SI mean here?

Sir, it is a single inline engine.

Duh...

I next discover the SI crop up again at the sign for the Dream Yuga. Let's find out...

SI means spark ignition.

Really, and diesels are called CI engines?

Right. How about if SI stands for 'stratified injection'?

I hope this makes all you bike fans go .

Last edited by SS-Traveller : 10th February 2014 at 00:06.
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Old 9th February 2014, 21:30   #2
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Default Re: Technology @ Auto Expo 2014

Volkswagen

On display at the Volkswagen stall was the famed (and much maligned) 7-speed DSG gearbox. How compact the actual unit is, can only be seen to be believed. It weighs in at 70 kg, and can handle upto 250 N-m of torque. Given the huge investment over the years that VW has made in developing the DSG 'box, it is not surprising that they are one of the few manufacturers that have decided to stay away from Magneti Marelli's AMT bandwagon.

Quick conversation with a gentleman in a suit and tie:

- What is the current status of this gearbox's Mechatronic unit failures?

- It's been sorted out. There are no problems with this gearbox.

Users believers. At least the VW guy didn't tell us that there have been NO problems with this 'box!

Technology @ Auto Expo 2014-vw-dsg-7sp-1.jpg

Technology @ Auto Expo 2014-vw-dsg-7sp-2.jpg

Technology @ Auto Expo 2014-vw-dsg-7sp-3.jpg

Technology @ Auto Expo 2014-vw-dsg-7sp-4.jpg

Technology @ Auto Expo 2014-vw-dsg-7sp-5.jpg


Also on display was a cutaway of VW's TDI engine. It is interesting to observe how the turbocharger and the emissions control attachments (catcon and DPF) have been integrated into the exhaust manifold, while on the inlet manifold side sits the water-cooled intercooler, which has been integrated into the inlet manifold. This of course helps to make the powerplant so much more compact and lightweight, but makes for higher repair costs in case of failures!

Technology @ Auto Expo 2014-vw-engine-1.jpg

Technology @ Auto Expo 2014-vw-engine-2.jpg

Technology @ Auto Expo 2014-vw-engine-4.jpg

In our opinion, the intercooler being water-cooled leaves an Achilles' heel for the engine under Indian service conditions. We are not finicky about coolant quality and change intervals, and owners / drivers / FNGs are known to add plain tap water (usually alkaline / hard water) to top up the radiator. This can corrode the intercooler, leading to coolant / water ingress into the engine, with predictable results.

Technology @ Auto Expo 2014-vw-engine-3.jpg

Last edited by SS-Traveller : 10th February 2014 at 08:58.
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Old 9th February 2014, 22:11   #3
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Default Re: Technology @ Auto Expo 2014

Nissan

The K9K 1.5L dCi engine and CVT gearbox were on display at the Nissan stall. The engine by itself is a conventional common-rail diesel unit, quite robustly built, which of course explains its popularity as the second most used small common rail diesel in the Indian market.

Technology @ Auto Expo 2014-nissan1.jpg

Technology @ Auto Expo 2014-nissan3.jpg

Technology @ Auto Expo 2014-nissan4.jpg

Neat and unusual arrangement of the common rail and supply lines to individual injectors.
Technology @ Auto Expo 2014-nissan2.jpg

The design of the CVT and my first view of its belt and pulleys was a revelation.

Technology @ Auto Expo 2014-nissan-cvt1.jpg

Technology @ Auto Expo 2014-nissan-cvt2.jpg

The huge amount of heat generated during CVT operation needs to be dispersed quickly, and a specially designed fan is evident here.

Technology @ Auto Expo 2014-nissan-cvt3.jpg
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Old 9th February 2014, 22:42   #4
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Default Re: Technology @ Auto Expo 2014

Isuzu

Technology @ Auto Expo 2014-isuzu-2.jpg

Isuzu had displayed their 3.0L diesel engine with variable geometry system (VGS) turbochager, along with the (huge) gearbox, which powers the Mu-7 SUV (the D-Max is powered by a 2.5L unit).

