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dan45mcc

Bobcat: an engine template for the future? E85

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As many OEMs lack diesel engines for light-duty trucks and sports utility vehicles, pressure will grow for high performance gasoline engines with the power and torque, fuel economy and clean emissions of a diesel, especially with demands to raise CAFE standards. This raises the question of whether compacted graphite iron (CGI) will find use for cylinder blocks of North American V8 gasoline engines.

Under a shroud of secrecy, Ford, AVL and Ethanol Boosting Systems (EBS) of Cambridge, Massachusetts, working with the US Department of Energy, are testing an engine called Bobcat. Five new ‘ethanol boost’, twin-fuel turbocharged engines have been built and each variably blends gasoline and ethanol to produce diesel-like performance.

Bobcat engines run on E85, a mix of 15% gasoline and 85% ethanol and with such technology, a 5-litre engine could potentially produce diesel-like 500bhp and 750lbft torque. Bobcat uses a secretly-sourced CGI cylinder block which helps the engines cope with stress levels associated with high combustion pressures. It is believed Ford aims to use Bobcat in flex-fuel vehicles running on gasoline, ethanol or any combination of the two.

EBS claims its technology gives a 30-35% efficiency gain at one third of the cost of a gasoline electric hybrid, but this technology also requires a strengthened engine structure such as might be found with CGI. The CGI engine structure is essential to deal with 150bar peak cylinder pressures. Increased bolt diameters are likewise essential.

Fitted to a Ford F-series truck, a spark ignition engine optimised for E85 could give 15-20% fuel economy gains compared with a production gasoline engine and would meet at least ULEV ll/Tier ll Bin 5 requirements. E85 is used only as required at high loads to avoid knock, leaving the efficiency of gasoline improved by using a high compression ratio downsized engine.

 

http://www.automotiveworld.com/news/powertrain/76596-bobcat-an-engine-template-for-the-future

 

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Boy that article had me all over the place;

 

First I got from the headlines that maybe "Bobcat" the skid steer maker had come out with an E85 version--- I supposed I could buy one to clears snow in my driveway------ ;)

 

Then I thought- WOW- we are talking optimized E85 car/truck engines here and i thought-----  8)

 

Then I see it is a Ricardo using E85 to make gas look better and i felt------ :(

 

Just give me a plain old dedicated and optimized E85 engine :P

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Interesting research, but kind of equivalent to "perfecting the vacuum tube" IMHO.  Considering there are 2L aluminum blocks out there making 600+hp / 500+lb ft. torque on E85, why would anyone want such a huge cast iron boat anchor in a light duty truck?  It would really be neat so see them working on an aluminum block to hold the power.  And if they really wanted to take a step ahead, throw out the V engine entirely and all the associated twisty-turny problems with valley gussets, crank supports and such and come up with a good inline power plant as a replacement.

 

Some additional reading:

 

http://www.competitiveproduction.com/features/default.aspx?article_id=1388

 

Though this article has some weird comparisons and quotes...

 

An assembled automotive engine can be made nine percent lighter with CGI. The engine block weight alone can be reduced by 22 percent. This corresponds to a 15 percent reduction in length and a five percent reduction in height and width.

 

Not really sure how the weight reduction corresponds to a size shrinkage??  Maybe they are considering the cylinder walls / valley gussets can be made thinner / stacked closer together which would shrink the engine but maintain the same bore/stroke.

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:P  Same here..

 

and corey yeah the engine has to weigh a ton

Boy that article had me all over the place;

 

First I got from the headlines that maybe "Bobcat" the skid steer maker had come out with an E85 version--- I supposed I could buy one to clears snow in my driveway------ ;)

 

Then I thought- WOW- we are talking optimized E85 car/truck engines here and i thought-----  8)

 

Then I see it is a Ricardo using E85 to make gas look better and i felt------ :(

 

Just give me a plain old dedicated and optimized E85 engine :P

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Some thoughts:

 

1. It still mainly runs gasoline, relegating E85 to additive status.

2. You need to fill two tanks.

3. Engine sounds expensive.

 

I just want a dedicated ethanol motor.  The allowable range of fuels should be from E85 to E100.

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