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SwRI simulations show turbocharged Scuderi Engine could reduce a standard 2011 Nissan Sentra’s fuel consumption by up to 35% on FTP cycle

Modelled results of fuel consumption in 2011 Nissan Sentra. Source: Scuderi. Click to enlarge.

Scuderi Group, LLC released the top-level results of a vehicle computer study that it funded and that the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) conducted, modelling various Scuderi Split-Cycle (SSC) engine designs, including the turbocharged, downsized air-hybrid version under consideration (earlier post), in a computer model of a 2011 Nissan Sentra.

The Sentra model was simulated through a standardized Federal Test Procedure-75 (FTP-75) drive cycle for each SSC engine design. Preliminary results showed up to a 25% decrease in fuel consumption (i.e., up to 33% increase in MPG) was achievable with an SSC engine replacing the Sentra’s engine when factoring in fuel cutoff during deceleration and idle in the model.

Results also showed that up to 35% decrease in fuel consumption (i.e., up to 54% increase in MPG) was achievable when compared to the model Nissan Sentra using a stock engine without fuel cutoff.

The primary purpose of the Study was to answer the fundamental question about fuel consumption. Scuderi Group commissioned SwRI to design and implement the computer Study, which could simulate an SSC engine in any vehicle of choice, driven through any drive cycle of choice. Results would then be compared to the same vehicle driven with its factory engine through the same drive cycle. The Nissan Sentra was the first vehicle chosen for the study, due to its competitive mileage and popularity.

At the onset of the study, a computer baseline model of the Sentra was established, which closely matched the measured performance of the actual 2011 Nissan Sentra. The lab mounted the Nissan Sentra on a chassis dynamometer and drove the vehicle through the FTP-75 drive cycle to generate the benchmark data.

Various SSC engine models were sized to match the acceleration and power of the Sentra’s conventional engine. Each Scuderi engine was then placed into the baseline Sentra vehicle and driven, via computer simulations, through the same FTP-75 drive cycle. Results were compared to the Sentra when operating with its conventional engine. The most favorable results were obtained using a preliminary model of the turbocharged SSC engine with a downsized compression cylinder configured to operate in air-hybrid modes.

The Scuderi Engine divides the four strokes of a combustion cycle between two paired cylinders—the left cylinder functions as an air compressor, handling intake and compression, while the right cylinder handles combustion and exhaust. With the compression cylinder separated from the power cylinder, the use of a standard turbocharger to convert recovered exhaust-gas energy into compressed air energy supports the downsizing of the compression cylinder to achieve substantial reductions in negative compression work.

Scuderi Group will provide more in-depth details on the results of the Nissan Sentra Study at the Engine Expo 2011 in Stuttgart, Germany, 17-19 May.



This is not stunning, but at least they are doing it and showing the results. A mild hybrid Sentra done like the Honda Civic hybrid would get better mileage with start/stop and regenerative braking.


If 37% to 54% fuel consumption reduction can be achieved with a Sentra, could more be achieved with heavier (Big-3) gas guzzlers?

Would that be a first, easy to achieve, step to reduce fuel consumption by half?


I have heard it stated that bigger and heavier vehicles are better candidates for hybrid because they use SO much fuel. That seems like an odd argument, because few really need a 6000 pound SUV to begin with.


well regardless of whether there is a need for an suv
Since the profits are so high the car makers will be pushing them heavily


Profits are high as long as people buy them. Once they realize that you do not need a 6000 pound SUV that gets 8 mpg to go get some groceries, maybe common sense will prevail.


Actually the results are stunning; the cost to build electric hybrid cars are much higher than using a Scuderi designed engine,(one powertrain versus two)and with less overhead brings a better bottom line. That's the language the OEM board members want to hear. Also the power and torque will make their automobiles more appealing and marketable to the consumer,(not many electric hybrids being sold, maybe 2 1/2% percent of the entire auto industry, possible 10% of the market by 2016. Also note, the Scuderi design used in this comparision is only the basic version of future advancements to be developed. When the OEM's get their hands on this technology the engines will get closer to 100% better MPG and burn 80% NOX.

