But gas- and diesel-powered engines are not done yet. Just as electrified cars — whether hybrids or pure battery-powered models — seem headed for market dominance, Mazda announced a breakthrough in gasoline engines that could make them far more efficient. It is the latest plot twist in a century of improvements for internal combustion engines, a power source pronounced dead many times that has persisted nevertheless. Here is some truth-squadding on the latest in auto technology.
A joint team from Chrysler and the Center for Automotive Research at The Ohio State University recently developed a practical approach to maximizing drivetrain efficiency and reducing fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions. Together, engineers in industry and research, along with students, determined how to capture and effectively distribute the useful heat energy to the transmission and engine oils from a controls standpoint, requiring additional hardware such as a transmission heat exchanger and associated plumbing, and new software. Higher temperature oil is less viscous, so less torque is required for operation and the transmission and engine can operate at higher mechanical efficiencies.
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