The development of the Otto cycle engine has been identified with the development of the automotive internal combustion engine, particularly the passenger car engine, for the first hundred years of its history. To date, it is perhaps one of the most far-reaching technological innovations man has contrived. For this Society, dedicated to the dissemination of the arts and science of automotive engineering, it is therefore fitting to assemble for review in a single volume the various phases of technical developments in the history of the automotive internal combustion engine. The demarcation of the four phases of activities were evenly distributed in terms of aggregated effort. The early history is characterized by the variety of approach and the lack of external constraint. Innovators pursued their ideas almost in isolation due to the lack of technical communication, as well as international commercial impact. The second phase, spanning the ends of the two world wars, witnessed the beginning of large scale production and a rapid development and consolidation of technology. While the detailed design approach may vary, the basic four-ignited cycle, designed to the limit of fuel technology, has firmly established its supremacy in the field. The notable departure is the emergence and dominance of the diesel engine in the commercial field in Europe. The third and fourth phases, which cover the last two decades, brought in successively the impacts of technological advance accelerated by the second world war, the emergence of the large scale automotive industry outside the United States, the awareness and the demand for environmental control resulting from over congestion of automobiles in large cities, and finally the painful realization of the dwindling natural petroleum resources brought into focus by the oil embargo. The development of these events presented to the automotive industry a new set of external constraints, which challenge the ingenuity of automotive engineers world-wide for an optimum solution. The activities in all these areas culminated in a review of the current development of spark-ignition engines and offers a glimpse of the alternative power plants vying for future dominance, the latter of which forms the subject matter of the final paper. /HSRI/

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; Photos; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 55 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00145071
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Highway Safety Research Institute
  • Report/Paper Numbers: SAE SP-409
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Apr 13 1977 12:00AM