Technology @ Auto Expo 2014-isuzu-1.jpg

The company calls itself the "Diesel Engine Experts". And the design and construction of the engine doesn't leave much doubt about that.

Technology @ Auto Expo 2014-isuzu-3.jpg

It is a twin-cam 4-valves-per-cylinder unit, and from what we could figure out, it also appears to have variable valve timing.

Technology @ Auto Expo 2014-isuzu-4.jpg
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Old 9th February 2014, 23:30   #5
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Default Re: Technology @ Auto Expo 2014

Ford

Technology @ Auto Expo 2014-ford-ecoboost-1.jpg

We were overjoyed when we found a cutaway model of the 1.0L EcoBoost engine on display at the Ford stall. And quite a miniature engine this one is (apparently as large as an A4 sheet of paper!).

This is a 3-cylinder engine without balancer shafts - the balancing is reportedly achieved by running a deliberately unbalanced flywheel (no balancer shafts, which sap engine power). We could not figure out how this would be sufficient to achieve balance front-to-back.

Technology @ Auto Expo 2014-ford-ecoboost-2.jpg

Technology @ Auto Expo 2014-ford-ecoboost-4.jpg

Another interesting feature of this engine is the timing belt (not chain), which runs immersed in the engine oil itself. A belt is expected to be made of materials that should degrade on exposure to oil. We therefore wanted to find out what the timing belt was made of, that made it compatible with all types of engine oils. Or is it that the EcoBoost engine uses synthetic oil for engine lubrication, and the belt material is somehow compatible with synthetic oils? If the latter is the case, I dread to think what a top-up with mineral oil (again, the typical Indian chalta hai scenario when it comes to vehicle maintenance) would do to the timing belt.

The pistons have minimal skirt to make them lighter and more energy-efficient. Notice that the cylinder head and exhaust manifold are not separate, but a single casting, on which the turbocharger is bolted on. This, along with a cast iron cylinder block (as opposed to the all-aluminium engines that are considered to be 'modern'), helps to achieve warm-up and optimum operating temperatures much quicker, thereby improving fuel efficiency. The weight gained by using cast iron is far less disadvantageous than the thermal efficiency gained by using it.

Technology @ Auto Expo 2014-ford-ecoboost-3.jpg

Of course, Ford did not have any technical specialists at their stall either. A gentleman with a ponytail politely asked us to get in touch with Genesis, their media representatives, to have our questions answered. If we have to depend on media and PR people to have our technical queries answered, I suppose Ford would also use advertising gurus to service & troubleshoot our vehicles!

Last edited by SS-Traveller : 10th February 2014 at 09:07.
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Old 10th February 2014, 00:00   #6
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Default Re: Technology @ Auto Expo 2014

Eicher

The surprise of the day was at the Eicher stall. Trucks? Naah, not interested... goes many a visitor and journalist. So we found ourselves in an almost deserted section of the Auto Expo, where Eicher had taken up a large area to showcase their commercial vehicles, engines and transmissions. And wonder of wonders, there were a number of knowledgeable and enthusiastic people there to talk to and have questions answered.

Eicher's 4-cylinder and 6-cylinder DI and common rail diesel truck engines were on display, along with cutaways of a gearbox and differential.

Technology @ Auto Expo 2014-eicher-1.jpg

Technology @ Auto Expo 2014-eicher-2.jpg

Technology @ Auto Expo 2014-eicher-4.jpg

Technology @ Auto Expo 2014-eicher-5.jpg

Technology @ Auto Expo 2014-eicher-diff1.jpg

Technology @ Auto Expo 2014-eicher-diff2.jpg

Technology @ Auto Expo 2014-eicher-gb1.jpg

For those who are interested, it would be enlightening to note (as it was for me) how the camshaft is driven in this engine, as can be visualized in the photograph below.

