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Skip Fire System Could Slash Fuel Consumption

GM invests in promising Silicon Valley start-up.

by on Jan.06, 2015

A diagram showing the Dynamic Skip Fire system at work, selectively shutting down cylinders.

Facing tough new fuel economy standards, automakers are frantically searching for ways to boost mileage, and General Motors is betting it may have found one of the possible solutions coming out of Silicon Valley.

The maker’s investment arm, GM Ventures, is pumping cash into startup Tula Technology which is developing a system it calls Dynamic Skip Fire. The technology allows a vehicle to reduce fuel consumption by as much as 15% by briefly shutting off individual cylinders when the demand for power is reduced.

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“This technology holds the potential to improve fuel economy on select GM vehicles without degrading power capability when it’s required,” said Jon Lauckner, GM chief technology officer, vice president of Global R&D and president of GM Ventures. “This joint effort combines software expertise from Silicon Valley with powertrain expertise from General Motors.”


New Mercedes AMG V-8 Delivering Near-I-4 Mileage

Green performance without the hybrid?

by on Jul.21, 2011

Mercedes's AMG division claims the new M152 engine going into the SLK55 AMG will deliver big gains in power - and a 30% bump in fuel economy.

With the upcoming launch of its latest powertrain, AMG, the Mercedes-Benz performance division, claims it will be able to deliver the muscle of a traditional AMG V-8 with the mileage of a compact 4-cylinder powertrain.

While that might be a mild exaggeration, the claims are nonetheless impressive if the new 5.5-liter V-8 – developed specifically by AMG – actually can yield a 30% improvement in fuel economy compared to the brand-within-a-brand’s current 5.5-liter V-8.

Until recently, fuel economy was way down the list of attributes Mercedes officials were likely to emphasize – especially at AMG – but studies show that even the affluent buyers who ante up for cars like the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG supercar now list mileage as a concern.

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The new powertrain will find its first application on the AMG-upgraded version of Mercedes’ compact roadster, the new 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLK 55 AMG.  Significantly, the 30% mileage improvement comes despite a 60 horsepower bump, to 415 hp, with torque jumping from 376 to 398 lb-ft on the new model.