Latitude project aims for improved fuel efficiency and lower emissions

Greener, more efficient vehicles could be developed as part of a research project investigating the use of advanced boosting technology and lightweight engine design, involving Jaguar Land Rover and Ricardo.

The Latitude project, which is being part-funded through the Advanced Propulsion Centre and partly by the companies involved, is aiming to improve fuel efficiency and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 10 per cent.

The Jaguar Land Rover-led project, which also includes GRM Consulting, Borg Warner and Bosch, will integrate advanced boosting and fuel injection technology into an engine combustion system.

The team will investigate engine designs to reduce weight and improve thermal efficiency as part of the project, according to Marc Vigar, Ricardo programme manager for the Latitude project.

Ricardo will have overall responsibility for the structural design of two versions of the Latitude engine, which will be based on Jaguar Land Rover’s Ingenium engine family.

Both a high performance and a lower power version of the engine will be designed, with the latter providing greater fuel efficiency.

The low power version will be designed to have reduced peak cylinder pressure, allowing the project team to limit the mass of components and the main engine structure.

“Reducing the cylinder pressure of an engine generates lower loads on the engine components (namely the piston, conrod, crank-shaft) allowing these components to be lighter, and potentially allowing smaller, low friction bearings,” said Vigar.

Ricardo will use software developed by GRM to allow its engineers to consider weight, structural optimization, and noise, vibration, and harshness design issues alongside thermal management and friction.

“We are looking at ways to speed-up the warm up of the oil to reduce friction, thereby reducing fuel consumption,” said Vigar.

They also aim to encapsulate the engine. “Encapsulation is the use of a thermal insulation around the engine, which reduces the heat lost from the engine when it is turned off,” said Vigar. “This means the engine is warmer for a re-start which reduces friction and fuel consumption.”

In this way they aim to enable the engine to reach its desired operating temperature more quickly which, alongside the reduced engine mass, will help to improve fuel efficiency and lower CO2 emissions.