Treehugger.com discussed five technologies that Car and Driver says can improve internal combustion engines.
1. Clean diesel. Diesel engines have better thermal efficiency than gasoline engines, and new advances such as low-sulfur diesel, better catalysts, and better particulate traps make them cleaner.
2. Direct injection. Direct injection allows for better control over the amount of fuel used depending how the car is driven. (i.e. acceleration and cruising)
3. Cylinder deactivation. Some cylinders are deactivated when less power is needed.
4. Turbochargers. Turbochargers increase the power inside the cylinders, allowing for a smaller engine while retaining power.
5. Variable valve timing and lift. Variable valve timing also allows for smaller engines with similar power.
That said, these improvements have led to more power rather than decreased fuel consumption.
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