Driving technology has seen little change over the years. Maybe so, but that doesn’t mean that things haven’t been changing thick and fast in the past few years!
The rising costs of fuel, combined with the global need to “go greener” has forced car manufacturers to put on their thinking caps and come up with exciting new driving technologies that are more in-tune with fuel costs and friendlier to the environment, without compromising on the thrill of the drive.
Here at Old Mutual iWYZE, we learn more about these technologies as they happen, in order to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to providing affordable car insurance quotes to our clients that reflect the latest and greatest technology.
In this article, we share four of our favourites – both those that are already on the market or will be in the near future.
- Higher compression ratios
One way to improve performance and fuel economy is to increase the compression ratio inside the engine. This simply means the amount of fuel and air squeezed into the combustion chamber. When this ratio is higher, fuel is used more efficiently.
Mazda’s SKYACTIVE technology is using this approach in their latest generation of vehicles. The SKYACTIV-G system has a faster combustion time, which means the air-fuel mixture ignites properly before the temperature can build up and engine knocking takes place.
This technology, combined with weight-saving materials and a new transmission, translates into a 15% lower fuel consumption and emissions and 15% more torque. Increased torque translates into more driving fun.
- Direct injection
Most engines mix fuel and air before inserting them into the combustion chamber. In a direct-injected engine, highly pressurised fuel is squirted directly into the combustion chamber.
Since this creates pressure, direct injection can cause engine knocking. Ford has solved this problem by combining direct injection with turbo charging, which uses exhaust gases to boost performance.
By bringing these two proven technologies together, Ford has built engines that are more powerful than their predecessors, even though they're smaller and use less fuel. Ford calls these engines EcoBoost.
- EV Power Boost
Hybrid engines are now commonplace. Yet, the fun factor for many hybrids is admittedly low. In 2011, Jaguar changed that with its "push to pass" button in the C-X16 concept, which is powered by a supercharged 3-liter V6 gasoline engine and an electric motor, just as most hybrids are.
The difference is in the "push to pass" button being on the steering wheel. Pressing this accesses the electric motor for a 70 horsepower boost, much like the KERS system used in Formula 1 racing. Put it all together, and the Jaguar C-X16 can go 299.3 kilometres per hour and reach 100 kilometres per hour from a standstill in less than five seconds.
- Cylinders on demand
This type of engine only uses the cylinders it needs, when it needs them. For example, when the Audi S8 is accelerating from 0 to 100 kilometres per hour in 4.2 seconds, it requires all eight of its cylinders to be firing.
But when it reaches cruising speed a few seconds later, it no longer has that heavy workload to maintain. Four of those eight cylinders cut out completely, so the engine acts like a four-cylinder. If you need to pass, the other four cylinders kick in again, and then cut out when the car's speed is steady.
This technology improves fuel efficiency by about 10% when cruising.
Whether your car incorporates the latest fuel saving technology, or is still from the old school, make the wise insurance and let Old Mutual iWYZE help you to protect your ride with affordable, reliable insurance. Get a quote today!
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