|The 3-cylinder, 660-cc MIVEC engine is the basis for the new smart engine.|
Mitsubishi Motors will begin supplying fuel-efficient 700cc gasoline engines to DaimlerChrysler AG for use in the smart car starting as early as 2006, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun reported.
The engine is a slightly enlarged version of the 660cc MIVEC engine Mitsubishi will use in its i minicar. (Earlier post.) Mitsubishi Motors is expected to supply an annual 80,000 to 100,000 engines to DaimlerChrysler.
In addition using an aluminum block and resin components to reduce weight, the engine uses variable valve timing and 4-valve direct-drive valvetrain to deliver more power and better fuel economy.
The new 3-cylinder, 660cc turbocharged engine delivers 47kW (63 hp) of power and is expected to improve fuel economy by 15% over the current mini-car units. No word yet on the specifications of the 700cc version.
DaimlerChrysler reportedly plans to use the engines for its next-generation Smart Fortwo vehicles. Automakers are scrambling to roll out fuel-efficient compact cars for the European market in preparation for stricter carbon dioxide emissions regulations taking effect there in 2008. To address this, DaimlerChrysler is working on developing a new model at low cost that meets these standards.
Mitsubishi Motors will begin producing the engine at its Mizushima facility at the end of this year. The Japanese automaker plans to increase output capacity at the plant to address the increase in engine production, and expects to reduce per-unit costs as a result of economies of scale.