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Variable Compression Ratio Engine Developer Raises €10.3M

MCE-5 Development, a company developing a fuel-efficient variable compression ratio engine, the MCE-5 VCRi (earlier post) has raised an additional €10.3 million (US$14 million), raised by the company’s existing private shareholders and new qualified investors.

At the 79th International Motor Show in Geneva in 2009, MCE-5 showcased its first vehicle application (a Peugeot 407) of a prototype 1.5-liter MCE-5 VCRi. The four-cylinder 1.5L VCRi, equipped with a two-stage turbocharger, develops 220 hp (164 kW) of power (comparable to that of a 3.0L V6 engine), and 420 Nm (310 lb-ft) of torque at 1,500 rpm (comparable to a V8 gasoline engine).

Fuel consumption on the NEDC is 6.7 L/100 km (35 mpg US) with 158 g CO2/km. The technology can be applied to smaller displacements, MCE-5 notes.

Based on the combination between a rod-crank mechanism and long-life gears, the MCE-5 is an all-in-one VCR technology integrating both power transmission and compression ratio control. The MCE-5 supports a compression ratio control range from 7:1 to 20:1, permitting serving all VCR strategies with no limitation, the company says.

Since its beginnings, MCE-5 has been backed by French institutions whose main mission is to foster innovation, as well as by private and industrial investors. The company currently has roughly 350 shareholders.

With the backing of a consortium of 12 European companies, essentially Tier-1 OEMs, the current short-term focus of the project is the commercialization of the technology to carmakers in order to begin the mass production of the MCE-5 VCRi engine by 2016-2017.

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