Nick Lyons

Scuderi seems to be bonkers about 'studies'. They need to build some prototypes, put them in cars and test. Until I see such test results, I, for one, remain skeptical of this company and its claims.


Stunning? Going from 30 to 40 mpg can easily be done with a mild hybrid system and that is a 33% improvement which takes everything they have to offer, not stunning.


"Posted by: pfb
That's the language the OEM board members want to hear."

They also dont want to hear about warranty issues and class actions suits when these new engines start grenading after 50k miles.. they like the old, well understood stuff and they still have problems occasionally.


Yes, engines are one of those dependable items. Single engine aircraft go with models that date back decades because they are reliable. Similar reasons exist for car engines, tried and true.

Account Deleted

simulation again? British consultants can come up with any thermal efficiency number through their performance simulation.

I thought they claimed that the engine will roll out from production line soon? why rely on simulation when the engine is so close to production?


Before making a statement like that, it would have been wiser if you first did a little research on this technology. The scuderi's have stated they expect licensing the second half of this year and they have many OEM's looking closely at the technology. Do you think they would be paying any attention to the Scuderi technology if your statement had any accuracy to it.
The world needs someone to developement a better efficient internal combustion engine, lets not beat down somebody trying to achieve this goal.

Nick Lyons


I used to work for an inventor. We always had many OEMs looking at our technology (US Navy, Nissan, Briggs & Stratton, others). Investors were impressed with all the interest we were generating, so we kept finding new investors, kept the doors open and kept inventing. No OEM ever licensed the technology, and after several years the company folded. All the investors got for their money was a partial interest in a bunch of worthless patents.

The Scuderi story reminds me of this experience.

Henry Gibson

ARTEMIS in the UK demonstrated an automobile before and after they installed their hydraulic hybrid transmission and on one US city driving standard test, they doubled the mileage. This is in a real car on a test stand and without using the smaller engine that the hydraulic drive made possible.

The air hybrid is at least an interesting addition after all the early years of just having a piston pseudo jet engine.

Every new car should be a supercharged diesel engine version. Hybrid or not.


Roger Pham

Don't under-estimate the marketability of full-HEV's. The Prius has been Japan's best-selling car model for several years now. Toyota has plan to expand the Prius line into larger models and smaller models to widen the market penetration of the Prius concept. Toyota has shown that full-HEV's are profitable even when priced competitively. The Camry and Lexus hybrids are not selling well because they are designed for power and not for maximum fuel efficiency.

Without a transmission, nor failure-prone alternator nor starter, nor belt-driven accessories, nor engine-driven AC compressor, the Prius has proved to be extremely reliable and low-maintenance in taxi services. The lower maintenance cost will make the initial acquisition prices competitive. The high-recyclability of the Permanent magnets and the copper coil, known high-cost items, will lead to higher resale value for used-up HEV models. Lithium batteries are now sold at 1/2 to 1/3 the prices ten years ago. This will bode well for the future competitiveness of full HEV. Lithium batteries are much lighter and smaller than the NiMh batteries in current HEV's.

With increasing electrification of transportation, an HEV model can serve as a foundation for future PHEV and BEV, as well as FCV.

BTW, the first hydrogen fueling station in the US fed directly from an active industrial hydrogen pipeline has just open. This will pave the way for the coming of FCV's that can triple the fuel efficiency of current ICE-vehicles. With low-cost electrolysis technologies being developed right now, an H2-fueling station can be placed anywhere there is an electric power line.


The Southwest Research is working on several specific data requests from various OEM's. Also note, interest in the split cycle engine has increased dramatically in the past few years. Many OEM's have been researching their own versions of split cycle engine, however they have been unable to make it more efficient than the Otto design. The Scuderi Group and Southwest Research have figure out the past problems associated with this engine and the OEM's understand this. However, the proof is in the pudding, if this technology is for real the OEM's will sign licensing agreements in the not so distant future. Otherwise there are 800 other engine manufactures out there who can take advantage of this technology. The future looks bright for the Scuderi Group


Roger P....Yes, that's where vehicles evolution is going. We may have improved ICE, improved HEVs, PHEVs, BEVs and FCs all competing for a larger share of the market for the next 15 to 20 years.

