Diesel engines used to initiate combustion in a prechamber that housed the glow-plug for cold-starts, but fancy high-pressure direct-injection pretty much retired the prechamber. We’ve recently learned the 2022 Maserati MC20 Nettuno V-6 engine is reviving it—in gasoline engines—as a way to speed the burn rate and extract more work and performance out of the air-fuel mixture. Now we hear Ford is working with FEV, an engineering consultancy, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory on a prechamber engine aimed at boosting efficiency.
The $10-million three-year project, partly funded by the Department of Energy, aims to develop a “Next Generation High Efficiency Boosted Engine.” Specifically, the effort aims to achieve a 23 percent improvement in efficiency and a 15 percent reduction in engine mass relative to the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 in a 2016 Ford F-150 pickup. So while Formula 1 and the Maserati MC20’s Nettuno engine (pictured below) employ the concept to deliver peak performance, Ford, FEV, ORNL, and the Feds are more interested in efficiency. Happily, they’re often two sides of the same coin. For the full story, check out this article from Motor Trend.