With ever reducing fossil fuel and ever increasing fuel prices. World over, millions of dollars are being spent to perfect a car’s heart/engine. Not only, are alternate fuels under study, even existing petrol power plants are being fine tuned to make them more fuel efficient, less polluting and yet more powerful.
In the past Honda was always known for their Innovative engine technologies, like; CVCC to VTEC and the recent i-VTEC, which made Honda a consistent leader, especially in high-efficiency and high-output four cylinder engines. Unfortunately it’s no more their strength. The Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) revolution is on in full force, and most major manufacturers have released or announced state-of-the-art DI (Direct Injection) petrol engine programs. And none more convincingly than Hyundai with its new 200 hp 2.4 liter Theta II GDI.
Whilst Gasoline Direct injection has been around for over a Decade and Half. Mitsubishi pioneered GDi with its stratified charge ignition of a super-lean mixture, under low-load operation which was introduced in Japan and Europe. Technical challenges of managing this approach and resultant emission problems has ensured a sad demise of this format of GDi engines. The final nail on the coffin was hammered by more stringent emission limits in the US market.
With ever increasing use of super-high pressure injection systems for diesel engines, it was only a matter of time that a modified version of the same was to be implemented in petrol power plants. GM jumped on the bandwagon back in 2004, VW group got its TSi petrol engines. Ford committed to GDi with Eco-Boost Engines. And Hyundai with GDi engine technology for its petrol cars. The newly launched Sonata in India has Hyundai’s first GDi engine technology under its hood. We believe that the soon to be launched Elantra too will have a GDi in its petrol variants.
Hyundai has invested has around AUS $ 158 Million on developing GDi technology, we therefore believe that it’s only fair to detail it thread bare to understand why Hyundai is banking so heavily on it. Does it have another winner in GDi like its fluidic design. Let’s understand it.
Hyundai Sonata has 2.4 Lts Theta GDi engine under its hood, which delivers 201 Ps of power at 6300 Rpm and a rotating force of 250 Nm at 4250 Rpm. Not only this, the car delivers an impressive ARAI Mileage of 15.88 Kmpl.
The Dual Variable Valve Timing (valve timing varies on both intake and exhaust valves) which improves engine breathing, enhances fuel efficiency and lowers emission. Hyundai’s Theta GDi is an engineering marvel with every part of the engine being crafted for optimum performance. Other engine details are:
Offloading Piston and Cylinder Cooling Jets for durability
Optimised White Ball on the Piston during compression stroke to form an optimum mix of fuel and air near the spark plug
Balance Shaft Marginal for Better NVH Values
Roller Type Chain System that minimises Co-efficient of Friction for better fuel efficiency and performance
Fuel Pressure is steeply increased to 100 Bar once the engine is cranked to ensure better performance
Split Injection for better combustion with late injection which helps increase exhaust energy that lights up the catalyst 50% faster, this in turn reduces the exhaust emission.
High Pressure Die casting with T5 Heat Treatment of the cylinder block eliminate residual stress and improve cylinder dimensional stability by preventing cylinder distortion.
Hyundai’s 1.6 Gamma GDi also boasts of equally impressive engineering advancements, but that we shall discuss once its launched in India under the hood of soon to be launched Hyundai Elantra.
With Hyundai taking a lead through GDi engine technology Honda’s reputation for leadership has clearly taken a hit. The sad reality today for Honda, is that not only has the Hyundai/Kia combination surpassed Honda in global vehicle sales, but now it seems that Honda is even losing engine technology leadership to Hyundai.