Technology @ Auto Expo 2014-eicher-3.jpg

Last edited by SS-Traveller : 10th February 2014 at 00:13.
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Old 10th February 2014, 11:20   #7
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Default Re: Technology @ Auto Expo 2014

Note from Mod : Thread moved to Auto Expo 2014 section. Thanks for sharing !!
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Old 10th February 2014, 12:18   #8
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Default Re: Technology @ Auto Expo 2014

Lovely thread. Appreciate the effort. Hope you have more to offer

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Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post

And quite a miniature engine this one is (apparently as large as an A4 sheet of paper!).
That was wonderful - able to visualise well


(Wish you had a better camera - few out of focus pics are a little painful to the eye)
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Old 10th February 2014, 14:36   #9
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Default Re: Technology @ Auto Expo 2014

Thanks a lot for sharing. I am learning quite a bit today.

Wish they had some electronics concepts also, like google driver less cars tech and safety mechanisms etc.
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Old 10th February 2014, 15:40   #10
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Default Re: Technology @ Auto Expo 2014

Wonderful report, thanks for sharing. It's such initiatives that set team BHP apart from the rest.

So mechanicals aside, was there anything else in terms of automotive tech which takes things to the next level? I guess AMT and arrival of petrol turbo engines of smaller displacement would be ones, it would be interesting to know of more such trends.
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Old 10th February 2014, 20:16   #11
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Default Re: Technology @ Auto Expo 2014

Quote:
Wish you had a better camera - few out of focus pics are a little painful to the eye)
All the pictures taken by SS Traveller are taken with exact precision. Not a single picture is painful for the eyes. Taking such pictures in a large gathering with so many focus lights is not an easy task.

I appreciate the efforts put in by SS traveller to come out with such nice thread with good pictures which sets our forum apart.

Thanks SS traveller for coming up with this thread which is unique in many ways and offers a lot of insight to the technology that drives us.
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Old 10th February 2014, 22:05   #12
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Default Re: Technology @ Auto Expo 2014

Toyota

An interesting observation by Sutripta, that many wouldn't have noticed.

Here are the specifications of the GT86 on display at Toyota's stall. Clearly states that it is an inline four-cylinder engine.

Technology @ Auto Expo 2014-gt86-specs.jpg

Now look at the logo on the front quarter panel of the car itself. Shows a symbol of something that looks like a flat engine, or boxer engine.

Technology @ Auto Expo 2014-gt86-logo.jpg

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Wonder why.

The race-prepared Etios had this interesting little switch sticking out at the lower edge of the front windscreen. It's an external battery cutoff switch, suitably labelled! Apparently a legal requirement for vehicles prepared for racing.

Technology @ Auto Expo 2014-etios-cutoff.jpg
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Old 10th February 2014, 23:09   #13
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Default Re: Technology @ Auto Expo 2014

Wonderful compilation. Did make me learn and also get to know some of the detailed or smaller yet significant aspects. Would love to read more of such significant info.

The info about the ecoboost is quite surprising. Firstly, I assumed that timing chains were more reliable and fail proof compared to belt. Given the amount of power that is squeezed out of the ecoboost, is the belt really a good idea?(I am Not any professional to claim its a bad idea though)
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Old 10th February 2014, 23:16   #14
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Great info. Trust the both of you to bring the technology into focus! Glad you did, many thanks!

By the way on the intercooler; I share your sentiment. Having said that, if you need to add water/cooling liquid, there is a problem already!

On the 3-cilinder balancing act; not sure, but I suspect that the fact it has such a short crankcase has something to do with the ability to only use an unbalanced flywheel.


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Old 11th February 2014, 09:41   #15
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Default Re: Technology @ Auto Expo 2014

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Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
specifications of the GT86 on display at Toyota's stall. Clearly states that it is an inline four-cylinder engine.
I am guessing that the specification was either wrongly or loosely* mentioned as inline. The specifications from Toyota UK site mentions it as a flat boxer engine.

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* I didn't completely understand the 2nd para of the wiki explanation ["Another widely used form of flat engine consists of a straight engine with two, three, four or more cylinders canted 90 degrees into the horizontal plane, however this is not generally considered significantly different from other straight engines"]
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