Random Thoughts... [Automotive Edition]

GRtak

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Did everyone miss the news that Mazda is bringing back the rotary engine? Or maybe you don't like it as a range extender for a hybrid?
 

Perc

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Did everyone miss the news that Mazda is bringing back the rotary engine? Or maybe you don't like it as a range extender for a hybrid?

Can it deliver good enough fuel economy to make sense?
 

Blind_Io

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I would like to point out that the Arteon is built in Wolfsburg and the NMS Passat is made by rednecks in Tennessee.
My 16 year old, 190,000 mile reliable-as-the-day-is-long, abused like a rented mule Nissan was also built in Tennessee.
 

Perc

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My 16 year old, 190,000 mile reliable-as-the-day-is-long, abused like a rented mule Nissan was also built in Tennessee.

Yeah. The Japanese manufacturers managed to produce reliable vehicles in the UK. I think that says it all.
 

EyeMWing

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Can it deliver good enough fuel economy to make sense?
Well, as a range extender genset it'll run exclusively at it's exact most efficient RPM under it's exact most efficient load factor, since the engineers get to pick that.

This also means it's not going to have that spinning dorito sound, which is a shame.


But it is small and light, which is a thing you don't get out of piston engines.
 

Perc

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Well, as a range extender genset it'll run exclusively at it's exact most efficient RPM under it's exact most efficient load factor, since the engineers get to pick that.

This also means it's not going to have that spinning dorito sound, which is a shame.


But it is small and light, which is a thing you don't get out of piston engines.
what about, say, a boxer twin?
 

Perc

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I wasn't talking about Mazda specifically, and I did actually have BMW in mind. It's also just me trusting piston engines more. I have nfi if it's going to be any better.

I seem to recall reading somewhere that Scania had a couple of prototype hybrid buses in the late 80's or thereabouts. They had an electric drivetrain and a range extender genset using a Saab 9000 engine. They didn't last very long since they spent most of their time at full load with the turbo glowing white.
 

Labcoatguy

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I wasn't talking about Mazda specifically, and I did actually have BMW in mind. It's also just me trusting piston engines more. I have nfi if it's going to be any better.

I seem to recall reading somewhere that Scania had a couple of prototype hybrid buses in the late 80's or thereabouts. They had an electric drivetrain and a range extender genset using a Saab 9000 engine. They didn't last very long since they spent most of their time at full load with the turbo glowing white.
Companies making range-extender vehicles seem to use whatever's coming off their assembly lines in large numbers. That Scania bus you mention...for those bigger vehicles you're basically using the electric drive as a transmission, right? Like a diesel-electric locomotive?
 

EyeMWing

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Companies making range-extender vehicles seem to use whatever's coming off their assembly lines in large numbers. That Scania bus you mention...for those bigger vehicles you're basically using the electric drive as a transmission, right? Like a diesel-electric locomotive?
Yeah, that's how you'd do that. That particular instance seems like just catastrophically bad engine choice - the engine needs to produce enough power in its most fuel efficient spot on the power band - and lower RPMs are better if you've got more than one choice - not at full blast.

There's a reason why stationary genset motors and boat motors that are related to automotive engines all have much lower power ratings for the same level of build - because they're going to sit at that rated output literally forever, whereas an automotive engine is only going to be expected to do it for a couple seconds once in awhile.


Right now the car companies seem to be cheaping out on range extender gensets, but hopefully of this wankel thing works out it'll prove there's reason to look at more unconventional engines that take up less space and are purpose built for the job.

Maybe we'll get a small engine renaissance out of it.
 

GRtak

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Right now the car companies seem to be cheaping out on range extender gensets, but hopefully of this wankel thing works out it'll prove there's reason to look at more unconventional engines that take up less space and are purpose built for the job.

Maybe we'll get a small engine renaissance out of it.

The reason to use what they already make is simple economics. No need to topple the apple cart, just tweak it a bit to make it work better driving a generator.


There are several companies that are working with what are seemingly oddball engine types to drive the generator. The one that stands out in my mind is basically a pair of turbos that drive a generator. How far away is it? Who knows?

As for the Wankel, I don't think it will be all bad, but I don't think it will be all that great either, It still has the same old problems of a Wankel, seals and oil consumption, but it is lighter and less complex.
 

Perc

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I want this Honda to succeed. It’s just so neat.
Also, a car journalist being completely ecstatic because there’s a physical knob for the air conditioning temperature. This is what we’ve come to. Good job, Honda. Other car makers, are you listening?
 

93Flareside

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Yeah, but if they're selling it surely somebody is buying.

Or someone who works at the dealer wants it and perhaps there's some clause that requires every car to be listed and hopefully it's priced so outrageous, nobody goes for it and the person internal gets what they want for way less than what it's listed for.
 

gaasc

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Or you do Occam's razor on this one and they do crack pipe pricing because they think someone will buy it at the price.
 
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