Improved HEVs will become tomorrow's PHEVs (with improved ICE or FC).

With better lower cost batteries, many PHEVs will no longer need the on-board genset or FC and will become BEVs.

By 2030, most new cars will be BEVs and larger vehicles will be imporved PHEVs with improved ICE genset or improved lower cost FC.


Look at the Camry or Prius sales of perhaps 300,000 units per year in the U.S. and then look at the pickup truck sales of over 1 million units per year in the U.S. of just one make. That pretty much tells the story.

I do not even think that people in Europe or Japan would know what to do with a Toyota Sequoia nor Nissan Armada. They really have no use for large pickup trucks at 1 million units per year. This is a uniquely American phenomenon. As long as that is the case, we will use more imported oil than necessary.

Scuderi seems to be bonkers about 'studies'.
They're a startup with limited resources. All major automakers simulate everything before they build it too; they just issue internal memos instead of press releases.
Single engine aircraft go with models that date back decades because they are reliable.
Actually, they're not. The ancient air-cooled engines are used because they're certified; modern automotive-derived engines may be more reliable, but haven't been through the paperwork wringer. The cost of certifying a new engine is enormous. Delta Hawk has been trying to certify their aerodiesel for something like a decade now, and they're still not done.

Back to Scuderi, I wonder if they've got a regenerative option in the works. Using exhaust heat to pre-heat air coming out of storage may give another substantial boost to efficiency. Using Transonic Combustion's supercritical fuel injection system would help too.


Don't confuse the work that SwRI was contracted to do for Scuderi as an endorsement by SwRI. Scuderi are experts in marketing and they use SwRI not only because they can't do the work themselvse, but also as a means to shape the perception that SwRI is their partner and a believer in the technology. SwRI is very professional and polite, but when you talk with them about the Scuderi project it is clear from just about everyone that this is simply a consulting project for a customer and that the press releases are hand from hand picked data which often is taken out of context. The real claims in this article have little to do with the Scuderi cycle and mostly about the benefits of hybridization. "...25% decrease in fuel consumption (i.e., up to 33% increase in MPG) was achievable with an SSC engine replacing the Sentra’s engine when factoring in fuel cutoff during deceleration and idle in the model".



Unnatrual believer
1)Southwest Research has published white papers on the SSC engine, this information is 100% accurate, you can purchase the papers for $22.00 each.
2)There are many interested OEM who have recently seen the actual results and have already set up follow up technical meetings with their entire engineering teams.
3)Southwest Research is working on a few OEM specific
data reports and have several additional requests which will be done in the near future.
I think there is a little more going on here than a expert marketing plan. There will be licensing agreements signed in the near future and the company will have an IPO upcoming. The marketing aspect of the Scuderi Group makes a lot of sense in preperation for it's intial public offering.


1) You don't need the white papers if you can talk directly with the people doing the work or closely associated with it. This is a privelledge i enjoy in my position.
2) I didn't say there isn't any industry interest. Nobody can afford to ignore claims of breakthrough technology as they risk being left behind if it turns out to be real. That is why the OE's are having their own study's being done. They will make their own assesment based on work they fund to get answers they believe to be credible. The end result of this is a decision to either license the technology or not. Even if they decide to license, this is often a hedge just in case which is standard procedure and should not be confused with an intent to go to production. This simply secures the right in case they decide to use it later. Kind of an insurance policy.
3) SwRI is a research gun for hire. Just about anyone can hire them to do investigations for them. I have, and they do a good job. The point of my note was to point out that just becasue SwRI is hired to do something, it doesn't mean that they endorse the idea, and that publicity released by the funding entity does not necessarily reflect the opinions of SwRI. It is quite easy to take a piece of data out of context and twist it into whatever you want, especially when the topic is highly technical and the audience is not.



Carmelo passed away in 2002, and the heirs to the company have milked and marketed the idea for almost 10 years with little but press releases, private “demos” and simulations;

and accepting invesments.

The marketing aspect of the Scuderi Group makes a lot of sense in preperation for it's intial public offering.

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