November 14, 2008

Continental’s Direct Injection Technology Saves on Fuel Consumption and Lowers Emissions By Twenty Percent

AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Nov. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Who would have thought that a forty-five millimeter long invention could improve engine performance, reduce emissions and fuel consumption by twenty percent? Continental, one of the world's largest automotive suppliers, developed such an innovative technology and is the first to mass-produce the gasoline Piezo direct injection system.

"We are very proud of our Piezo direct injection technology and the contributions it brings toward our goal of reducing fuel consumption and emissions," said Kregg Wiggins, Senior Vice President Powertrain, Continental NAFTA - Region.

Continental's Powertrain division is the pioneer of Piezo injection technology. It is part of the wide range of products that Continental supplies today -- from optimized tires, electronics and mechanical components -- that combined could reduce fuel consumption by up to 40 per cent. Production of the first generation of Piezo injectors for diesel engines began in 2000. Production of gasoline Piezo began in 2006. Continental is the market leader in Piezo direct injection systems.

"We believe there will be a significant demand for direct injection technology moving forward as a direct result of the benefits to the end consumer," said Wiggins. "The Piezo direct injectors offer our customers the latest technology to significantly reduce carbon dioxide while simultaneously taking fuel economy to new levels."

This completely integrated system takes full advantage of the fast switching speeds and precise fuel metering of Piezo technology, making it possible to use a spray-guided stratification combustion process in a gasoline engine for the first time ever.

During the combustion process, gasoline is directly injected into the combustion chamber near peak pressure to better utilize the fuel, resulting in a combustible mixture formed in the upper part of the combustion chamber in the immediate area of the spark plug. In this way, the innovation creates the conditions for a stratified charge.

Spray-guided combustion, which is the most efficient form of stratified charge, is only possible with the performance features of Piezo technology because a precise, constant and stable injection must be directed to the immediate spark plug area. The nozzle needle completes its full stroke in just 0.2 milliseconds, while the maximum deviation between individual injected quantities of fuel is 2 percent -- even with the typically short injection pulses under driving conditions.

For cleaner combustion, extremely fine atomization of the fuel must be maintained. At an injection pressure of approximately 200 bar, the average diameter of the fuel droplets is only 15 thousandths of a millimeter. Together with injector nozzles that open into the engine cylinder, an optimally prepared cloud mixture at the edge of the spark plug is yielded under nearly all operating conditions. This innovation is the only solution on the market able to do this.

This spray-guided combustion process is a first in a gasoline engine, and as a consequence, the extent of operating conditions that allow stratified charge is considerably expanded. For example, high displacement engines are able to achieve greater fuel economy at partial loads, while ensuring optimum cylinder charging at full load. Additionally, OEMs may be interested in using the injector to more tightly control combustion processes, including multiple pulses to control the start of combustion. This technique is an enabler to someday allow them to realize Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI).

Continental today received the first Environmental PACE (Premier Automotive Suppliers' Contribution to Excellence) Award from Automotive News for its trend-setting gasoline Piezo direct injection technology which improves engine performance, reduces emissions and fuel consumption by 20 percent. This is the third award the Piezo technology has received. The system was also recognized during Ward's 10 Best Engine's of 2007 for the BMW 335i Twin Turbo-3-liter engine contribution and the Automotive News 2008 PACE Award.

According to Automotive News, this year's honorees were chosen from the 2008 Automotive News PACE Award winners and were honored again for further innovations contributing to the environmental sustainability and/or solving environmental problems.

With targeted annual sales volume of 25 billion Euros for 2008, the Continental Corporation is one of the top automotive suppliers worldwide. As a supplier of brake systems, systems and components for the powertrain and chassis, instrumentation, infotainment solutions, vehicle electronics, tires and technical elastomers, the corporation contributes towards enhanced driving safety and protection of the global climate. Continental is also a competent partner in networked automobile communication. Today, the corporation employs approximately 146,500 people at nearly 200 locations in 36 countries.

As a worldwide leading technology and systems partner to the automotive industry, the Chassis & Safety Division of Continental AG integrates extensive know-how and leading-edge quality in the fields of active and passive driving safety, safety and chassis sensors, and chassis components. The Division achieves sales of more than euro 5 billion (based on 2006 figures) with a workforce of more than 27,500 (2007). Chassis & Safety develops and produces electronic and hydraulic brake and chassis control systems, sensors, driver assistance systems, airbag systems, occupant classification systems, washer systems, and electronic air suspension systems.


CONTACT: Michele Tinson, External Communications, Powertrain Division,Continental, +1-248-393-8784, Cell: +1-248-622-6072,[email protected]

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