LONG LIVE ICE
I was both honoured and humbled to be awarded ‘letter of the month’ for October. As a response to the Ed’s comment at the end on my Lotm… Although we’re all filled with excitement and trepidation about the future of what will be motivating our motoring, I feel big props should be given to those still investing in development of the venerable internal combustion engine. It will indeed be around for a while (thank goodness).
Recent notables are Mazda and Infiniti/nissan. The former for the compressionignition Skyactiv-x tech, and the latter for its variable compression engine. Both of which are claiming up to 30 percent improvement in fuel consumption (which would be astounding, if true, after nearly 150 years of ICE development).
The Mazda I can get my head around (especially with the back-up spark plugs overcoming the low/high load issues) but the Infiniti is mindbending. I built my first engine in 1968 (an A-series Mini) and marvelled that the agricultural thing wouldn’t destroy itself when cycling at up to 100 times per second!
However, go find the video animation of the Infiniti variable compression arrangement and ponder the complexity all that happening 100 times per second … and your local mechanic fixing it. Brian Wood, via email
“Finally, someone with the intestinal fortitude to tell it like it was about ‘Peter Perfect’”