Oh look, it=92s EcoMotors International, some new greenie-car startup
company with a =93revolutionary=94 engine design. I bet it=92ll save all th=
polar bears while running on a blend of hemp oil, wildflowers and
Ha! Just what flavor of hippie vegetarian baloney is this? And what
automotive genius is running this company? Let me guess: Al Gore? Ed
Begley Jr? Henry David Thoreau?
Uh, well as it turns out the President and COO of EcoMotors is John
Coletti, former director of Ford=92s skunkworks performance division,
SVT. Coletti is the guy who pushed for the Mustang to stay a rear-
drive V-8 performance machine instead of becoming the forgettable
front-drive that Ford sold as the unfortunately named Probe. Coletti
was also on board during the 1999 SVT Cobra intake manifold debacle
and the car=92s subsequent comeback that culminated in the incredible
2003-=9204 supercharged =93Terminator=94 Cobra. SVT=92s crowning achievemen=
under Coletti=92s watch was the Ford GT supercar =96 unbelievable as it
seems today that Ford actually built it. Of course, there were also
bread-and-butter rigs like the the SVT Contour, F-150 Lightning and
SVT Focus, all excellent performance machines.
But if you think it=92s nuts that a guy like Coletti has signed on with
an outfit called EcoMotors, you=92re really not going to believe the
engine they hope to bring to market. It=92s called OPOC (Opposed Piston
Opposed Cylinder), and it=92s a turbocharged two-stroke, two-cylinder,
with four pistons, two in each cylinder, that will run on gasoline,
diesel or ethanol. The two pistons, inside a single cylinder, pump
toward and away from each other, thus allowing a cycle to be completed
twice as quickly as a conventional engine.
The heavy lifting for this unconventional concept was performed not by
Coletti, but by EcoMotors CEO, Prof. Peter Hofbauer. During his 20
years at VW, Hofbauer headed up, among other things, development of
VW=92s first diesel engine and the VR6.
Hofbauer said he had the idea for the OPOC while working at VW, and
was inspired by the original Beetle=92s flat engine design as well as
the opposed-piston, two-stroke, diesel Junkers =93Jumo=94 aircraft
The OPOC has been in development for several years, and the company
claims it=92s 30 percent lighter, one quarter the size and achieves 50
percent better fuel economy than a conventional turbo diesel engine.
Earlier this year, the company received an injection of $23.5 million
from Khosla Ventures and Bill Gates, and says it will have a vehicle
engine ready for production by 2013.
They=92re predicting 100 MPG in a conventional car.
- posted 9 years ago