Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Chrysler Gives Go-Ahead to Develop 2-Stroke Engine

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Chrysler Gives Go-Ahead to Develop 2-Stroke Engine

Article excerpt

DETROIT (AP) - Chrysler Corp. has given the go-ahead to develop a more efficient two-stroke engine, but it won't be ready for testing for about five years, a company executive said Tuesday.

Engineering Vice President Francios Castaing said Chrysler still must solve critical pollution and consumer-acceptance problems before it can put the engine into even limited production in a test fleet. That probably won't happen before the late part of this decade.

Nevertheless, the company is showing off on the auto show circuit this year its Dodge Neon concept car, a subcompact powered by a 1.1-liter, two-cycle engine producing about 100 horsepower. The two-cycle engine is designed to give greater fuel efficiency with no loss of power.

It's highly unlikely that the Neon would go into production as now built, but the concept car gives Chrysler the chance to test public reaction. It also represents a sign that the company is ready to sink money into research and development.

Castaing declined to say how much money Chrysler, in the midst of a $2.5 billion cost-cutting program, was committing to the program.

``We have enough research and development funds for the next two to three years to support and increase our commitment to two-stroke,'' he said.

Automakers have been working with two-stroke engines for years. The engines currently are being used in some small cars built in Eastern Europe, along with motorcycles, boats, lawn mowers and snow blowers.

General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co. have licensed two-stroke technology from Orbital-Walbro Corp. of Cass City, Mich., and are working on research of their own.

Two-stroke engines offer advantages over conventional four-stroke engines. They deliver power to the crankshaft on every downward stroke of the piston, instead of every other stroke as in four-stroke engines, and they require fewer parts so they weigh less and improve fuel efficiency while maintaining comparable power. …

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