Korean automaker Hyundai has filed a patent for an engine comprised of cylinder pairs of different displacements it says will allow for more efficient operation across a wider range of engine speeds.
In the background information supplied with the application, Hyundai says it wants to address a key compromise in traditional engine design, which is that an engine with uniform displacement in all cylinders sacrifices either fuel or operational efficiency at any given engine speed, and that such traditional engines waste a lot of energy in order to idle smoothly.
Hyundai’s idea is an engine consisting of cylinders of different displacements arranged in pairs and mated with an electric motor that would “compensate for a difference in torque” due to those differing displacements.
This sounds like a variation on Infiniti’s variable compression technology or a riff on a 2014 Honda patent that might allow Hyundai’s engineers to create an engine that optimizes power delivery at different engine speeds or under varying load situations.
But the inclusion of an electric motor/generator and accompanying battery suggests to us Hyundai has a mild-hybrid system up its sleeve. As far as what kind of vehicle such an engine would go into, your guess is as good as ours.
This patent could also be part of Hyundai’s response to tightening European emissions standards, as Reuters News reported. Manufacturers have discovered that the downsized turbocharged motors made popular in recent years are difficult to bring in line with those new rules, forcing engineers to revert back to larger-displacement engines.
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