MCE-5 VCRi: Pushing back the fuel consumption reduction limits

It has high performance

MCE‑5 VCRi: Contributing to solving the dilemma of "fuel savings vs. driving pleasure"

High performance cars have high fuel consumption levels and yet, in modern society, people still aspire to “fun-to-drive” cars. This is in contradiction with the environmental and energy crisis that should lead us to aim for more savings and moderation. If we really wanted to optimize vehicle energy consumption, we would size engines based on needs so as to provide "sufficient" acceleration while allowing maximum speeds that comply with the law. This pragmatic approach is however not applied in real life.

In modern society, people still aspire
to “fun-to-drive” cars

The MCE‑5 VCRi improves the basic qualities
that contribute to the technical and
commercial success of automobiles

Automobile fuel consumption is based on two needs: the need to get around and the need for fun. If we push the pleasure of driving beyond what is reasonable, we end up with a lot of wasted energy: a high-performance car can consume 3 times as much fuel as a fuel-efficient car over the same distance and at the same speed. The car's acceleration or speed "potential" will rarely be used, since what the motorist is really buying is this "potential". Most sports car owners are satisfied to know that they could drive very quickly "if they wanted to".

This situation remains unchanged despite growing environmental awareness. It would even seem that the more aware we are of the consequences of global warming, the more kilometers we travel in increasingly powerful and better-equipped cars, produced in ever higher numbers. Basically, we are doing the opposite of what is recommended. Though we talk a lot about being responsible, we rarely practice what we preach.

Since the population is only making minor efforts and the public authorities can't impose a dictatorship to preserve the environment and fossil fuel resources, the solution lies in the development of vehicles providing the same performance and pleasure while consuming less fuel. This recipe will only be effective if the vehicle remains affordable and profitable. In this case, the driving pleasure will stay the same and automotive engineers and designers will manage the fuel consumption effort upstream. This approach will have a stronger impact in that it will lead to high sales volumes of very energy-efficient vehicles that will reduce CO2 emissions by millions of tons. It will nevertheless require a sustained effort in R&D and then investments at the level of the stakes.

The MCE‑5 VCRi project focuses on drastically reducing fuel consumption at low cost without reducing vehicle performance. Hard downsizing-downspeeding, expansion ratio optimization, friction reduction and possibly compression ignition of lean mixtures are among the selected strategies. In real life, the high torque delivered by the MCE‑5 VCRi at low engine speeds leads to smooth driving. This characteristic avoids the "vroom-vroom" syndrome for vehicles, which while they may be fuel-efficient when driven wisely in the NEDC cycle, are not in so in reality because of their “invitation to sin” nature. On the contrary, the MCE‑5 VCRi's high torque can extend transmission ratios without turning vehicles into "cows" that are depressing to drive: the vehicle stays dynamic even in long gears ratios, which allows the management of different driving situations.

MCE‑5 VCRi improves the basic qualities that contribute to the technical and commercial success of automobiles: high torque, high performance, low fuel-consumption and affordable cost price. In this way, MCE‑5 VCRi could help in future to avoid the choice between energy performance and driving pleasure.