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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    The Debrief: Hyundai's GDCI Four-Cylinder Engine

    William Maley

    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com

    November 15, 2013

    Imagine taking the benefits of a diesel engine and using that for a gasoline engine. Well Hyundai is doing just that. During a media briefing at the company's Technical Center in Superior Township, MI, Hyundai gave us the preliminary details on their GDCI (Gasoline Direct-Injection Compression) engine.

    The goal with the GDCI engine is to "achieve diesel levels of fuel efficiency with conventional gasoline," said Nayan Engineer (Yes, that is his real last name), Hyundai's manager of engine design and testing. Other goals of the engine that Enginner outlined is that it will offer "equal to better performance than conventional gasoline engines" and a "lower system cost (than) diesel engines."

    So how is Hyundai planning to pulling this off? Well it begins with the combustion cycle. Much like a diesel engine, the GDCI engine will use high compression (14.8:1 in this case) to ignite the fuel. There is also a set of exhaust valves that open twice per cycle to let heat in to help in the combustion cycle.

    The GDCI engine also features a twincharging setup. A mechanical supercharger helps boost power on the low-end, while turbocharger takes over on the high-end.

    How much power does the GDCI engine produce? Well, a 1.8L four-cylinder GDCI engine can produce 180 horsepower on a engine dyno. The engine currently has a redline of 4,500 rpm, so it will act and possibly sound like a diesel engine.

    The GDCI is currently being worked by Hyundai, Delphi, and the University of Wisconsin. Hyundai hopes to begin testing the engine in vehicles sometime next year. When asked if we'll see this engine in production, Engineer said that it will arrive "not too distant future." Our guess, maybe sometime within the next ten years.

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

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    User Feedback

    It's a shame that GM was never able to bring their HCCI engine to market. They had prototypes running back in 2008. This Hyundai engine sounds very similar to the GM HCCI.

    That was actually brought up during the presentation. The problem with HCCI was GM wasn't able to get the power needed and there was concern of engine damage due to pressure needed to ignite the gas.

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    HCCI was not only compression ignition (CI) but also homogenised charge, As the speed of an engine is usually controlled by changing the fuel mix and quantity supplied to the engine and ignition timing, and these seem to be compromised at the least by HCCI, then it would seem that such an engine would be mostly set at a constant speed, with vehicle speed being more dependent on an advanced transmission such as an IVT.

    I wonder if the GDCI might have a similar issue, albeit the homogenous charge aspect may well be different.

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